Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M becomes first freshman to win Heisman

Published On December 9, 2012 | By Karoline Zacharer

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has been awarded the 2012 Heisman Trophy. He is the first freshman to earn college football’s most prestigious honor.

Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Kansas State’s Collin Klein came in second and third, respectively, in Heisman voting. Manziel recieved 474 first place votes, Te’o had 321 and Klein pulled in 60.

Manziel was visibly excited, telling the crowd that winning the Heisman is a dream come true.

“I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid, running around the backyard pretending I was Doug Flutie, throwing Hail Marys to my dad,” he said.

He also noted that it’s becoming more common for freshmen to come in and dominate the game like he has.

“That barrier’s broken now,” Manziel said. “It’s starting to become more of a trend that freshmen are coming in early and that they are ready to play. And they are really just taking the world by storm.”

Manziel, who turned 20 on Thursday, is from Tyler, Texas. The 6-foot-1 freshman was named the starter for the Aggies before the start of the 2012 season, prompting A&M fans to nickname him “Johnny Football”. He played football through his four years at Tivy High School and started as a receiver his freshman and sophomore years. During his sophomore year of high school, he got his first shot at quarterback and was the starter for his junior and senior seasons. Manziel was a highly sought after player, receiving offers from many of the top football schools.

Manziel played this year as a redshirt freshman. He attended Texas A&M last year and practiced with the team, but did not play. He led his team to a 10-2 record this season. Manziel’s 4,600 total yards broke Cam Newton‘s 2010 Southeastern Conference record.

His impressive stats helped him become the first SEC player and the fifth player ever to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000. He threw for 3,419 yards with 24 touchdowns and rushed for 19 more touchdowns with 1,181 rushing yards.

When asked where he would put the trophy, Manziel joked that he would like to keep it right next to his bed, but added that it might not be too great of an idea in the house he live in at school.

“If I can get a case that’s indestructible, locked and looks pretty good, we’ll see where I keep it,” he said.

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About The Author

Karoline Zacharer is a senior at Bridgewater State University majoring in communications. For the past four years, she has covered everything from football to women's lacrosse as a reporter for BSU's Bears Sports Network. She has also written minor league baseball news for You can follow Karoline on Twitter at @KarolineZ.