Johnny Manziel made history on Saturday, becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy—college football's most prestigious award. There's a reason that no freshman before Manziel has taken home the hardware, most (save for the Adrian Petersons of the world) simply aren't ready to play at the level it takes to win the Heisman.
Manziel was, thanks to a coach and a supporting cast that complemented his skills.
We hear all the time about players going through "sophomore slumps," but the best may be yet to come for Manziel.
Sure, he won't sneak up on opposing defensive coordinators anymore. But let's be honest, by late September, he wasn't sneaking up on opposing defensive coordinators this season.
Manziel succeeded on such a high level in 2012 due to his athletic ability, head coach Kevin Sumlin's scheme and a brilliant supporting cast.
The scheme isn't going to change, and the cast is only going to get better.
Mike Evans was an unsung star for the Aggies this season, catching 75 passes for 1,022 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. Next season, the 6'5" rising sophomore will likely be joined by Ricky Seals-Jones, who committed to the Aggies on Monday.
Two tall receivers outside will create headaches for opposing defensive coordinators. Double team them, and Manziel will have plenty of room to roam once he escapes the pocket. Single cover them, and Manziel could throw 50/50 balls (which would really be more like 75/25) all day long.
Either way, Manziel's numbers will get a boost.
While the commitment of Seals-Jones was a coup for head coach Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M staff, his biggest task this offseason may be to convince offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews to stick around for their senior seasons.
They were a big reason why the Aggie offense was so explosive in 2012. Their presence allowed the offense to play smash mouth football, but also implement the spread elements that made Sumlin so successful prior to arriving in College Station.
Running back Ben Malena should be back for his senior season, after rushing for 752 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago. He should be joined by 5'8" speedster Trey Williams and Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams.
Simply put, Manziel has a fantastic supporting cast in place, and considering the Aggies have the nation's seventh-best class coming in next year, the best may be yet to come.
Does that mean that he'll win another Heisman Trophy before he eventually leaves College Station? Not necessarily.
Fair or not, he's going to be held to a higher standard moving forward. But building on this year's video game numbers is not only possible, it's probable.
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