HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Mark it one for the sports history books. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy Saturday. The honor for Manziel comes on the heels of a record-breaking debut in college football.
“I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid, running around the backyard pretending I was Doug Flutie, throwing Hail Marys to my dad,” Manziel said after receiving the honor.
For Manziel to win the 78th annual Heisman Trophy, he beat Kansas State University quarterback Collin Klein and Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o. Manziel received 474 first-place votes and 2,029 points overall. Te’o was second with 321 (1,706) while Klein was a distant third with 60 (894).
Twenty-year-old Manziel has seemed to turn a tide in college football. In the past, the winners of the John Heisman, named in honor of the the Georgia Tech coach from the early 1900s, have been seniors.
Back in the 1980s, juniors started becoming common winners of the coveted college football prize. Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win it in 2007, and two more won the trophy in the two seasons to follow. Coincidentally, Adrian Peterson came the closest to wining the Heisman as a freshman,but ended up finishing second to Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart in 2004.
Manziel, who is now the second player from Texas A&M to win the trophy, joins John David Crow from 1957.
Manziel has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores making him the first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season.
In his final college football match-up of the season, Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies will play Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.