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Revising History: Johnny Manziel Stays a Duck?

What if Johnny Manziel Oregon Ducks

When former Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman completed his final recruiting class for the Aggies, little did he know the 31st ranked recruiting class which would highlight Mike Evans, Johnny Manziel, and several solid defensive back contributors that would be cornerstones for Kevin Sumlin's early success.

What if the 3-star quarterback from Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas decided to keep a verbal pledge to the Oregon Ducks?

Here are the impacted:

Mike Evans

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

The 2013 Consensus All-American potentially doesn't get the recognition he got from having Johnny Manziel throwing him the football or the attention Manziel generates.

He has then either Jameill Showers or Matt Joeckel throwing him the football.

This doesn't bode well for him becoming a first round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that set an NFL record for most consecutive seasons starting a career with 1,000 yards, or even dare we say Tom Brady doesn't come to Tampa?

Manti Te'o

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

Odds are that if Manziel goes to Oregon, he does not win the 2012 Heisman for a litany of reasons we will eventually get to.

That trophy most likely would reside in South Bend, Indiana, and give the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame an 8th Heisman Trophy winner and a first defensive primary player to win the award in Manti Te'o.

Te'o who had a landmark 2012 season being a unanimous All-American and won the Maxwell, Lott, Lombardi, Camp, Butkus, Bednarik, and Nagurski Awards, adding the Heisman Trophy puts him further up the college football immortals list.

2012 Alabama Crimson Tide

CBS Sports

CBS Sports

While the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide, would still go on to win the National Championship, it snapped a what could have been winning streak.

Alabama defeats Texas A&M and it goes into the 2013 Iron Bowl with a 29 game winning streak and winners of 38 of their previous 39 games that dated back to the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State.

While I feel the Oklahoma Sooners 47 game winning streak is a record that will never be broken, Alabama would have been in the thick of things of a long winning streak.

It may have changed their fortunes or how they approach Auburn that year and who knows how long Alabama could have gone in the win column.

Kevin Sumlin

Getty Images

Getty Images

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Without Manziel, Sumlin doesn't have exactly the impact player to burst onto the scene with Texas A&M as a new SEC school and continuing the momentum he had with Case Keenum in Houston in 2011.

Without the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback does Sumlin land elite recruits like Kyle Allen? Kenny Hill? Kohl Stewart? or even Matt Davis?

What we saw post-Manziel from Texas A&M is a very mediocre football team, especially a team that consistently had Top 30 classes, the Aggies went 31-20 in Sumlin's final 4 seasons including 8-16 against SEC West divisional foes.

Jimbo Fisher

Oct 8, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher looks on from the sideline during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. FSU won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With Kevin Sumlin not getting the grace period from the Johnny Manziel period, he is most likely gone before Fisher even thinks about leaving Tallahassee to College Station.

Scott Woodward who helped bring in Jimbo Fisher in 2018, might not have had the courage or enough leverage in 2016 to make that move.

Potentially Woodward may have rejoined Jimbo in Baton Rouge in 2019 and who knows how that impacts Joe Burrow, Jamar Chase, and that historic offense but also does Joe Brady feel tempted to leave Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints for LSU and is that offer even available to Brady?

Mark Helfrich

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Getty Images

The man who recruited Johnny Manziel at Oregon was Mark Helfrich.

Helfrich would replace Chip Kelly in 2013 and guide Oregon to a Pac-12 Championship in 2014 as well as a spot in the first ever College Football Playoff Championship game where Oregon would lose to Ohio State.

After the departure of Mariota, Oregon had a lull at quarterback as there was no bridge from Mariota to Justin Herbert who would become the first Ducks true freshmen to start at quarterback since Chris Miller in 1983.

Potentially Manziel who at this point would have been in Helfrich's system now for 3 seasons would be ready to guide the Ducks to better success than Vernon Adams did.

While Manziel doesn't fix the 2015 Ducks defensive woes, he might have made a few more plays to avoid losing at No. 5 Michigan State or losing double OT to Washington State.

This also gives Helfrich maybe more grace period versus the mounting pressure that would lead to the downward spiral in his 2016 season and potentially Manziel guides Oregon to a Rose Bowl against a favorable opponent in Iowa or maybe another New Year 6 Berth.

Scott Frost

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

Scott Frost would have coordinated Johnny Manziel at Oregon in the 2015 season.

If Kevin Sumlin got out of Manziel 69% completion percentage, 7,820 yards passing, 63 passing touchdowns, 2,169 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns I feel Frost could get similar production out of Manziel.

In the 2015 season, Oregon starting quarterback was Vernon Adams and he achieved 65% completion percentage, 2,643 yards passing, 26 passing touchdowns, 147 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.

Alot changes with Manziel, again maybe he makes a few key plays to win the close ones and potentially is Utah game completely different with an elite quarterback under center?

The other aspect is Frost resigned December 1, 2015 to become the UCF Head Coach.

Does Frost with a monster season as offensive coordinator, take the UCF job and just waits for either Nebraska or another elite job?

How does Frost who potentially stays on impact Justin Herbert? Who would start in the 2016 season?

It also impacts two other key events:

  • Willie Taggart does not become the Oregon coach and conversely wouldn't get the FSU job right away either
  • Without Frost, the 2017 UCF Knight most likely does not go undefeated and most likely doesn't win the (Colley Matrix) National Championship.