Johnny Manziel Captures the Heisman

Tom Kent, Staff Writer

Six months ago, Johnny Manziel was in a College Station jail, arrested with three misdemeanors from a bar fight. Winning the Heisman was clearly not on his mind. In an ESPN article, Manziel stated, “There was a time when I didn’t really know where I was going to go from there.” Manziel entered the summer as second on the depth chart. There was much uncertainty. Texas A&M lost its star Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the NFL Draft. Texas A&M also fired its head coach Mike Sherman and hired former Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Johnny Manziel, a Redshirt Freshman, had never played a down in college football. Although he had been a practice team star, linebackers asked the coach to move him to wide receiver because he was too fast for them. Manziel shined during the summer, and Coach Sumlin named Manziel as the starting quarterback.

In Manziel’s first start against Florida, he completed 77% of his passes and had a total of 233 yards. It was a solid first start, but he lost to the University of Florida Gators, a team that would finish the season ranked third in the nation. The Texas A&M Aggies beat SMU 48-3, with Manziel recording 6 touchdowns, 418 total yards and a 160.8 passer rating. Manziel lead the Aggies on a 5-game win streak before coming across the LSU Tigers. Manziel recorded 3 interceptions in a game that the Aggies had led most of the time. LSU won 24-19-the only other loss  Texas A&M suffered that season. Texas A&M easily won the following two games.

The biggest game of Manziel’s career would be against the number one ranked and defending champions, Alabama. Manziel had his Heisman  moment on a 4th quarter touchdown. The play was not supposed to work out for Manziel; the snap was wide and barely caught by Manziel. He ran around the pocket looking for someone to throw to. He finally found Ryan Swope in the back of the end zone to give Texas A&M the lead and eventually the win against the mighty Crimson Tide, who played in the National Championship. This moment only added to the Legacy of Johnny Football.

Manziel became the Heisman front runner after this game and continued on his incredible run, racking up incredible stats to finish his season. Manziel had beat Cam Newton’s incredible all purpose yardage record as freshman. Manziel went to the Heisman award ceremony as a redshirt freshman, which was a major accomplishment by itself. Manziel won the most prestigious college football award as a freshman for the first time in history. Manziel, a redshirt freshman, that six months ago did not even know if he would be at Texas A&M, won the Heisman and continues the Legend of Johnny Football.