Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy 2012: Why Johnny Manziel Is a Lock to Win Prestigious Award

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates after a touchdown during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

It's time for Johnny Manziel to strike a pose.

That is because, on Saturday night at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, Johnny Football is going to get himself a new nickname: Heismanziel.

With all due respect to Notre Dame's Manti Te'o and Kansas State's Collin Klein, neither senior can hold a candle to what Texas A&M's fantastic freshman has accomplished in his first year of college football––which also happened to be Texas A&M's first season in the SEC.

His numbers speak for themselves. Manziel completed 68 percent of his passes (273-of-400) for 3,419 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. A dual-threat, he carried the ball 184 times for an additional 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground, averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

Remember what Cam Newton did at Auburn in his record-setting 2010 season? No doubt it was pretty impressive, but Manziel made sure that Newton's reign at the top of the SEC record books was short-lived, via ESPN's Numbers Never Lie:

Johnny Manziel’s 4,520 total yards from scrimmage with 1 game to play already broke CAM NEWTON’s SEC single-season record. #JohnnyFootball

— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) November 30, 2012

By the way, Newton won the Heisman in 2010.

Manziel has four 300-yard passing games and six 100-yard rushing games on his resume this season.

With him under center, the Aggies scored 40 points or more in seven games. They also rank third in the nation in scoring average (44.3 points per game), 14th in passing yards (317.3 per game) and 13th in rushing yards (235.1 per game), according to ESPN.

Numbers never lie, but perhaps the numbers don't impress you.

How about a freshman walking into Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa to take on the then No. 1 team in the land—the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide with the best defense in the country—and do this in the first quarter:

Name me another quarterback in the country who could have pulled that play off and one who could walk into that stadium as a freshman and lead his team to a 29-24 victory that turned the national rankings upside down.

There isn't one.

It's true that no freshman has ever taken home the Heisman Trophy before, but we've never seen a freshman quite like Manziel.

The awards ceremony on Saturday night should be nothing more than a formality.

No player in the country was as good, or as important to his team's success, as Manziel was for Texas A&M in 2012.

A freshman was the best college football player in the nation in 2012, and it's a freshman who deserves the Heisman Trophy.

Like Bob Dylan once sang, "The Times They Are a-Changin'."

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