He was just a freshman quarterback at the beginning of the year and now Johnny Manziel is the unanimous AP SEC Offensive Player of the Year after he put together one of the finest years a college quarterback has ever had.
From freshman to “Johnny Football” and Heisman candidate, that’s been the type of year it’s been for Manziel and he’s more than set himself up for a promising college career. On the season Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns, rushed for 1,181 yards and an SEC-leading 19 TDs, and guided the A&M to a surprising 10-2 mark in their inaugural SEC season, including an upset of No. 2 Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa.
“This season has been incredibly surreal,” Manziel said. “It’s beyond my wildest imagination. It’s a true testament to how this team has grown every week, because without these guys none of my individual success would be anything.”
Manziel’s season had a trickle down effect, as Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was named Coach of the Year and beat out Gators coach Will Muschamp.
“He’s a tremendous competitor and a tremendous leader, and that’s something that you really don’t see in a player as a redshirt freshman,” Sumlin said. “His leadership on and off the field throughout the season has made our season a real successful one.”
As for Johnny Football, who just recently was allowed to speak to the press, he’s not letting his popularity get to his head.
“I’m a small-town kid,” said Manziel, who grew up in Kerrville, Texas. “I don’t see myself as Johnny Football.”
Well, the SEC does and so do legions of fans everywhere and they will for the next few season.