Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M Star Is Clear Choice for 2012 Heisman Trophy

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 3, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies looks to pass during their game against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on November 24, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Texas A&M freshman sensation Johnny Manziel should be the undisputed winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy. No first-year player has ever won the award, but Johnny Football isn't your typical frosh.

The CBS Sports SEC Twitter page humorously vouched for that after Manziel was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the ninth time:

And Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has been named the Johnny Manziel of the week (our new name for SEC freshman of the week)

— CBSSportsSEC (@CBSSportsSEC) November 26, 2012


In the nation's best conference, Manziel proved to be wise beyond his years, grinding through an incredibly tough slate of SEC games and ultimately thriving, with the exception of only one poor performance against LSU.

ESPN's Numbers Never Lie Twitter page broke down just how impressive the numbers are for Manziel, whose play is already stacking up favorably against one of the game's most recent legends:

Johnny Manziel’s 4,520 total yards from scrimmage with 1 game to play already broke CAM NEWTON’s SEC single-season record. #JohnnyFootball

— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) November 30, 2012


That's right, Cam Newton—national champion and No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The fact that Manziel is already in that class is incredible, and it's scary to think that he has three more years to get even better.

Heisman Trophies are awarded on what happens in the present, though, and Manziel has been spectacular enough, even with so little experience, to warrant taking home the hardware in New York.

How does a total of 43 touchdowns sound? That's 24 passing and 19 on the ground, which shows that Manziel is the epitome of a dual-threat dynamo at the quarterback position.

Now, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are No. 1 in the nation, and they have one of the premier defenses in college football. So All-American LB Manti Te'o—the face of that unit—should warrant at least some consideration for the sport's most prestigious individual award.

But while Te'o has been very valuable to the Irish's cause, he has not been the most eye-popping and outstanding. Manziel takes the cake on that one. And due to his ability to both run and throw, he might be even more valuable to his team than Te'o is to his own.

Manziel has had his share of struggles, including the aforementioned bad showing against LSU and a narrow loss to Florida to open 2012. Those offensive players competing with him for the Heisman, though, haven't faced the caliber of defenses he has week in and week out.

But instead of hitting a wall and folding after enduring disappointment at the hands of the Tigers, Manziel posted the only resounding Heisman moment of the season: a stunning 26-21 victory in Tuscaloosa over Alabama, who will defend its national championship on January 7 against the Irish.

Five of the past six winners of the award have been quarterbacks, and only Michigan's Charles Woodson won as a primarily defensive player.

Without any other truly defining moments from his competitors and given the record-shattering performance Manziel has put on, it's about time a freshman took home this prestigious award.

Who better to do it than a kid named Johnny Football?


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