Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Jim Redman

Johnny Manziel's coach saw his talent early in his high school career.

Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, and his high school coach Mark Smith couldn't have been too surprised.

Smith appeared on last night's Friday Night Live with MaxPreps to discuss coaching the Texas A&M standout quarterback at Tivy High School (Kerrville, Texas).

"Everybody sees he's a great player, easy to coach. But he's a great leader also," said Smith. "It makes it easy to coach those kind of guys. You don't do much, you just point them in the right direction and they take care of things for you. It was a special time for us."

Manziel was a prolific performer in high school — Smith says he knew he had a special player in Manziel's first varsity game — but not many critics expected the 5-foot-11 quarterback to dominate the college ranks this soon.

Manziel became the first freshman to throw for more than 3,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season.

Watch clips of Manziel and listen to coach Smith discuss "Johnny Football" in the video below.

Image for MaxPreps Video.