Manziel adds more hardware, wins AP Player of the Year.
He becomes the first freshman to earn writers’ honor.
Johnny Manziel ran for almost 1,700 yards and 30 touchdowns as a dualthreat quarterback his senior year of high school at Kerrville Tivy.
Who would have thought he’d be even more impressive at Texas A&M when pitted against the defenses of the Southeastern Conference?
On Tuesday, Manziel picked up another major award for his spectacular debut season. He was voted The Associated Press Player of the Year. As with the Heisman Trophy and Davey O’Brien Award that Manziel already won, the QB nicknamed Johnny Football is the first freshman to collect the AP award.
Manziel’s 31 votes were more than twice that of second place finisher Manti Te’o, Notre Dame’s start linebacker. He is the third straight Heisman-winning quarterback to receive the honor, following Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton.
Manziel erased initial doubts about his ability when he ran for 60 yards and a score in his first game against Florida.
“I knew I could run the ball, I did it a lot in high school,” Manziel said in an interview with the AP. “It is just something that you don’t get a chance to see in the spring. Quarterbacks aren’t live in the spring. You don’t get to tackle. You don’t get to evade some of the sacks that you would in normal game situations. So I feel like when I was able to avoid getting tackled, it opened some people’s eyes a little bit more.”
The 6-foot-1 Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores to help the Aggies win 10 games for the first time since 1998 — and in their inaugural SEC year, too.
Ryan Tannehill, Manziel’s predecessor now with the Dolphins after being drafted eighth overall this season, saw promise from the young quarterback last year when he was redshirted. But even he is surprised at how quickly things came together for Manziel.
“It’s pretty wild. I always thought he had that playmaking ability, that something special where if somebody came free, he can make something exciting happen,” Tannehill said. “I wasn’t really sure if — I don’t think anyone was sure if — he was going to be able to carry that throughout an SEC season, and he’s shocked the world and he did it.”
The 4,600 yards of total offense Manziel gained in 12 games broke the SEC record for total yards in a season.
The record was previously held by 2010 Heisman winner Newton, who needed 14 games to pile up 4,327 yards.
Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 TDs in his redshirt freshman season.