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Johnny Manziel: Top 10 Plays from 2012 Heisman Trophy Winner's Epic Season

Jake MartinCorrespondent IIIDecember 9, 2012

Johnny Manziel: Top 10 Plays from 2012 Heisman Trophy Winner's Epic Season

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    Johnny Manziel put together one of the greatest highlight films in college football history as a freshman.

    He scrambled, broke tackles, evaded defenders and made accurate throws down the field while doing so. Undoubtedly, a man who made these types of plays deserved to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

    So congratulations are in order, and what better way to congratulate the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner than by creating a slideshow dedicated to his sensational plays this season?

    Here are the top 10 plays that helped create the legend that is Johnny Football.

10. Slicing and Dicing SC State

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    Video Note: Skip to 1:52 Mark

    You want to see Manziel shift gears and cut on a dime?

    There's no better play to showcase than his touchdown run against South Carolina State this season.

    Manziel escaped the pocket and elevated to the second level, and once the safety came up to try to make the tackle, Manziel planted his foot and made a beautiful cut.

    SC State's safety never had a chance.

9. Manziel Scrambles Against LSU

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    Video Note: Skip to 0:43

    Were Manziel's talents evident early on in the season? Yes, but doubts were still at hand.

    How would Manziel's style of play fare against top-caliber SEC defenses? On Oct. 20, he would get his shot at an elite defense, and though LSU kept him in check pretty well, Manziel managed to pull off another vintage escape.

    LSU defenders surrounded him, and Manziel somehow picked his way through the defense and scrambled around to pick up an incredible first down.

    It was flashy, it was flamboyant, and most of all, it was done against an elite defense.

8. Go Johnny Go

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    There was nothing pretty about the Mississippi State-Texas A&M game for fans of the Bulldogs.

    Manziel and the Aggies served Mississippi State a Texas-sized beatdown, and the Bulldogs had no answer for Manziel's athletic ability.

    In the second quarter, Manziel gave the Aggies a three-touchdown lead with a 37-yard touchdown run.

    Manziel dropped back, got to the edge and danced his way through defenders en route to another Aggie touchdown.

7. Superman Pass

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    Any UFC fans in the building?

    In mixed martial arts, fighters sometimes throw something called a "superman punch," in which the fighter leaps off his back foot and throws a punch. That's exactly what Manziel's touchdown pass against SMU looked like.

    First of all, Manziel should have been sacked, but he escaped. After rolling to his left, Manziel planted his foot and delivered an off-balance pass to Kenric McNeal for a touchdown.

    It might have been an ugly delivery, but the end result couldn't have been more comely.

6. Skip to My Loop

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    Ever wonder what it's like to watch Johnny Football at Kyle Field? Well, here's a taste.

    On a play that saw Manziel go all NASCAR on the football field, Manziel made an entire loop in the backfield to create space for another touchdown run.

    After getting chased by Arkansas defenders, Manziel reversed field and made a nice cut to circle around, and the end zone was wide open. 

    As expected, Texas A&M fans lost their minds.

5. Johnny Football Puts the Stamp on LA Tech

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    Don't get into a scoring fest with Manziel's offense. Are you listening, Oklahoma?

    After going down 27-0, Louisiana Tech rallied against Texas A&M, and the game quickly turned into a shootout.

    With an end result of 59-57, the Aggies would need every point they gained against the Bulldogs, and no score was more exciting than Manziel's 72-yard burst with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

    It gave the Aggies a 15-point lead, and it would prove to be the deciding factor, as Louisiana Tech would miss the two-point conversion after scoring a last-second touchdown to pull within two points.

4. Manziel Houdini

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    Manziel's Houdini tricks against Missouri are a package deal.

    First, Manziel evaded defenders in the pocket (what's new?) and delivered a strike to Mike Evans. But that wasn't even the best play of the night.

    Late in the second quarter, Manziel dropped back in the red zone, examined the field, escaped tacklers and hit Uzoma Nwachukwu for the touchdown.

    Just another day for ol' Johnny Football.

3. Manziel Beats Ole Miss

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    Against Ole Miss, Manziel proved that he has the clutch gene.

    In the fourth quarter, Texas A&M found itself down by 10. No worries. None at all when Manziel is your quarterback.

    With a little over two minutes left in the game, Manziel was driving the Aggies down the field with a four-point deficit.

    Manziel dropped back and delivered a perfect pass to Ryan Swope for the game-winning touchdown.

2. Manziel Bobble Touchdown

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    This is Manziel's Heisman moment.

    Everyone who didn't know who Manziel was immediately became mesmerized after his bobble touchdown pass against Alabama.

    Manziel climbed the pocket, ran into one of his linemen, bobbled the ball, regained it and threw a spot-on pass to Swope in the end zone on the move.

    It was everything Manziel was this year in one play, and it was the moment that fans started asking, "OK, exactly who is this guy?"

1. Johnny Football Beats Bama

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    While the bobble-touchdown play might look better on the highlight reel, it's Manziel's game-winning touchdown pass against Alabama that was his defining moment.

    Manziel already proved against Ole Miss that he was clutch, but this was a different type of pressure.

    This was on the road against the No. 1 team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is the defending national champion, for goodness' sake. But more importantly, the world was watching.

    That didn't faze Manziel. He dropped back to pass and delivered a perfect bomb to Malcolme Kennedy for the eventual game-deciding touchdown.

    His Heisman chances immediately skyrocketed.

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