Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Manziel wins Heisman Trophy

The Texas A&M quarterback is the first freshman to be awarded the prize.

NEW YORK - Johnny Football just got himself a way cooler nickname: Johnny Heisman.

Just a few days after turning 20, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, taking college football's top individual prize Saturday.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finished a distant second and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was third in the voting. In a Heisman race with two nontraditional candidates, Manziel broke through the class barrier and kept Te'o from becoming the first purely defensive player to win it.

Manziel drew 474 first-place votes and 2,029 points from the panel of media members and former winners.

He's the second player from Texas A&M to win the Heisman, joining John David Crow from 1957, and did so without the slightest hint of preseason hype. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Manziel didn't even win the starting job until two weeks before the season.

With daring dashes and elusive improvisation, Manziel broke 2010 Heisman winner Cam Netwon's Southeastern Conference record with 4,600 total yards, led the Aggies to a 10-2 in their first season in the SEC, and orchestrated a 29-24 upset at then-No. 1 Alabama in November.

He has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 TDs and run for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores to become the first freshman, first SEC player, and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season.

Manziel, who still has one more game to play - against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4 - seemed calm after his name was announced. He simply bowed his head, and later gave the trophy a quick kiss.

"I wish my whole team could be up here with me," he said with a wide smile.

Te'o had 321 first-place votes and 1,706 points, and Klein received 60 firsts and 894 points.

Adrian Peterson had come closest as a freshman to the Heisman, finishing second to Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart in 2004. But it took 78 years for a newbie to take home the big bronze statue.