Johnny Manziel impressed a lot of people last year. As a freshman quarterback at Texas A&M he threw for over 3,500 yards, had 26 touchdowns, threw only 9 interceptions, and oh yeah, was the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He was given the nickname “Johnny Football” and looked to be one of the greatest college quarterbacks to ever play the game.
But if I get back to the question, can he win it again? My answer would have to be no. Now don’t get me wrong, his football talent is outstanding. Could his talent alone win him the Heisman? Absolutely. But there are too many intangibles that lead me to my answer.
First I think is the most obvious one; he cannot handle pressure. Winning the Heisman as a freshman is a huge feat, like I said one that has never been done before. But for Aggie fans that won’t be good enough. They will now expect so much more; you won a Heisman trophy last year, how about a crystal trophy this year? Manziel could not handle the spotlight of being in a classroom for English class and had to take the class online. And most recently we’ve seen a Twitter meltdown where Manziel expressed he can’t wait to leave College Station, all over receiving a parking ticket.
If Manziel can’t handle the pressure of an English class or getting a parking ticket, how will he be able to handle his expectations for this year? I think his biggest accomplishment of last year was walking into Bryant-Denny Stadium on a Saturday afternoon and defeating the number one undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide. But that too will now be expected of him. Shirts have been made proclaiming “TAMU Controls the Tide” after comments by their athletic director. Just more and more pressure. A&M plays Alabama at home this year, so a win over the Tide will not be nearly as impressive, it will be expected.
When we get down to the game itself, A&M lost key members to their offensive line. The same offensive line giving Manziel a solid pocket, where he became dangerous. Without this pocket, Manziel is forced to make split-decision throws or risk injury and make a run for it. If he does not have his pocket, he will not have the time to make accurate throws and will not be nearly as successful.
Despite all of this, I think this season will be his last at A&M. Now I could be wrong, but Manziel will not stay until his senior season. Maybe not even until his junior season. Entering the draft before he graduates is appealing thanks to the money and opportunity, but obviously gives him less time to win the trophy again. Only one person has won the Heisman twice, Archie Griffin back in 1974-1975. I don’t think Manziel will be the next to do it.