It’s official, Johnny Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy Award, the first freshman in the history of the award to do so. Quite an achievement for a 19 year old, especially when you consider the environment in which he was competing.
Manziel set records in the SEC all year. We got our first glimpse on September 29th, when he set an all-time mark of 557 yards of total offense against Arkansas. The Aggies put up 58 points that day, with Manziel accounting for 453 yards in the air and 3 TD’s, while running for 104 yards and TD. He beat records set by Archie Manning (QB, Ole Miss) in 1969 and Rohan Davey (QB, LSU) in 2001.
Fast forward to the Alabama game in Tuscaloosa. Did anybody see this coming? In what some people are saying is the highlight of the college football season, Manziel and the Aggies rolled into Bryant-Denny stadium against the #1 team in the country and took care of business in a 29-24 win. The Tide hadn’t given up more than 17 points in a game all season, much less the previous three years, but it was Manziel’s coming out party that took the stage.
He completed 15 of 16 attempts in the first half alone. Here was a redshirt freshman, playing the #1 team and defending national champion – in their house - one of the toughest places in college football to lace ‘em up, and he dominated the Tide in the first half. Overall, he completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards and 2 TD’s, with 92 rushing yards on 18 carries.
This was Johnny Football’s Heisman moment, and it stuck, making him the 2012 recipient of the biggest award in college athletics.
His records are ridiculous:
Hats off to the kid. I have a feeling Archie Griffin may have company in the next couple years...
Hey folks, we’re two weeks into the 2012 season and already, there are some surprises (RB Johnathan Franklin/UCLA) and some not-so surprises (QB Matt Barkley/USC).
In order of where most media pundits have them ranked, here’s your early season rundown...
Matt Barkley, QB – USC – It helps that he started with Hawaii and padded his stats a little bit out of the gates, but hey, every Heisman winner starts with a cupcake early season schedule. USC destroyed Hawaii in week 1 where Barkley rang up 4 TD’s and nearly 400 yards through the air, but in week 2, he really lit up a Syracuse defense that looked hapless all day. At the end of the game, Barkley threw for a career high 6 TD’s and cemented himself at the top of the Heisman watch.
Geno Smith, QB – West Virginia – Though WVA was off in week 2, Smith still sits near the top with a week 1 performance that included 4 passing TD’s, 323 passing yards, 65 rushing yards and a score on the ground to go with a QB rating over 200. Very impressive early on in what should be a very explosive offense in the already loaded Big 12.
De’Anthony Thomas, RB – Oregon – Though his stats are light out of the gates through 2 games, remember that he has been pulled early in favor of second string units... the Ducks torched Arkansas State for 50 points in the first half of game 1, and put up 35 on Fresno State prior to the break. Thomas, aka “The Black Mamba”, ran for 102 yards and 2 TD’s against Fresno, giving him 166 yards and 3 TD’s on the year – on the ground. Where he has made an equal mark is through the air, hauling in 81 yards receiving and 2 TD’s. Mark my words, this kid will be in the running at the end of the season when he’s playing full games and Oregon’s offense is rolling downhill.
Johnathan Franklin, RB – UCLA – You didn’t think a Bruin was going to let a Trojan hog the spotlight did you? Franklin has gone over the 200 yard mark in UCLA’s first two games this season, including 217 yards on 26 carries against a highly touted Nebraska defense. For the year, he has 431 yards and 3 TD’s on the ground to go with 63 receiving yards and 1 TD.
Other notables include Le’Veon Bell, the running back out of Michigan State who has 280 yards and 4 TD’s through two games and Aaron Murray, QB from Georgia who has over 500 passing yards and 6 TD’s in two games.