Johnny Manziel ran for almost 1,700 yards and 30 touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback his senior year of high school at Kerrville (Texas) Tivy.
Who would have thought he'd be even more impressive at Texas A&M when pitted against the defenses of the Southeastern Conference?
On Tuesday, Manziel picked up another major award for his spectacular debut season. He was 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 standout linebacker. He is the third straight Heisman-winning quarterback to receive the honor, following Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Auburn's Cam Newton.
Manziel erased initial doubts about his ability 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-inch Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores to help the Aggies win 10 games for the first time since 1998.
After Manziel sat out as a redshirt in 2011, Texas A&M's 2012 season opener against Louisiana Tech was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. That left him to get his first taste of live defense in almost two years against Florida.
He responded well, helping the Aggies race to a 17-7 lead early using both his arm and his feet. The Gators shut down Manziel and A&M's offense in the second half, and Texas A&M lost, 20-17.
But Manziel's performance was enough for Texas A&M's coaching staff to realize that his scrambling ability was going to be a big part of what the Aggies could do this season.
■ WISCONSIN - Multiple media outlets reported that the school will hire Utah State's Gary Andersen as the coach to replace Bret Bielema.
The Wisconsin State Journal was first to report that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez had offered Andersen the job Tuesday night. Andersen is in his fourth year at Utah State and is coming off his best season.
The 18th-ranked Aggies won the Western Athletic Conference and finished 11-2, with a school record for victories after beating Toledo 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.
Utah State lost 16-14 at Wisconsin this season.
■ MICHIGAN - Quarterback Denard Robinson pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license in Bath Township, Mich., and remains eligible to play in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.
Spokesman David Ablauf said Robinson paid a fine and faces no additional punishment from the school.
Bath Township police Lt. Lyle Lindemulder said Robinson was pulled over early Nov. 4 for failing to signal and having an expired license plate tag.
Robinson is one of the all-time NCAA leaders in yards rushing by a quarterback. After suffering an arm injury this season, the senior from Deerfield Beach, Fla., also lined up at running back and wide receiver.
■ UTAH STATE - Junior defensive lineman Sini Tauauvea was arrested in Boise, Idaho, after the Aggies' bowl victory Saturday. Tauauvea was booked into the Ada County jail at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on charges of misdemeanor battery and trespassing. He is to appear in court Jan. 7.
Former Aggies player Caleb Mandale Taylor, a senior in 2008, also was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor battery. Both men were out of jail by Monday evening. Details of the arrests were not immediately available.
Utah State beat Toledo 41-15 Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Bronco Stadium.
■ KENT STATE - Paul Haynes was formally announced as the Golden Flashes' coach, replacing Darrell Hazell, who led Kent State to an 11-2 season. Haynes last was the defensive coordinator at Arkansas.
Hazell became Purdue's coach Dec. 5 after guiding No. 25 Kent State to its first bowl berth in 40 years. He will coach the Golden Flashes against Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 5.