The Aggie star overcame an apparent knee injury to set the Southeastern Conference record for total yards in a season (4,600) en route to a 59-29 win.
His performance this season has attracted national attention and talk of Heisman Trophy, but Manziel's athletic ability was on display years before stepping onto Kyle Field.
Manziel got his start in Tyler, the place where he was born and raised; and where the Manziel name is prominent.
Years later, the former Tylerite has become a national headline due to his outstanding performance as the Aggie quarterback.
Manziel said the Aggies season is a testament to their teamwork on the field.
“With the guys around me on offense, they really help make the offense click, so without them my individual success would be no where what it is now,” Manziel said.
Growing up, he could be found on either the basketball court or the baseball field. It wasn't until sixth grade that Manziel made his way onto the football field.
He joined the Tyler Hurricanes, the area's premier Pop Warner team, coached by Jacky Lee.
It didn't take long though for Lee to recognize that the kid's prominent future might be on the gridiron.
“When Johnny finally joined the Hurricanes, it was obvious from the very beginning that he was the best athlete on the field,” said Lee, who was an All-American golfer at Texas A&M.
Lee said his competitiveness, along with his ability to throw the football and make plays with his feet is what gave him that “it factor.”
After playing football for the Tyler Hurricanes and at Hubbard Middle School, the Manziel family left Tyler and moved to Kerrville.
His parents are Paul and Michelle Manziel, who played golf at Robert E. Lee High School. His grandparents include Jerry and Lyana Loggins of Loggins Restaurant; and Johnny Paul Manziel and Pat Manziel and step grandmother Tammie.
During a news conference on Monday, Manziel claimed both Tyler and Kerrville as his hometown.
“I definitely will (claim both Tyler and Kerrville),” Manziel said. “I feel like I have a little bit of a joint hometown. I was born and raised in Tyler and I stayed there until I was 14 or 15, then moved down to Kerrville. It was really hard for me to leave Tyler at the time. I was halfway through seventh grade, so it was a time in middle school where it was kind of weird to leave all the friends I'd grown up with. I had a great time in both places and I'm really fortunate to grow up in both places. Both are awesome towns with great people. I've been very fortunate to be able to live in both.”
Manziel began his high school football career at Kerrville's Tivy High School, under the direction of head coach Mark Smith.
Manziel's strong play during his freshman year on the junior varsity team caused Smith to move the freshman quarterback up to varsity for the playoffs.
Smith attributed most of Manziel's success to his work ethic, saying he was always willing to jump in at any spot and “work his tail off.”
“He wants to be good at whatever he does, and he is willing to work at it,” Smith said. “He not only worked to make himself better, but he makes others around him work to get better.”
That work ethic helped Johnny collect numerous individual accolades, along with breaking Texas high school football records.
As a three-year starter for Tivy, Manziel completed over 65 percent of his passes, racking up over 7,600 yards through the air to go along with 4,000 rushing yards and 158 total touchdowns.
“I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to coach a young man like Johnny, who is extremely dedicated and passionate about the game of football,” Smith said. “It's truly something special.”
During his senior year of high school, Manziel originally committed to play for head coach Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon.
But the opportunity to play at Texas A&M presented itself and Manziel felt it was very important to him that his family be able to watch every game.
After being redshirted, Manziel won the starting quarterback job during the fall practices. It just so happened that his first year as a starter would come in the Aggies first year as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
But Manziel and company didn't fear the pressure of playing in the new conference. He said they welcomed it.
“At first, you look at the schedule and get a little overwhelmed by the rankings and preseason hype surrounding teams,” Manziel said. “Then as the season goes on and you get some games under your belt it makes things a lot easier and you gain some confidence.”
Confidence is certainly at a high level for this team, which is currently ranked No. 9 in the BCS Standings and competing for a BCS bowl bid.
Earlier this month, Manziel and the Aggies pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in the program's history by going on the road and defeating the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, then ranked No. 1.
In the final two weeks of the season, Manziel put up big numbers against both Sam Houston State University and Missouri, breaking several NCAA records.
His five touchdown performance on Nov. 17 against the Bearkats resulted in him becoming the first freshman in NCAA history to gain 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
His total of 4,600 yards came in two fewer games than Auburn's Cam Newton (4,327 yards in 14 games) and Florida's Tim Tebow (4,181 yards in 13 games).
The big numbers and electrifying plays have helped the 6-foot, 200-pound freshman quarterback earn the nickname “Johnny Football.”
When asked about his individual performance, Johnny said his success comes from the guys around him.
“From an individual standpoint, I'm surprised with my performance, especially since this is my first year,” he said.
Manziel and the Aggies finished the regular season with a 10-2 record and await the announcement of their bowl game on Dec. 2.
Tyler Burton is a staff writer for The University of Texas at Tyler's Patriot Talon. Sports Editor Phil Hicks contributed to this report