From Gabby Douglas and Mike Trout to Ricky Rubio and RG3, 2012 introduced sports fans to some new faces that we'll likely be seeing for years to come. Not only did the London Olympics put a spotlight on several new talents across a range of sports in 2012 but the high profile professional leagues also welcomed several impact athletes that may be sticking around.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout had one of the best rookie years ever in Major League Baseball. Meanwhile, the NFL is showcasing a class of rookie quarterbacks so talented that people have already begun making references to the legendary Class of 1983. Of course, perhaps no quarterback burst on to the scene in 2012 quite like redshirt Texas A&M freshman Johnny "Football" Manziel. The Kerrville, Texas native put up incredible numbers -- not just for a freshman -- accounting for 24 touchdowns through the air and 19 on the ground. He threw for 3419 yards, ran for 1181 en route to becoming the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
"This is a moment that I've dreamed about since I've been a kid running around the backyard pretending I was Doug Flutie throwing Hail Marys to my dad. Now I'm so blessed to be on the stage with such a group of great guys," Manziel said after winning the award.
Now, he has three more chances to win another one.
Was Johnny Football the best breakout star of 2012? Or was it one of the NFL's prized rookie class? Or maybe it was a U.S. Olympian who came home with a gold medal. There was also the matter of that Linsanity outbreak in February. Like Jeremy Lin, not every athlete on this list is a rookie (or freshman) but some took their notoriety to another level in 2012 and helped define the year in sports.
Scroll down and vote on your favorite breakout star of 2012.