It’s official. The Texas A&M Aggies‘ Johnny Manziel has made history.
While defenders still have plenty to gripe about following this year’s presentation of the Heisman Trophy, Manziel’s spectacular redshirt freshman season as the Aggies’ signal-caller marks the third year in a row that the Heisman has properly been awarded to the sport’s “most outstanding player.”
Despite Texas A&M having a slightly blemished record, several pundits including ESPN’s Mark May went on record as saying the former Big 12 member would struggle in the newly-expanded SEC before the season began. Manziel was vital in proving the doubters wrong.
While he benefited from having an excellent offensive line to work with, his true dual-threat abilities helped Texas A&M’s offensive attack shine. If SEC defensive coordinators only had to account for a passing threat, Manziel wouldn’t have been in New York and it’s doubtful that the Aggies would’ve tasted the success they have this season.
They certainly wouldn’t have knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide, a potential national champion. Regardless of the BCS National Championship Game’s result, Texas A&M can still claim a victory over the SEC champion.
Considering the string of crystal footballs that the conference has claimed over the past several years, that feat is worth touting.
Many are already questioning Manziel’s ability as a potential NFL quarterback or even his place as a legitimate prospect for the big leagues, but this is highly premature. The college football world now has to get used to the idea of freshmen as legitimate candidates. Whether Manziel has a long and distinguished professional career or not, having the bronze statue in his possession ushers in a new chapter in its history.
Next up: defenders having a legitimate chance to win.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter: @eightlaces