ESPN lists Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel among college football’s top 75 QBs of the 2000s
When you think of the greatest college football quarterbacks to grace the field in this century, how do you not automatically include a Texas A&M legend by the name of “Johnny Football?”
ESPN recently unveiled their Top 75 quarterbacks of the 2000s, and naturally, Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel clocked in on the list at No. 13 overall.
Manziel donned the Maroon and White from 2012-13, throwing for 7,820 passing yards, 63 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions with a 69.0 percent completion rate. He also added 2,169 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns. He won the Davey O’Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy for the 2012 season, becoming the first freshman to win either accolade.
Ranked ahead of Johnny Football are Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Auburn’s Cam Newton (No. 2), Texas‘ Vince Young (No. 3), Florida’s Tim Tebow (No. 4), Ohio State / LSU’s Joe Burrow (No. 5), Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (No. 6), Texas A&M / Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (No. 7), Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (No. 8), Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (No. 9), Baylor’s Robert Griffin III (No. 10), Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (No. 11), and Texas’ Colt McCoy (No. 12).
Here’s what ESPN had to say regarding Manziel’s ranking:
Texas A&M won 20 games in the Johnny Football era, beat Alabama (and nearly did so twice) and immediately put to rest any silly “Yeah, but can that Big 12 offense work in the SEC?” qualms as the Aggies joined the league.
But that alone doesn’t describe just how much one player could dominate the sport’s consciousness over multiple seasons. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him because you really, really needed to see what he might do next.
As many of his counterparts listed ahead of him in ESPN’s rankings, Manziel’s production on the field widely justified the belief that he was the best player in all of college football at the time. And if word-of-mouth wouldn’t suffice, then his 2012 Heisman Trophy surely backs up that claim.
But as the worldwide leader in sports said, what made Manziel truly special was the manner in which he drew the attention of even the casual football fan. The former Aggie quarterback seemingly could create magic out of thin air, a belief eloquently illustrated in his scramble to find the endzone in that aforementioned upset at Alabama.
So many signal-callers on this list are deserving of recognition, but the same can be said that not one of them could put on quite the spectacle of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. The Aggie legend solidified Texas A&M football’s status as a threat in the gauntlet that is the SEC.
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