Johnny Manziel Wins the 2012 Heisman
2012 Heisman Winner, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
2012 Heisman Winner, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Posted Dec 8, 2012

Johnny Football becomes the first freshman to win the big prize.

2012 Heisman

Johnny Manziel Wins 

- 2011 - Robert Griffin III Brings It Home For Baylor 
2010 - The Cam Coronation 
- 2009 - Mark Ingram Wins Bama's First Heisman 
- 2008 - Sam Bradford Wins A Nailbiter 
- 2007 - Tim Tebow Becomes 1st Sophomore To Win 
- 2006 - Troy Smith Wins In A Landslide  

What If The Heisman Voting Was Done After The Bowls? 
- 2000 to 2011 | 1990 to 1999 | 1980 to 1989 | 1970 to 1979

Ranking the All-Time Winners

- The 25 Greatest Heisman Winners | No. 26 to 50 | No. 51 to 76

Heisman Winners - Top 5 Races, Player to Not Win, and More
- 2000 to 2011 | 1990 to 1999 | 1980 to 1989 | 1970 to 1979
- 1960 to 1969 | 1950 to 1959 | 1940 to 1949 | 1930 to 1935

2012 Heisman Finish  

1. Johnny Manziel, 2029
2. Manti Te'o, 1,706
3. Collin Klein, 894
4. Marqise Lee, 207
5. Braxton Miller, 144

E-mail Pete Fiutak

Beyond everything else, the guy is just plain fun.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was able to break through the freshman barrier – even if he's a redshirt freshman – to finally bust through the ridiculous bias against first year players, but while he might be a trailblazer in that respect, he's this year's great quarterback with amazing statistics.

The Heisman has now become a game of Which Quarterback Can Top This? There will be more great quarterback seasons with more tremendous statistics, but it'll be hard to top the out-of-the-blue flair that Manziel brought to the 2012 season.

Tim Tebow set a new bar in 2007 by winning as a sophomore in his record-setting season. Sam Bradford won in 2008 by bombing away for a jaw-dropping Oklahoma offense. Cam Newton had the greatest all-around season of any quarterback in college football history – at least on the field – in 2010, and Robert Griffin III had the most efficient passing season ever.

Manziel had a better statistical season than Tebow and Newton in their respective Heisman campaigns, and that's what it took to win the Heisman. Now, in today's day and age of high-tech, quarterback-centric offense, there are going to be more and more monstrous statistical seasons and more and more quarterbacks setting the bar higher to win the Heisman.

But it helps to have a signature moment or two, too.

Manziel didn't win the 2012 Heisman just because of his statistics. Manziel won the 2012 Heisman because of his magic, and if that comes across as a bit hokey, then that's sort of the point. The Heisman is supposed to be about special players doing special things, but beyond beating Alabama by completing 24-of-31 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns with 92 rushing yards, he did it with pizzazz.

Manziel had the numbers, he had the big win and he had the moment. And now a freshman has a Heisman, and college football, hopefully, gets three more years of this. If he can do this again, then there's yet another wall he could break down. Johnny Manziel could make the transition to Johnny Football to Johnny Heisman to Johnny Repeat. It's going to be a fun ride.
NEW YORK (AP) — Johnny Football just got himself a way cooler nickname: Johnny Heisman.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, taking college football's top individual prize Saturday night after a record-breaking debut.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finished a distant second and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was third in the voting. In a unique Heisman race, with two nontraditional candidates, Manziel broke through the class barrier and kept Te'o from becoming the first purely defensive player to win the award.

Manziel drew 474 first-place votes and 2,029 points from the panel of media members and former winners.

"I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid," he said during his acceptance speech after hugging his mom, dad and kid sister.

Manziel seemed incredibly calm after his name was announced, hardly resembling the guy who dashes around the football field on Saturday.

Te'o had 321 first-place votes and 1,706 points and Klein received 60 firsts and 894 points.

Just a few days after turning 20, Manziel proved times have truly changed in college football, and that experience can be really overrated.

For years, seniors dominated the award named after John Heisman, the pioneering Georgia Tech coach from the early 1900s. In the 1980s, juniors started becoming common winners. Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win it in 2007, and two more won it in the next two seasons.

Adrian Peterson had come closest as a freshman, finishing second to Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart in 2004. But it took 78 years for a newbie to take home the big bronze statue. Johnny Football really can do it all.

Peterson was a true freshman for Oklahoma. As a redshirt freshmen, Manziel attended school and practiced with the team last year, but did not play in any games.

He's the second player from Texas A&M to win the Heisman — John David Crow took it home in 1957 — and did so without the slightest hint of preseason hype. Manziel didn't even win the starting job until two weeks before the season.

Who needs hype when you can fill-up a highlight reel the way Manziel can?

With daring dashes and elusive improvisation, Manziel broke 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton's Southeastern Conference record with 4,600 total yards, led the Aggies to a 10-2 in their first season in the SEC and orchestrated an upset at then-No. 1 Alabama in November that stamped him as legit.

He has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and run for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores to become the first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season.

Manziel has one more game this season, against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.