From Tyler, Texas, Manziel committed to Texas A&M to run Kevin Sumlin’s Air Raid offense. There, he was simply outstanding for the Aggies, breaking numerous NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records and winning the Heisman Trophy Award in 2012.
Manziel became the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He received numerous accolades for his record-setting 2012 season, including becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.
Nicknamed “Johnny Football”, Manziel was also named a 2x First-team All-SEC (2012, 2013), Consensus All-American (2012), SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2012), Sporting News Player of the Year (2012), and Associated Press Player of the Year (2012).
Manziel holds numerous NCAA records and notable accomplishments:
- FBS freshman record: rushing yards by a quarterback, season (1,410)
- FBS freshman record: total offense, season (5,116)
- 10th-most (at the time) single-season total offensive yards in NCAA FBS history
- Most games with 300 or more passing yards and 100+ rushing yards, career
- FBS record: First freshman (and fifth player ever) in FBS history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, season
- FBS record: Rushing yards by a quarterback in a bowl game (229 yards)
- Only the fourth player to have 20 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs, season
- Eclipsed the 7,000-yard barrier in total offense in his 19th career game, which is the fastest in NCAA FBS history by a four-year player
- Second freshman in FBS history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards
Manziel was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft (22nd overall) by the Cleveland Browns. He showed some immense potential, winning 7 wins as a starter and setting the franchise record for most rushing yards by a QB in a single game (108), but struggled with inconsistency and off-field controversies.
Nobody questions Manziel’s ability as an electrifying playmaker and sensational talent; however, numerous questions still remain about his maturity, his health, and his rust after being out of football for a few years.
In 2018, Johnny Football will join The Spring League to officially launch his comeback bid and prove to doubters he belongs back on football’s greatest stage.
Photo credit: Select Sports Group