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Johnny Manziel Wins Heisman Trophy: Texas A&M QB Becomes First Freshman To Win Award

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Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs through the tackle of Alabama defensive back Deion Belue (13) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs through the tackle of Alabama defensive back Deion Belue (13) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

"Age considers, youth ventures."

For the first time in the 78 years of the Heisman Trophy, the voters have considered the candidates and honored a freshman. Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, who has proven one of the most adventurous and effective forces in college football, racked up an astounding 43 total touchdowns and 4,600 total yards over 12 games this season.

"This is a moment that I've dreamed about since I've been a kid running around the backyard pretending I was Doug Flutie throwing Hail Mary's to my dad," Manziel said after being named the winner. "Now I'm so blessed to be on the stage with such a group of great guys."

Manziel tallied 2,029 points and 474 first place votes to join the exclusive fraternity of players to hoist the stiff-arm trophy, per ESPN. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finished second with 1,706 points and 321 first place votes. Dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein of Kansas State placed third with 894 points and 60 first place votes. Marqise Lee of USC and Braxton Miller of Ohio State rounded out the top five.

As dangerous with his arm as he was with his legs, the 20-year-old redshirt freshman out of Tivy High School in Texas, authored one of the most memorable moments of the campaign, leading the Aggies to an upset triumph over Alabama. Manziel emerged from Tuscaloosa as legitimate contender for the Heisman and with the Ballad of Johnny Football on the lips of college football fans across the nation.

After the field of Heisman contenders was narrowed down to Manziel, Te'o and Klein, there was only one certainty: History would be made in New York. Manziel arrived in hopes of becoming the first freshman to win the award. Te'o stopped off in the Big Apple before the BCS Championship Game with designs on becoming the first purely defensive player to win the honor while Klein aspired to be the first player to bring the Heisman back to the Little Apple in Kansas.

"Hopefully, they don't rob him like they did me," Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said to The Associated Press regarding doubts that voters would bestow the honor upon a freshman. Peterson placed second as a freshman in 2004 but lost by 328 votes to junior Matt Leinart. "I hope he wins."

He did. Youth ventured (and scrambled and then fumbled but recovered to throw a touchdown). Age considered. And Johnny Football is the 78th winner of the Heisman Trophy.

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