Texas A&M Aggies: Manti Te'o

Video: Manziel on Heisman fame, Te'o

January, 18, 2013
Johnny Manziel sits down with Rece Davis to talk about how his life has changed since winning the Heisman trophy and the controversial Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax.

Video: Te'o, Manziel win big awards

December, 6, 2012

Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit recap The Home Depot College Football Awards, where Manti Te'o won the Maxwell and Bednarik awards, and Johnny Manziel took home the Davey O'Brien award.

10 facts to know about Heisman finalists

December, 5, 2012
US PresswireJohnny Manziel (left), Manti Te’o (center) and Collin Klein are the 2012 Heisman Trophy finalists.

  • Johnny Manziel finished the regular season with 3,419 pass yards and 1,181 rush yards. His 4,600 yards of total offense broke the SEC single-season record set by Cam Newton during his 2010 Heisman Trophy season. When Newton broke the record, he supplanted Tim Tebow’s Heisman Trophy season of 2007.
  • Manziel has been responsible for 43 touchdowns this season, tied with Tajh Boyd and Jordan Lynch for the most in FBS. He had six games with at least two touchdowns passing and rushing. That's tied with Tebow in 2007 for the most such games in a season since 2000. Collin Klein is tied for second in FBS this season with three such games.
  • Manziel had 70 plays that gained 20 yards or more this season, 10 more than any other FBS player. He was tied for the eighth-most passes (52) and the second-most rushes (18) of 20-plus yards.
  • Manziel gained 784 rush yards on scrambles, the most in the SEC. He had 13 scrambles that gained at least 20 yards, including seven touchdowns. No SEC player had more total rushes or touchdowns of 20-plus yards, let alone scrambles.
  • Klein has scored a rushing touchdown in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS. The only game that he did not have a rushing touchdown was against Missouri State, an FCS opponent. Since the start of last season, Klein has scored a rush TD in 23 straight games against FBS opponents. That is the longest such streak for any player in the last nine seasons.
  • Since the start of last season, Klein has an FBS-best 37 rushing touchdowns in goal-to-go situations. Klein has had at least one such touchdown in 22 of 25 games during that time period, including in his last 10 games in which he has at least one such attempt.
  • Klein has accounted for 69 percent of Kansas State’s yards and 66 percent of its offensive touchdowns this season. Klein’s percentages are slightly better than those of Robert Griffin III from his 2011 Heisman season at Baylor. Griffin accounted for 66 percent of Baylor’s total and 61 percent of its touchdowns.
  • Manti Te'o has seven interceptions this season, tied for second-most in FBS and three more than any other linebacker. Te’o also has two fumble recoveries. His nine total takeaways are tied for the most in nation.
  • Te’o has 103 tackles this season, 42 more than any other player on Notre Dame. He has just two missed tackles all season. As a team, the Irish have missed 61 tackles this season, the third-fewest among AQ schools.
  • Notre Dame leads the nation in scoring defense (10.3 PPG) and is the only team that has not given up a touchdown drive longer than 75 yards this season. Every other FBS team has allowed at least three.

In a real shocker, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been named one of the three finalists for this year's Heisman Trophy.

Johnny Football is joined by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

Manziel, a redshirt freshman, appears to be the front-runner after a fantastic first year of college football. He threw for 3,419 yards with 24 touchdowns to eight interceptions. He also finished the year second in the SEC with 1,181 rushing yards and led the conference with 19 rushing touchdowns.

Manziel really threw himself into the Heisman discussion nationally when he helped lead Texas A&M to a 29-24 upset win over No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He also guided the Aggies to a 10-2 season in their first year in the SEC and will man A&M against Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.

Manziel's 4,600 total yards of offense set an SEC record.
SoonerNation's Jake Trotter and GigEmNation's Sam Khan Jr. give their thoughts on the AT&T Cotton Bowl matchup between Oklahoma (10-2) and Texas A&M (10-2).

1. What's your initial reaction to the matchup?
OU-Florida in the Sugar would have been one of the best matchups of any bowl outside the title game. But this one is about as good. The Sooners get a chance to face off against the Heisman favorite in Johnny "Football" Manziel, which probably means OU will have seen the top three Heisman contenders (Manziel, Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o and Kansas State QB Collin Klein). The Sooners will have to play well, because A&M is one of the hottest teams in college football, coming off that win at Alabama.

2. Which team in the Big 12 does Texas A&M most resemble?
Can I say A&M? I mean, they were in the Big 12 just last year. If I had to compare them to someone currently in the Big 12, I'd probably say Oklahoma State. A&M's offensive line is tremendous, and Manziel has several playmakers to work with. Manziel is obviously more mobile than anyone OSU has, but the Cowboys present the dual-threat attack with Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh. That's where the comparisons end. Because the Aggies are much more formidable defensively than the Pokes with Damontre Moore, who is tied for third nationally with 12 1/2 sacks.

3. What's the most intriguing individual matchup?
Mike Stoops vs. Manziel. Stoops has struggled game-planning against prolific, mobile quarterbacks this season, and Manziel figures to be his biggest challenge yet. Will Stoops go back to the dime package, or will he use linebackers Frank Shannon and Corey Nelson to spy Manziel? Either way, Manziel poses plenty of problems for a defense that's been gashed late in the season.

4. Who's the most important player no one's talking about?
How about Landry Jones? All the focus will be on Manziel, and for good reason. But I'm not so sure there's an advantage at QB. Jones has been on fire the last month of the season, throwing for 500 yards twice. Jones is susceptible to interceptions. But lately, he hasn't allowed those plays to phase him. Jones is capable of putting the Aggies defense on its heel, too.

(Read full post)

SEC Heisman Watch: Week 13

November, 20, 2012
Johnny Football isn't just leading the SEC Heisman vote, he might be leading the nation's vote as well:

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Manziel was his usual Johnny Football self in the blowout win over Sam Houston State. He passed for 267 yards with three touchdowns and an interception and rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Manziel is now the first SEC player, first freshman and fifth NCAA FBS player to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Saturday was his eighth straight game with 300 or more total yards. He also broke the school record for total offense in a season (4,161 yards). But that's not all that propelled him to the top of the Heisman charts. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein tossed three interceptions in the Wildcats' blowout loss to Baylor, and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner rushed for only 66 yards in the Ducks' three-point loss to Stanford. That means it looks like a two-horse race between Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o for the most coveted award in college football. At this point, there's no point in worrying about Manziel's freshman status. Really, it's a foolish argument because he has been the nation's most exciting player, and age should have no bearing on his Heisman chances.

Why Johnny Manziel should win Heisman

November, 20, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Only weeks remain until college football's most prestigious individual award is bestowed upon the young man deemed to be college football's most outstanding player. As the race hits the homestretch, opinions run the gamut on who is leading the Heisman Trophy race and who should win.

Going into last weekend, it appeared that Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was the consensus No. 1 in the various Heisman projections, but Klein and the Wildcats suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of Baylor. So who leads the race now? Here are five reasons why it should be the player they call "Johnny Football," Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel:

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel
AP Photo/Aaron M. SprecherQuarterback Johnny Manziel won the starting job during fall camp and has lead Texas A&M to a 9-2 start.
1. He has the numbers
He's the first freshman in NCAA history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season and the first SEC player to do that. Those totals have been tallied by just four other players in FBS history. He has broken the SEC single-game total-offense record twice. He's the first player in FBS history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 in a game three times in his career. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

2. His team is winning
Like it or not, Ws seem to be a prerequisite to be in Heisman Trophy contention. The No. 9 Aggies (9-2) aren't BCS championship contenders but they have performed well above preseason expectations (the Aggies were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West in the preseason media poll) and now they're on the verge of winning 10 games for the first time since 1998, finishined tied for second in the SEC West and they've gone toe-to-toe with every ranked team they've faced, including beating a few. They're a top-10 team and Manziel has led the charge. They may not be perfect, but only two other candidates' team are (Manti Te'o's Notre Dame squad and Braxton Miller's Ohio State Buckeyes).

3. He can claim something nobody else can
He led his team to a win over Alabama. When voters look for a "Heisman moment" on Manziel's resume, the win over a team that was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country at the time on its own home field is about as impressive a Heisman moment as it gets. That's the Crimson Tide's only loss to this point and Manziel played a marvelous game that day, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 92 while not turning the ball over once.

4. He's a freshman -- there's a first time for everything
Of the 77 winners in award's history, none have been freshmen. Freshmen were historically prohibited from playing NCAA football until 1972 (except during World War II) but even since they've been allowed to play one hasn't won it. It wasn't until 2007 that a sophomore won it (Tim Tebow). A certain stigma was attached to freshmen receiving Heisman Trophy vote but it's time for that to come to an end. If Manziel is to lead the Aggies to a win over Missouri on Saturday and win the award on Dec. 8, it shouldn't be in spite of him being a freshman, it should be because of it. To accomplish what he has so early in his career should be taken into account. If he's the most outstanding player in college football, it's even more impressive earning that status as a freshman.

5. He has the respect of his opponents
Nick Saban said Manziel reminded him of Doug Flutie (interestingly enough, a Heisman winner). But perhaps the best endorsement comes from an All-American caliber defensive player whose team defeated Manziel and the Aggies: LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery. His effusive praise of Manziel spoke volumes. Those guys know more football than most, so who are we to argue?


Recruits Miss Lone Star Showdown
National recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton spoke with top prospects at Nike's The Opening regional in Dallas. The findings were overwhelming: Players want the game back.