In 2012 Johnny Manziel made history by becoming the first (redshirt) freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. After a turbulent off season, many fans and members of the media wondered if he could re-create his magic.
This season he has done that and more, putting up even better numbers as a redshirt sophomore. Manziel could continue his historical run by becoming the second player ever to win two Heismans. However, Johnny Football faces stiff competition from Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron.
For what it’s worth, Manziel’s teammates don’t believe the others deserve the support.
“You know how society is, they get bored with people,” receiver Malcome Kennedy said. “You know, you win one and it’s like: ‘OK you don’t want to be greedy.’ But when it comes down to it, the numbers say it all. He knows it, we know it and people who watch sports know it.”
Senior wide receiver Travis Labhart referenced something most members of the media and fans don’t get a chance to see. Labhart believes Manziel’s embracement of team leadership deserves recognition from the voters.
“He’s going to take chances because he is a dynamic player and that’s what dynamic players do,” Labhart said. “And you can’t fault him for those times when he takes chances (and makes mistakes).
“I look back to last year and we had a lot of senior leaders … and we didn’t really have to have Johnny step up and be a leader.”He did, but this year he’s a completely different leader. He’s vocal, he challenges guys.”
Kennedy explains that what others may perceive as cockiness is simply Manziel’s competitive nature. Through his drive to win, Johnny Football has endeared him to his teammates.
“Just to see that fierce competition in his heart and to know that he’s not being cocky, he’s being confident and a lot of players can’t do that,” Kennedy said. “When you see your quarterback with so much radiance and confidence then it transfers to all the other players on the team.”
As for Manziel, the young superstar explains that he isn’t thinking about the hardware very much – he’s more concerned about the departing seniors.
“I wasn’t even in it for a long time last year and didn’t really get much into it last year,” said Manziel, who as a redshirt sophomore is eligible for the NFL draft after this season. “Same way this year.
“I want nothing more than to win these next two games and to get into a good bowl game and go 10-2. I can’t even put into words how bad I want that for seniors on this team and for this team in general.”