Manziel led A&M to a 10-2 season that included a victory over No. 1-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He amassed 43 touchdowns and 4,600 combined yards between rushing and passing. His incredible yardage total topped Cam Newton’s SEC record set two seasons ago.
Prior to Manziel winning the award, the closest a freshman had come to winning the Heisman Trophy was in 2004 when Adrian Peterson ran for nearly 2,000 yards at Oklahoma and finished second. Herschel Walker and Michael Vick each finished third as freshmen.
Manziel beat out Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein for the trophy. He won the voting with 2,029 points compared to 1,706 for Te’o and 894 for Klein. He received 474 first-place votes; Te’o had 321, while Klein had 60. Manziel won the voting in five of the six regions.
The honor was incredibly well deserved for Manziel, who led A&M to surprising success in its first season in the SEC with some incredible play.