2012 Heisman Trophy watch: Johnny Manziel is the clear-cut favorite

Ronald Martinez

College football's regular season came to a close this weekend, and after the dust settled Texas A&M Aggies freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is the Heisman Trophy front-runner.

It looks like history will be made Saturday, Dec. 8, at New York's Best Buy Theater, as Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is seemingly on his way to becoming the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the award for the most outstanding college football player.

Manziel seemingly locked-up the race Saturday compiling for 439 total yards of offense (372 through the air) and five touchdowns (three via pass) in a dominating 59-29 victory over the Missouri Tigers.

The performance helped the Kerrville, TX native set a new SEC record for total yards in a season (4,600), breaking former Auburn Tigers quarterback Cam Newton's record (4,327) in two fewer games.

Here are a few more achievements the freshman compiled, according to Manziel's official Heisman Trophy website:

  • First freshman, first SEC player and only the fifth FBS player ever to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season.
  • Two-time Walter Camp Player of the Week
  • Three-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week
  • Eight-time SEC Freshman of the Week
  • First player in FBS history to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game three times in his career.
  • Holds the SEC record for total yards in a game (576), which he set twice.

On Monday, CBS Sports' Heisman Trophy Pundit Chris Huston, who predicted the last five winners, has already called the race in favor of Manziel.

In any given season, a player who runs and throws for a combined 4,600 yards and 43 touchdowns while leading his team to a 10-2 record in a major conference should win the Heisman, shouldn't he?

Meanwhile, ESPN.com's Heisman Trophy tracker has Manziel has the front-runner, while Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is projected to be the runner-up. Other players that are getting consideration are: Kansas St. Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein, USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee, Ohio St. Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller and Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd.

The Heisman Trophy will be handed out Dec. 8th at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

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