Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel made history by becoming the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Having a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback for the next three years could tip the recruiting scales in the Aggies' favor for years to come.
The Aggies are already recruiting at a level that has not been seen in Aggieland since Jacke Sherrill was the head coach in the 1980s. Adding a Heisman Trophy to the trophy case should help even more.
In 2007, Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore at Florida. In 2008, the Gators brought in a top-five recruiting class. Sam Bradford and Mark Ingram followed Tebow as Heisman winners who won the award during their sophomore season.
This is a look at why Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy will improve the Aggies' recruiting going forward.
Since there has never been a freshman who won the Heisman, no one has seen what kind of dynamic effect that will have on recruiting.
It stands to reason that wide receivers will want to catch passes from Johnny Manziel, while running backs could reason that they can gain more rushing yardage sharing the backfield with a weapon like Manziel.
Elite football players want to play with other elite players. You can see that from the tweets that elite recruits like Ricky Seals-Jones sent out. The top receiver recruit in the country is asking Manziel if he will throw a few balls his way.
Aggie QB Johnny Manziel vs. Alabama
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff now have a recruiting pitch that few programs can offer. Sumlin can tell a recruit that he should come to A&M to win a Heisman Trophy.
Sumlin and the Aggies now have the hardware to back up that statement. The Aggie coaching staff can now look any recruit in the eye and tell him that they can put him in position to win the most coveted individual award in all of sports.
The Aggie coaches can walk into the house of any recruit in the state of Texas and offer them the opportunity to play in the best conference in the country and win a Heisman Trophy while doing it. No other coaching staff at any of the schools in the state can offer that.
Texas A&M Football Coach Kevin Sumlin with QB Johnny Manziel
The general consensus before the season started was that the Aggies would struggle during their first SEC season. Many believed the spread offense would not work in such a physical conference.
Manziel is the triggerman for the spread and broke multiple conference and school records during his first season in Sumlin's offense.
Sumlin can now offer quarterbacks like Matt Davis and Kenny Hill the opportunity to break records in his offense. Every top quarterback recruit in the South now knows that he can come to Texas A&M and have success in this offense in the SEC.
Offense gets the attention but defense wins championships. Manziel's Heisman will put the Texas A&M brand into the living room of every major recruit in the nation.
The Aggies need to recruit at a high level on the defensive side of the ball if they want to win conference championships in the SEC. The publicity generated by Manziel winning this national award will help spread the message of the program on both sides of the ball.
The prospect of playing with Johnny Manziel is going to be a lot more appealing to some defensive players than trying to stop him.
Manziel has won the most coveted trophy in all of sports. Now his focus is clearly on bringing a national championship back to Aggieland.
The fact that the Aggies are in the discussion for a national title is amazing considering where everyone felt the program was heading into the 2012 season. The success that Manziel and the Aggies had has put them in this position.
The Aggies are a top-10 program that just produced a Heisman Trophy winner. Every major recruit in the state of Texas knows who they are right now. Manziel winning the Heisman proved that you can get the kind of national acclaim at A&M that you can at any of the other power programs.
Recruits now know that if you want to win a national award or compete for the national title, then A&M is a school you have to consider.