NEW YORK (KHOU.com) – The legend of “Johnny Football” took on a life of its own Saturday when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel, 20, of Kerrville, Texas, beat out seniors, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, for the trophy awarded annually to college football’s most outstanding player.
Manziel already won the Davey O’Brien Trophy for most outstanding quarterback on Thursday and was named the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday.
The Kerrville Tivy product is the first Aggie to win the Heisman since John David Crow, who was present at Saturday’s ceremony, took college football’s top honor in 1957.
According the Texas A&M University Athletic Department, five Aggies have previously finished in the top 10 of the Heisman balloting: John Kimbrough was fifth in 1939 and second in 1940, Marshall Robnett was ninth in 1940, Crow in 1957, Darren Lewis tied for eighth in 1990 and Bucky Richardson was 10th in 1991.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman, has been the talk of college football during the last month with his record-breaking season and a win over the then-No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Aggie quarterback broke the SEC record for total offense in a game originally set by Ole Miss’ Archie Manning in 1969 with 557 yards against Arkansas and then broke his own record with 576 total yards against Louisiana Tech.
Manziel went on to break 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton’s SEC’s season total offense record with 4,600 yards through Texas A&M’s first 12 games.