Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M Freshman Deserves Heisman Nod

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 19, 2012

Nov 17, 2012; College Station, TX, USA;  Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) looks at the field against the Sam Houston State Bearkats during the first half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Quarterback is the most important position in football, and Texas A&M freshman sensation Johnny Manziel has been the best signal-caller in the nation this season.

Not only that, Kansas State's Collin Klein fell hard against Baylor last week, and Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o may not even be the best defensive player in the country.

There is your case for who should win the Heisman Trophy this season, barring a collapse from Manziel against Missouri this week.

Although Klein has averaged 9.0 yards per pass attempt this season (tied for eighth in the nation, via while tossing 14 touchdowns to six interceptions, he hasn't made quite the impact on the ground that Manziel has, and he's also faced weaker competition.

Manziel is averaging 8.6 yards per pass attempt this season (tied for 14th) while tossing 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions in the big and bad SEC. He's also rushed for more yards (1,114) and averaged more yards per carry (6.48).

But above all, defeating Alabama on Nov. 10 may have been the clincher for Manziel.

The freshman exploded against the vaunted Crimson Tide that day, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 92 yards in the 29-24 upset in Tuscaloosa. Every Heisman winner needs a defining moment and that was it for Manziel.

Then you look at Te'o. As dominant as he's been, you can't place Notre Dame's sterling defensive performance all on his shoulders. The Fighting Irish have had numerous players step up in the front seven, including sophomore defensive end Stephon Tuitt and junior linebacker Prince Shembo.

There is also an argument to be made that he hasn't been the best defensive player in the nation. Georgia's Jarvis Jones and South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who are both up for the Chuck Bednarik Award along with Te'o this season, have had monstrous seasons in the SEC. Even Texas A&M's Damontre Moore deserves recognition.

Plain and simple, Manziel has clearly separated himself as the best player at the most important position in football. Te'o hasn't clearly separated himself as the best defender.

"Johnny Football" deserves the Heisman.


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