Column: Johnny Football should be Johnny Heisman

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Johnny Football finally got a chance to speak Monday.

This was it, our first opportunity to hear from the quarterback himself why he feels he should win the Heisman Trophy.

Turns out, he’s not much of a lobbyist.

Off the charts when he’s got that ol’ pigskin in his hands, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel sounds like just another boring QB when asked about his chances of becoming the first freshman to claim college football’s highest individual honor.

He says it would be “a dream come true.” (Boooring!) He says “whatever is meant to happen will happen.” (Give this man an award for clichés.) He deflects credit to his teammates and coaches, pointing out time and time again that none of his success would be possible without those around him. (Wake us when he’s done.)

That’s OK. Nothing more really needs to be said.

Johnny Football, meet Johnny Heisman.

With a nod to Notre Dame defensive star Manti Te’o, a dominating linebacker with a bittersweet back story, Manziel’s numbers are simply too outlandish to be denied.

_ He’s rushed for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns.

_ He’s thrown for 3,419 yards and another two dozen TDs.

_ He’s already surpassed Cam Newton’s totals from two years ago by 273 yards (in two fewer games), and the former Auburn quarterback won the award in a landslide.

Manziel deserves a similar rout.

“The way Johnny has performed this season, the numbers speak for themselves,” said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who had barred Manziel from talking to reporters until Monday. “He’s a tremendous competitor, a tremendous leader. That’s something you really don’t see in a player as a redshirt freshman. But all his leadership _ on and off the field, all throughout the season _ made our season a real special one.”

Sumlin’s policy of denying media privileges to all his freshmen, even those like Manziel who are in their second year of school, has only added to the mystique.

Here was a guy with the cool nickname and enough highlights to fill his own YouTube channel, but we didn’t really know anything else about him other than what was in the biography. The small-town Texas kid who initially committed to Oregon but really wanted to play in the Lone Star State, who signed with the Aggies when Mike Sherman was the coach but didn’t get a chance to play until Sumlin took over the job.

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