AP latest to honor Aggies QB Manziel

Johnny Manziel ran for almost 1,700 yards and 30 touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback his senior year of high school at Kerrville Tivy.

Who would have thought he'd be even more impressive at Texas A&M when pitted against the defenses of the SEC?

Tuesday, Manziel picked up another major award for his spectacular debut season, being voted the Associated Press player of the year. As with the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award that Manziel already won, the QB nicknamed Johnny Football is the first freshman to collect the AP award.

Manziel's 31 votes were more than twice that of second-place finisher Manti Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker. He is the third straight Heisman-winning quarterback to receive the honor, following Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton.

Manziel erased doubts when he ran for 60 yards and a score in his first game, against Florida.

"I knew I could run the ball, I did it a lot in high school," Manziel said. "It is just something that you don't get a chance to see in the spring. Quarterbacks aren't live in the spring. You don't get to tackle. You don't get to evade some of the sacks that you would in normal game situations. So I feel like when I was able to avoid getting tackled, it opened some people's eyes a little bit more."

The 6-foot-1 Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 scores to help the Aggies win 10 games for the first time since 1998.

EX-BUCS ASSISTANT READY TO GO: Western Michigan introduced former Bucs wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck as its head coach. Fleck, 32, becomes the youngest coach in Division I. He played at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and later was an assistant coach there. "It's great to be back in the MAC," Fleck said. "My staff and I will make it our mission to bring excitement, energy and a winning tradition back to the Broncos. We will recruit, coach and develop young men of character the Bronco way. I can't wait to get started on this journey."

BADGERS PICK COACH: Utah State's Gary Andersen, who guided the Aggies to their first bowl victory in 19 years, will be named Wisconsin's new coach, ESPN reported. On Sept. 15, Utah State nearly upset the Badgers, falling 16-14 when Josh Thompson missed a 37-yard field goal in the final seconds.

COACH INTRODUCED: Paul Haynes was formally announced as Kent State coach, succeeding the popular Darrell Hazell. Hazell, who left for Purdue, established a winning culture and led the program to the AP poll and a bowl berth. Haynes, a 168-pound Kent State defensive back in 1987-91, called the job "a dream and I haven't landed yet."

JACKSONVILLE ST.: South Alabama defensive coordinator and former Gamecock Bill Clark was hired as coach and is set to be introduced at a news conference today.

MICHIGAN: Quarterback Denard Robinson pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license and remains eligible to play in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina on Jan. 1 in Tampa. The school said Robinson paid a fine and faces no additional punishment.

UTAH ST.: Junior defensive lineman Sini Tauauvea was arrested in Boise, Idaho, after Saturday's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on charges of misdemeanor battery and trespassing.

AP latest to honor Aggies QB Manziel 12/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:46pm]

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