Say what you want about Johnny Manziel and the attention–good or bad–he receives. The guy is a big time playmaker, and he has made the stunning seem absolutely routine.
Against Ole Miss, Manziel accounted for 470 yards of total offense as well as two touchdowns, but as is typically the case with Manziel, it’s not WHAT stats he racks up that are most impressive, it’s HOW he racks them up.
The Aggies blew a seven point lead in the fourth quarter against Ole Miss on Saturday night, giving up 14 unanswered and allowing the Rebels to take a 31-24 lead into the middle of the quarter before A&M returned fire and tied the game up at 31-all.
Texas A&M’s defense gave up another big play to the Rebels resulting in six points, a 50 yard pass from Bo Wallace to Jaylen Walton, that was once again followed up by a Johnny Manziel drive resulting in six points.
At 38-all, the A&M defense needed to get a stop to put the ball back in Manziel’s hands, and that’s precisely what they did.
Manziel got the ball with about two minutes left, and he calmly orchestrated a game-winning field goal drive on the road. This guy is absolutely incredible to watch for me. I don’t think Manziel is the quintessential QB prospect by any means, but some of the qualities he possesses are so rare.
You love to see a guy like Manziel–who faces more scrutiny than any athlete I’ve seen since Tebow–handle things the way he does on the field. Perhaps Johnny Heisman needs some coaching on the field, but when people with reputations like Kirk Herbstreit start talking about Manziel’s work habits and the fact that he is the football equivalent to a “gym rat,” you tend to take notice.
At the end of the game, before the Aggies took a shot at the game-winning field goal (which they made and won 41-38 as time expired), Manziel gathered with a group of teammates, initiated the holding of hands, and led a team prayer. No matter if he’s spiritual or not, Manziel obviously has commanded the respect of his teammates to be able to lead in a situation like that.
The fact that this guy can get his teammates to respect him and back it up on the field is a huge plus for him looking forward to the next level.
Manziel’s clutch factor is a trait so many quarterbacks coming into the NFL are missing. This guy simply knows how to make plays when he needs to, and of course he’s not going to win every single game in his career, but he’s already won more than most and has come through when it mattered the most.
When considering Manziel’s NFL Draft stock, his ability to make plays in crunch time is certainly something that NFL scouts will see and be very attracted to.