Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State are generally considered to be the front-runners for this season’s Heisman Trophy, but there’s another quarterback having a pretty good season.
His name is Johnny Manziel (a.k.a. Johnny Football), and he plays for Texas A&M. Yes, the same guy who won the Heisman last year and then became a circus act on the rubber chicken circuit.
Antics aside, if what Manziel did last year was good enough, then what he’s doing this season deserves a serious look. Through eight games this season, he has accounted for 3,091 yards in total offense and 28 touchdowns. Last season at this stage, he had 3,009 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Manziel has run less — 497 yards and six touchdowns in 89 carries compared to 793 yards in 117 carries — but passed more efficiently. At this point last season, he had thrown 269 passes and completed 173 (64.3%) for 2,216 yards and 16 touchdowns, with six passes intercepted. This season, he has completed 184 of 252 passes (73.0%) for 2,594 yards and 22 touchdowns, with eight passes intercepted.
Playing despite an injured throwing shoulder, Manziel passed for 305 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-24 rout of Vanderbilt on Saturday.