Opinions were given, votes were cast, and history was made when the announcement for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was released on Saturday, December 8th.
Johnny Manziel, the quarterback for Texas A&M, will go down in the record books as being the first freshman to receive the prestigious Heisman Trophy in the 78 years the award has been around. By racking up 474 votes out of a possible 928, Manziel beat out competitors Manti Te’o and Collin Klein.
But it’s not like this was a shock to anyone in the college football world – Manziel had been called “the best player in the country” throughout the 2012 season.
Manziel is known for breaking former Heisman winner Cam Newton’s conference record this season with 4,600 yards of total offense. He was the first freshman to throw for 3,000 yards, and rush for 1,000 in his division. Manziel also threw 24 touchdowns, ran for 19 more, and helped his team finish with a strong record of 10-2.
But to college football fans, Manziel’s biggest accomplishment prior to winning the Heisman was leading his team in the shocking upset of then undefeated Alabama. After the big win, sports journalists and fans alike nicknamed him Johnny Football.
Although it sounds like Manziel was destined for the Heisman title, he certainly had a rough time leading up to this amazing season.
Manziel redshirted during his first year at Texas A&M, was arrested last spring and spent the night in jail, started the 2012 season as a nobody, and with an upsetting loss to the Florida Gators in his first game.
But none of that matters now.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Manziel says, “It doesn’t matter what year you are. If you work hard enough, if you have a great group of guys and great people around you, great things can happen.”
And Johnny Football proved this season that if you perform hard enough, great things do come your way.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, ESPN, Washington Post, USA Today, and Bleacher Report