Texas A&M's 'Johnny Football' talks Heisman

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA Sports

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM

COLLEGE STATION - Johnny Manziel, or "Johnny Football" as he has become known, has taken the country by storm, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten who he is.

"I don't know really see myself as the 'Johnny Football' craze that's kind of swept Aggieland," Manziel said. "I see myself as Johnny Manziel, the guy from Kerrville, Texas, hanging out with my friends, a normal college student just like everybody else."

But whether he likes it or not, Manziel has emerged as an icon.

In Texas A&M's pivotal first season in the SEC, he not only replaced first round draft pick Ryan Tannehill, he eclipsed what the current starting quarterback of the Dolphins had accomplished.

The redshirt freshman has set SEC records for total yards in a game and total yards in a season, while becoming the conference's first quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards while rushing for 1,000 in the same season.

And while no freshman has ever won the Heisman Trophy, A&M coach Kevin Sumlin thinks this kid has a shot.

"The football that we're playing in the SEC - and the voters will recognize that - those types of numbers will hold up, not just this year, but for a while," Sumlin said. "They need to be recognized."

Manziel's play elevated the Aggies, who went unranked in the AP's preseason poll, to their current spot at No. 9 in the BCS standings.

The Heisman contender credits his teammates for everything, but the individual award would mean a lot to him.

"It’s so surreal for me to be even mentioned in the same category and the same sentence as the Heisman Trophy," Manziel said. "That would be a dream come true and something I would cherish forever."

And he may get a chance to cherish that precious moment in Times Square on Dec. 8.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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