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Johnny Manziel: Freshman or not, here comes the Heisman talk

After a thrilling Aggies victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide, the freshman phenom has been vaulted into the conversation regarding the sport's most prestigious individual college award.

Mike Zarrilli

Texas A&M Aggies' redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is the talk of the nation after the Aggies took down the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, and some of that chatter centers around the crown jewel of college awards: The Heisman Trophy.

ESPN columnist Edward Aschoff is among those leading the charge for the kid they call Manziel, writing that "If the season ended today, it would be an absolute crime if Johnny Football wasn't a Heisman finalist." The 29-24 victory over the Crimson Tide gives Aschoff and others a plethora of reasons to stump for the quarterback.

Manziel's numbers are certainly eye-popping enough. The quarterback from Kerrville, Texas, has thrown for 18 touchdowns and netted another 15 scores on the ground, all in the first SEC campaign for Texas A&M. Even more impressive, he's done it without the benefit of a bye week at any time; the Aggies had their season opener against Louisiana Tech postponed to their bye date of Oct. 13 because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Johnny Football shouldn't get his hopes too high about grabbing the hardware, though – no freshman has ever taken home the Heisman. But habits are made to be broken. After all, no sophomore had ever won the Heisman before Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Mark Ingram did it in three consecutive years from 2007-09.

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