Ag­gies’ Manziel passes all tests eas­ily


Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - C BOHLS,GOLDEN CHAT bevobeat. states­ Con­tact Cedric Golden at 912-5944. Twit­ter: @ced­golden

ziel did not play like some­one with­out game ex­pe­ri­ence. He em­braced the ob­sta­cle that was his in­ex­pe­ri­ence, and he did not shy away from big chal­lenges.

When I con­sider which player should win the Heis­man, I look at three ar­eas: num­bers, im­pact and the eye test. Manziel has the num­bers, with an SEC-record 4,600 yards of to­tal of­fense. His im­pact can be summed up in A&M’s 10-2 record and its pro­gram-chang­ing up­set of de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pion Alabama, along with the most pop­u­lar nick­name in col­lege foot­ball. As for the eye test, few play­ers leaped off the screen like Manziel did this year. It took me back to Michael Vick’s days at Vir­ginia Tech. You just couldn’t wait to see what he would do with the ball.

Nowhere in my cri­te­ria did I men­tion clas­si­fi­ca­tion, be­cause Manziel shouldn’t be la­beled or re­stricted by how many snaps he’s taken in col­lege foot­ball. If any­thing, his win­ning the Heis­man Join colum­nists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden at 11 a.m. Wed­nes­day for their weekly live chat, at Tro­phy would re­move the fresh­man stigma from fu­ture Heis­man cam­paigns. Her­schel Walker (1980), Michael Vick (1999) and Adrian Peter­son (2004) turned in tremen­dous de­buts, but all lost to up­per­class­men. The tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter, and it’s about time a fresh­man with Manziel’s cre­den­tials be con­sid­ered the fa­vorite.

The fresh­man ar­gu­ment is a silly one, es­pe­cially in Manziel’s case. He’s in his sec­ond year on cam­pus, which would make him a sopho­more in the class­room. Try this one on for size: Had he en­tered just one game for Ryan Tan­nehill last sea­son and taken just one lit­tle snap in mop-up duty, he would be clas­si­fied as a sopho­more to­day. So one snap makes that much of a dif­fer­ence?

Ac­tu­ally, it makes no dif­fer­ence. Manziel is a tal­ent for all ages. The Heis­man should be given to the best player, not to the best up­per­class­man.

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