Comparing Johnny Manziel to Other Texas A&M QBs of the BCS Era
How in the world do you compare Johnny Manziel to other Texas A&M quarterbacks who came before him?
This is a guy who won a Heisman Trophy, earned one of the coolest nicknames with "Johnny Football" and prevented the Aggies from becoming the laughing stock of the SEC. Remember, people were questioning what this program was even thinking when it left the Big 12 for the powerhouse conference down south.
Just off of accomplishments alone, Manziel is the most successful quarterback Texas A&M has had during the BCS era. Based off what he means to the school, he may actually be the best player this program has ever produced. The scary part of it all is that he is only entering his sophomore season.
But let's remove the young man off his pedestal for a second and look at some of the other quarterbacks who made their mark in College Station.
There were a few during the BCS era, but only two seasons could even be compared to Manziel's throwing the football. Those would be Ryan Tannehill's senior season, when he threw for 3,744 yards and 29 touchdowns, and Jerrod Johnson's junior season, when he tossed for 3,579 yards and 30 touchdowns. Remember, Manziel finished last season with 3,706 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.
Manziel fell only 38 passing yards short of Tannehill for the most in Texas A&M history. However, he does hold the school record with 453 passing yards in a single-game and already ranks 10th in school history in career passing yards. Not too shabby for somebody who has only been on the field for 13 games.
Is Manziel the best Texas A&M QB of the BCS era?
As for passing touchdowns, Manziel is sitting comfortably tied for seventh in school history. Both Tannehill and Johnson had more touchdowns in the air than the Heisman winner in their monster seasons, but Manziel trumped both in completion percentage. Manziel completed an absurd 68 percent of his passes, while Tannehill completed 61.9 percent and Johnson finished with a subpar 59.6 percent.
What makes these numbers even more impressive is that Manziel only threw the ball 434 times. Sure, that was good enough to finish second in the SEC, but it was far less than the 531 passes Tannehill had in 2011 and the 497 throws Johnson attempted in 2009.
So, let's get this straight. Manziel had the second most passing yards of any other Aggies quarterback, tossed more touchdowns than Dustin Long had in his career and completed the higher percentage of passes. Manziel also threw nine interceptions compared to Tannehill's 15 that was tied with Landry Jones for the most in the Big 12.
As for rushing yards, it is absolutely no contest for anybody, let alone Texas A&M quarterbacks. The Aggies have had a couple of successful runners recently in Stephen McGee and Reggie McNeal, but neither even came close to being as explosive as Manziel was on his worst day.
As if you needed a graph to show you how explosive Manziel was running the ball. He only led the SEC in rushing yards with 1,410 and broke a single-season school record with 21 rushing touchdowns. There is absolutely no comparison when it comes to the young man's accomplishments, especially when breaking down his ability to make plays running the ball.
When discussing rushing yards, other quarterbacks shouldn't even be brought up. Assuming Manziel will continue to use his legs to make plays, he is well on pace to at least finish second all-time in Texas A&M history, topping Curtis Dickey, who finished his career with rushing 3,703 yards. There is little chance he catches Darren Lewis as the all-time leading rusher with 5,012 yards.
Although Manziel is still only one year in the system, he is the most accomplished quarterback for this program during the BCS era. He won the most prestigious award in the sport as a freshman, rewrote the school, conference and NCAA record books, and he also led the Aggies to 11 victories for the second time since the BCS format was installed.
Johnny Football has set the bar quite high in College Station.
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