MORE HEISMAN COVERAGE
The Making Of A Legend (Eric SanInocencio)
2012: The Year Of Johnny Football (Scott Crumbly)
Johnny Heisman: How We Got Here (Eric SanInocencio)
By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
NEW YORK – Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s 2012 season has been filled with historic firsts. On Saturday night, he achieved the most impressive of unparalleled feats, becoming the first freshman in the award’s 78-year history to claim the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the top player in college football, as presented at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square.
Manziel, the first freshman quarterback to start a season opener for Texas A&M since 1944, is one of four underclassmen to win the Heisman since 2007, when former Florida standout Tim Tebow became the first in the history of the award.
Manziel, who on Thursday received the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, has directed the Aggies in their first season as a Southeastern Conference member. With Manziel as the signal-caller, Texas A&M charted a 10-2 overall record with a 6-2 mark in SEC play, which included a remarkable road victory against then-top-ranked Alabama. The Aggies will compete in the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma on Jan. 4.
Manziel became the 11th SEC player ever to win the Heisman Trophy and the second in Texas A&M school history, joining John David Crow who took home the prestigious honor in 1957.
Four of the last six Heisman winners have now come from the SEC. Manziel is the sixth SEC quarterback to win the award, with Florida’s Steve Spurrier becoming the first in 1966. The SEC’s first Heisman winner was Georgia halfback Frank Sinkwich in 1942.
Manziel, a Kerrville, Texas, native, has logged 3,419 passing yards and 1,181 rushing yards to become just the fifth player – and first freshman - in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to throw for 3,000 or more yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards in the same season.
Manziel leads the SEC in rushing yards (1,181) and total touchdowns (43) this season, while also setting the league record for total yards in a season with 4,600. Additionally, he ranks second in the nation in points responsible for (21.50/game) and total offense (383.33/game). Against Arkansas on Sept. 29, Manziel racked up 557 yards of total offense to break Archie Manning’s SEC record for total offense in a single game. He then re-broke that record with 576 yards vs. Louisiana Tech on Oct. 13.
Manziel on Wednesday was named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year and the SEC Freshman of the Year. He became the first player in league history to win the two awards in the same season and the first freshman to be named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year since Herschel Walker in 1980.
SEC Heisman Winners
1942 Frank Sinkwich HB Georgia
1959 Billy Cannon HB LSU
1966 Steve Spurrier QB Florida
1971 Pat Sullivan QB Auburn
1982 Herschel Walker HB Georgia
1985 Bo Jackson HB Auburn
1996 Danny Wuerrfel QB Florida
2007 Tim Tebow QB Florida
2009 Mark Ingram RB Alabama
2010 Cam Newton QB Auburn
2012 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M