Twenty-year-old Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel took the stage after winning the Heisman Trophy to thank the assembled and those who helped him make history, along with fellow finalists Manti Te'o of Notre Dame and Collin Klein of Kansas State. What follows the video (via ESPN) is my best attempt at an insta-transcript of his speech:
This is a moment that I've dreamed about since I've been a kid, pretending I was Doug Flutie, throwing hail marys to my dad. Now I'm so blessed to be on stage with such a group of great guys and be invited into this fraternity. What a pleasure it really is.
I'd like to start by thanking the Heisman Trust and everyone who made this weekend possible. What a great experience it was to meet the people that I have, Manti and Collin, not only great football players but great guys off the field as well. It's been a pleasure to get to know y'all guys better, and I wish y'all the best of luck.
Such an honor to represent Texas A&M -- and my teammates here tonight -- I wish they could be on stage with me. Texas A&M, choosing that school is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life, and I'm so proud to be a part of that.
Mom, dad, Mary, and everybody watching, you mean the world to me, and I just want to thank you for encouragement, for patience and for the love over the years. Grandpa, to all the times we used to play football in the hall and throw the ball until we couldn't anymore. I love you with all my heart, and you inspired me to play football. Grandma, I'm so sorry for all the things we broke in the house.
To my coaches back at Kerryville, you taught us all what it meant to really fight. You taught us about passion and about heart and what it means to say, "Tivy fight, never die." To coach Sherman, coach Sumlin, and coach Kingsbury, and everybody that's been apart of me playing football for my entire life, you've been truly a blessing. You've taught me not only what it is to be a football player, but to be a man as well, and for that I thank you so much.
I wish my entire team could be up here with me tonight, especially my offensive line -- Luke Joeckel, Jarvis Harrison, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jake Matthews and Patrick Lewis. I'm as safe standing right here as I am in the pocket with you guys. You've done a great job at keeping me off my back, and I thank you for everything. To all my teammates, I love you with all my heart.
I'd especially like to honor somebody who's near and dear to everybody at Texas A&M: Joey Villavisencio. Around this time last year, a center on our team passed away in a tragic car accident. It was something that our whole team had to fight through and press on through the bowl game. To Mr. and Mrs. Villavisencio, I would want him to be exactly like him. I know Joey's in a better place.
Mostly I thank God for allowing me to be here. All that he's blessed me with in my entire life, I'm so thankful for. For the love and the grace that you've showed me, I'm forever grateful. And the values that I've learned from my parents and that've been carried over by Texas A&M. Leadership, respect and putting others first is what the 12th Man is all about.
I believe the 12th Man is one of the greatest traditions in all of college football. Fourteen thousand students standing not as fans, but as members of our team. To the 12th Man, Texas A&M, Kerryville, Texas and Aggies everywhere, this Heisman Trophy's for you. Gig 'em.
Not bad at all, especially considering Manziel's only spoken in public as an Aggie, what, twice now? A&M kept wraps on their freshman quarterback until the very end of the year, when he gave a very well-attended teleconference.
It'll likely not be the last time he gives a speech after accepting an award, either.
Also, video of gathered A&M fans reacting to Manziel's win:
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