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Johnny Manziel speaks to media for the first time this season

Missouri v Texas A&M Getty Images

Texas A&M, per coach Kevin Sumlin‘s policy with freshmen, has kept quarterback Johnny Manziel out of the spotlight and press conferences this season. But the attention to Johnny Football, the emerging Heisman favorite, has been  impossible to ignore. So, A&M decided to break code and allow Manziel to speak with reporters via teleconference.

Unfortunately for anyone interested, there wasn’t much to chew on.

I don’t know if there’s anything I’ve been dying to say,” Manziel said.

He doesn’t see himself as Johnny Football and he doesn’t know if he’s the Heisman frontrunner. “There are other priorities in your life that take over reading about yourself,” Manziel added.

Make no mistake, Manziel made it clear that it would be a dream come true to win the Heisman, but he also said all the right (meaning boring), big picture things. In all, it seems like Manziel is actually quite normal, even though his freshman season has been anything but normal.

“Whatever is meant to be will happen,” Manziel said. “So I’m just doing whatever Coach Sumlin asks me to do in terms of lifting and getting ready for bowl practice and making sure our team stays focused and can hopefully take care of business in the bowl game.

“I think the Heisman and all the other awards like that will play itself out.”

But not without some help from A&M. This was a program that had absolutely no intention of pushing Manziel for Heisman until the past couple of weeks, and that was because Manziel had already surpassed all expectations anyone had for him (or the Aggies) in 2012.

(Hat tip: USA Today) 

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48 Responses to “Johnny Manziel speaks to media for the first time this season”
  1. kiopta1 says: Nov 26, 2012 5:43 PM

    My brain tells me I am supposed to give the heisman to Manziel…but my heart and soul tells me it should be awarded to Teo.

  2. normtide says: Nov 26, 2012 6:17 PM

    Off topic, but, this and most other blogs rip coaches a new one when they do anything against the media. So, where is the story about the reporter making an ass of himself to Jim Mora? Or, as usual with the media, is there a double standard?

  3. kappy32 says: Nov 26, 2012 6:29 PM

    Cam Newton was one of the most dominant college football players I have ever seen over a one year period in 2010. Although Manziel wasn’t on national TV as much as Newton was that year, the games I watched him play, he was even more dominant than Cam. Texas A&M is a 7 win team without him. When it comes to freshman, I thought the best freshman season I have ever seen until now, one I thought warranted a Heisman, was Adrian Peterson’s freshman year. However, Johnny Football has surpassed both of them. With how dominant Cam was in 2010, it is amazing that Manziel broke his yards from scrimmage record. This is a weak Heisman year & I still think some voters will vote against him in favor of an upper-classman, thinking Manziel will be back here again. I am a huge Notre Dame fan & I would love to see Te’o win the Heisman, but any winner aside from Manziel would be an injustice.

  4. irishking says: Nov 26, 2012 6:32 PM

    Manziel is a great young player with an extraordinary future. However Te’o is more deserving as a senior leader and outstanding player. Give it to the defense since defense wins ball games. Te’o and ND have proven that all season long and will likely prove it in the BcS National Championship game.

  5. ttalarico says: Nov 26, 2012 6:34 PM

    I agree that Teo should get it.

    Manziel will probably be a great QB but he isn’t there yet. Johnny played a tremendous game against Alabama. But remember he lost 2 games this year. And in the loss to LSU he threw 3 interceptions.

    The reasoning that people have given for awarding the Heisman to an offensive player is because they have the most influence in the outcome of the game. Well, he has two losses so it should go both ways. He should then have had the most influence on losing the game as well.

    Manti is on a team that is 12-0 and is definitely is the most important player on that team as well as one of the best defensive player in the country if not the best player. You add the inspirational effect Te’o has had on the other ND players and that is a big factor in the team’s success as well. Compare his stats with the last defensive player to win the Hiesman and Teo’s are much more impressive.

    If I had a vote, it would be for Manti Te’o!

  6. ocon171 says: Nov 26, 2012 7:06 PM

    Irish fans think te’o deserve the Heisman over johnny football? Gee shocker. No way he deserves it over Johnny. All the numbers are there for Manziel. Add 10 sacks to te’os numbers and then maybe you have me listening

  7. thefiesty1 says: Nov 26, 2012 8:06 PM

    Let’s see what he does in a couple of years before we crown him. If he can still do it next year or the year after (like a NC) then ok. They still lost two games this year. Maybe he is just a flash in the pan.

  8. barnesaintnoble says: Nov 26, 2012 8:16 PM

    It’s between Manziel or Klein for me. Klein will still play Texas this week and against that defense will most likely have that Heisman moment that will push him in the lead. It’s kind of funny that Texas’ mediocre defense could basically take away the Heisman from A&M by sucking.

    If you watch some Charles Woodson highlights (I know it was a different time) and then compare them to Te’o, there is no comparison. He’s a great leader and has a great story and should definitely win the best LB award, but I don’t think he is deserving of a Heisman.

  9. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 26, 2012 8:30 PM

    RG3 lost games last year, including a 55-28 asswhipping at the hands of a 6-6 Texas A&M team that sacked him 5 times and made him quit.

    And yet, he won the Heisman Tropy.

  10. cabby782 says: Nov 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    Johnny didn’t lose 2 games his team did. Notre Dame went undefeated as a TEAM !this award is for most outstanding player this year not outstanding SENIOR.QB is the most important position on the team. Notre Dame might have gone undefeated without a star linebacker. A&M would not have beat Alabama or any good team without the QB whether he is a freshman or a senior he should win

  11. ebrownwareagle says: Nov 26, 2012 9:00 PM

    @kappy32

    Johnny Football is good. Might even be great. But there’s a reason (insert scam jokes. heard em all)Cam Newton went undefeated in the SEC and had to play a TOP 25 South Carolinax2, LSU, “BAMER”, Georgia, Miss ST and Arkansas to get there. Like em or not. In ONE season of College Football! Best that ever did IT! Damn the broken record by Johnny; Go pull the Tape! 14-0. And if a freshman is in line to get the award. The 1st should have been Adrian Peterson.

  12. freemantowilliams says: Nov 26, 2012 9:15 PM

    Man don’t get me wrong here but I think teo is alright. I mean people forget to look at notre dames d line. They rotate 1st round picks into the line. That being said teo is a great player but manziella is just a different breed when it comes to cfb. I’m not talking about who will the better NFL career either (see Tim tebow, Jason white etc) but when it comes to football on this level manziel just has more value.

  13. seabronco says: Nov 26, 2012 9:24 PM

    Teo shouldn’t even be in the conversation. It’s about best player of the year, not the best upperclassmen, and Teo is not the best or even second best player of the year. He is the best LB, but that’s it.

  14. westcoastredbird says: Nov 26, 2012 9:25 PM

    Give it to Johnny Football. When his two offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Mathews leave and go in the first round of the 2013 draft his ability to make the plays he’s making now will be much harder in the future. He may not get down this road again!

  15. Tim's Neighbor says: Nov 26, 2012 9:36 PM

    Manziel had a fine year, but he also put up most of his numbers against the worst part of his schedule while struggling against the good teams.

    v. LSU: 29/56, 276 yd , 0 TD, 3 INT , 27 yds rushing, 0 TD

    v. Florida: 23 /30, 173 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT, 60 yds rushing, 1 TD

    v. Bama: 24/31, 253 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 92 yds rushing, 0 TD

    Sorry, stats against FCS opponents really shouldn’t count. So there goes about 800 yards and 10 TDs.

    Manziel is a pretty good player, but feasted on weak teams. He’s definitely not the best player in the country.

    To whoever mentioned Teo’s sack numbers, dude doesn’t blitz a lot. That’d be like asking for more sacks from an FS.

  16. ocon171 says: Nov 26, 2012 10:28 PM

    My point was hes got to be making more big plays to win the Heisman. His lb numbers aren’t that great. kuechly had a better year last year at MLB with less talent around him. Give me jarvis Jones at LB over him. olb are more valuable anyways

  17. Tim's Neighbor says: Nov 26, 2012 10:44 PM

    7 INTs aren’t big plays? There’s only one person in the nation with more and he is, appropriately, a DB.

    Keuchly was phenomenal player. No argument here other than team W-L numbers (which heisman voters like to count).

  18. dinklespiel says: Nov 26, 2012 11:01 PM

    Old men and pot-belly couch potatoes are the only people that think Te’o deserves the H. The H should go to the YEARS best player regardless of what school year he happens to be in. So compare stats if you can; oranges and apples , offense and defense, but for God’s sake give the award to the freshman. Flash in the pan or no.

  19. bonfire85 says: Nov 26, 2012 11:07 PM

    Things of note for Johnny Manzeil.

    First player in FBS to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game three times in his career.

    First freshman, and only 5th player ever, in FBS history to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

    First quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

    He has broken other records of note, but these are the highlights. His record speaks for itself. His play and poise on the field is head and shoulders above all others.

  20. kjk6628 says: Nov 26, 2012 11:11 PM

    He has 7 interceptions. That’s great. The record is 14. Sorry if I’m not impressed. He also ranks 60th in tackles, and he plays a position where getting tackles is his most important job. A middle linebacker that ranks 60th in college football should get the Heisman Trophy for best football player in America? That like giving a running back who rushed for 500 yards the Heisman just because he plays on the number 1 team in the nation. And let’s face it, if his name was Joe Smith from Iowa, he wouldn’t be in the top 5.

  21. justheb says: Nov 26, 2012 11:29 PM

    The Heisman Trophy Mission Statement: “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.

    How does Johnny ‘Football’, aka Johnny ‘Got Arrested’, aka Johnny ‘Possessing a Fake Driver’s License’, aka Johnny ‘Failure to Identify’, aka Johnny ‘Disorderly Conduct by Fighting’ embody that again, Aggie fans?

  22. bonfire85 says: Nov 26, 2012 11:49 PM

    justheb,
    Let me get this right….

    Johnny was arrested for drinking beer and wanting to fight?

    Well, that guy has heart and didn’t call his daddy to bail him out.

    Tell me more stories about Johnny, I like them.

  23. waxthat says: Nov 26, 2012 11:56 PM

    Johnny Manziel is a freak..

    Drew Brees and Michael Vick hybrid.

    Johnny Football earned the trophy

  24. kjk6628 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:01 AM

    Because he got arrested, the award should now go to a linebacker that ranks 60th in tackles but is strong in his faith and is a nice guy? This is not a humanitarian award. It is an award that goes to the best player in college football. Teo is not.

  25. pushingiron says: Nov 27, 2012 12:02 AM

    Teo shouldn’t even be in the picture.
    60th in Tackles
    96th in solo tackles
    480th in tackles for loss
    610th in sacks
    Offenses averaged 5.7 yards per his solo tackles

    He might not even start for LSU, Bama, or Florida.

  26. bonfire85 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:10 AM

    pushingiron,
    stats shamats…… the googlyeyed fools see nothing but Notre Dames.

  27. pushingiron says: Nov 27, 2012 12:28 AM

    You are right Bonfire, either way we win, “we’re from Texas A-M-C!”

  28. bonfire85 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:33 AM

    pushingiron,
    Others might disagree, but A&M is poised to dominate the SEC west next year. Right coach, right OC, right QB, right recievers, right running backs….

    If the A&M defense continues to improve, we will be in the NC next year.

    Others will mock me for being so boastfull. I have no doubt. :D

  29. bonfire85 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:54 AM

    Heisman voters,
    give it to Manziel or do not… it wont matter at all to him. He’s gonna do what he does.

    Recongnize or do not. I dont think he cares once he’s on the field.

  30. 808raiderinparadise says: Nov 27, 2012 1:13 AM

    I have a HUGE bias. ND diehard.

    The thing is the award is often vaguely awarded.

    Is it the best player in the country?
    Stats?
    Records?

    Manziel is amazing -A-MAZING! but he’s on a two loss team, putting up stats. STATS.

    So that gives you the award?

    Teo pulled ND out of the dumpster. Exceptional leader, linebacker, athlete, and football player that led his team and the #1 defense in the country to a SHIP from the gutter of college football. (no need to mention him as a person, i agree should have nothing to do with heisman)

    Charles Woodson had 8 ints last D player to win it. He played Corner some safety.

    Teo has 7 int, he plays ILB in a 3-4 scheme.

    100+ tackles.

    He was in the Heisman talk allllll season, Johnny football didn’t get on the list till beating Alabama.

    I get it, Johnny will win it …. don’t think its deserved. Graham Harrell, Colt Brennan, Landry Jones, Case Keenum, all had epic stats ….

    So he broke Newtons and Tebows records? They won championships. Kid didn’t even win the SEC.

    ?????????

    RGIII won it for leading baylor out the bottom of the big 12 ….. impact players lead teams, stats don’t reveal everything.

    ND wins it all and all anyone will remember is Teo his monster senior year leading ND back to a ship. A&M? amazing first year in SEC, but largely ….. putting up stats … exciting plays … national championship is in ND’s lap, because of TEO.

    HeIsManti

    BRIAN Kelly said it best “If teo doesn’t win it, the award should be re-assigned to offensive players only”

    I agree.

  31. 808raiderinparadise says: Nov 27, 2012 1:27 AM

    HILARIOUS ALL OF YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT #’s and Stats ….. Heisman winners win championships or at least play in them.

    Johhny football didn’t even win the SEC west.

    Newton and Tebow won championships with their stats …. this kid ???? ummmm yeah.

    Video games stats ….. well tell me this …..
    the Heisman is for the best player in CFB that year right? So shouldn’t the best players play in the Championship? Because they lead their team there.

    Johhny Football didn’t. Haters gone hate.

    I dont care. Just a bunch of people that hate ND… used to it.

    12-0

    #1

    suck a D

  32. bonfire85 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:30 AM

    Be it Alabama or Georgia, the SEC is gonna hand your hat to your smashed face you golden dome dumb f*cks.

    Mark these words. SEC.

  33. bonfire85 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:47 AM

    I can speak for Aggies everwhere when they listen…


    ;)

  34. norcalirish says: Nov 27, 2012 6:56 AM

    Te’o, hands down.

  35. infrno says: Nov 27, 2012 7:12 AM

    As I keep saying,the numbers don’t lie. Te’o is a very good player. He’s not anywhere near the best linebacker in the NCAA, much less the most outstanding overall player. That’s just a sick joke.

  36. millersirish1986 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:38 AM

    Look at this teo haters…notre dame offense has the most drives over 5 mins in the country and have had numerous drives lasting 8 or 9 mins…while this may not mean much to neone it does mean that teo has less opportunitys to accumulate tackles…the oklahoma game for instance in the 3rd quarter i believe the irish offense had the ball for 2 possesions and OU had it for 1 which was a 3 and out…if you honestly believe that he wouldnt start on an sec team then your brain should be examined…saxk numbers are down because hes not asked to blitz and when he does ask landry jones about it…manziel is deserving of the heisman numbers wise but if keenum and company dont win because their system qbs then what makes manziel or even tebow and newton ne different…in their respective “systems” they were asked to shoulder the work load by run first and pass later..GIVE IT TO TEO!!!

  37. normtide says: Nov 27, 2012 7:49 AM

    If the award is for best emotional leader, then Manti wins, hands down. But ND had won games where he did little. If you ask me who I want my kid to be like, Manti wins again. I love that kid and everything he stands for. But the award will come down to Johnny and Colin. Johnny should win, but idk if they will let it go to a frosh.

    TA&M fans, defenses will adjust next year, there is plenty of film on him now. I don’t think he will be shut down, but SEC defense coaches are not fools, they are the best at what they do. If he does this next year, he deserves a statute.

  38. ebrownwareagle says: Nov 27, 2012 8:19 AM

    Jarvis Jones is the BEST LB IN THE NATION!

  39. dinklespiel says: Nov 27, 2012 9:31 AM

    Unless I’m mistaken, if a linebacker doesn’t have a defensive line taking care of blockers trying to get to the linebacker, no linebacker can do dink. So give the trophy to theND defensive line.

    Johnny had to run his butt around like Fran Tarkington while making a large number of his amazing runs through tough SEC defenses and linebackers as good as ” Mr. Interception “.

  40. mgmac says: Nov 27, 2012 11:47 AM

    @bonfire85, this is for you – Gig ‘em !!!

    Some may boast of prowess bold
    Of the school they think so grand
    But there’s a spirit can ne’er be told
    It’s the Spirit of Aggieland.

    We are the Aggies – the Aggies are we
    True to each other as Aggies can be
    We’ve got to FIGHT boys
    We’ve got to fight!
    We’ve got to fight for Maroon and White
    After they’ve boosted all the rest
    They will come and join the best
    For we are the Aggies – the Aggies are we
    We’re from Texas A.M.C.

    T-E-X-A-S A-G-G-I-E
    Fight! Fight! Fight-fight-fight!
    Fight! Maroon! White-White-White!
    A-G-G-I-E
    Texas! Texas! A-M-C!
    Gig ‘em, Aggies, 1-2-3
    Farmers fight! Farmers fight!
    Fight! Fight!
    Farmers, farmers fight!
    A! Whoop!

  41. mgmac says: Nov 27, 2012 11:50 AM

    so brian kelly says te’o should win it or else…
    the same kelly that sent a student filmer up on a scissor lift in 40+ mph winds that killed the student. And has NEVER accepted responsibility for the kids death. kelly is a scum-bag

  42. boomerdt says: Nov 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    I like what Johnny Football has done this year…. at the same time he was thrust to the front by putting together a great game against Alabama. Sorry that’s not really a reason to win the Heisman… beat bama and get the top award? Really? Kind of sad…

    I’ve always seen the Heisman as an award that should go to the player who means the most to his team and allowed that team to win.

    For me that’s K-State….without Klein that team is a 3-5 win team.

  43. gards81 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:48 PM

    I am an ND fan but I love watching Johnny Football and this A&M team. I wish they could play on Jan 7th.

    PS – 2 losses = no hesiman

  44. ttalarico says: Nov 27, 2012 12:53 PM

    mgmac

    That’s not what Kelly said. It’s totally amazing how idiots like you just twist what has been said and what has happened.

    Kelly said that if Teo didn’t receive the award, then it should be labeled an “offensive” award. There was no “or else”. Kelly is just promoting his player just like A & M and KS are.

    Also, you don’t know the first thing about the accident at ND. Kelly did accept responsibility. Get your facts straight before you say something totally out of line. A scum-bag. You’re the scum-bag.

  45. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 27, 2012 1:34 PM

    Here’s the deal, Te’o is a great leader, the ND defense has had a great year, ND as a whole has had its best year in 25+. But the Heisman is an individual award for the most oustanding CFB player.

    Manziel has had a sensational season, he broke Cam Newton’s season SEC record for total offense IN TWO LESS GAMES!! RG3 and Tebow both won the Heisman without perfect seasons (RGIII 9-3, Tebow 8-4). The Aggies were 6-6 last year in an inferior conference, they are 4 games better with Manziel.

    For those who say Manziel put up most of his numbers against FCS teams… his 2 best games (record setting games) were against Arkansas and Auburn who still reside in the SEC if I’m correct. Keenum, Brennen, and other stat hawks that have been mentioned, didn’t play in the SEC and against 3 of the top 5 defensed in the land.

    Te’o is 3rd in INTS 58th in total tackles and not sniffing the top 100 in other MAJOR defensive statistics, Sacks, TFL, Forced Fumbles. Hell, Johnny Manziel has more forced fumbles than Te’o.

    For those who point to the arrest, read the report, he stepped in the middle of two guys about to fight and tried to break it up, the guy took a swing at him and they got kicked out of the bar. Yes he was at a bar, like any of us can honestly say that we didn’t have a drink of alcohol before we were 21.

    Te’o is a good player and will make an excellent SS in the NFL, but to win the Heisman as a pure defensive player, he just doesn’t have the stats or the flair.

  46. barbeaux says: Nov 27, 2012 3:26 PM

    ^agreed

  47. greggatx says: Dec 1, 2012 12:56 PM

    The freshman had a ok season. One hit wonder? Who knows. Deserves the Hiesman? I don’t think so. He didn’t look very Hiesman in those two loses. Klien of Kansas St. should be the real winner but K. St. isn’t a high profile school and will be denied the honor he deserves. Too much politics in the game. Too bad. :-(

  48. Deb says: Dec 2, 2012 2:46 PM

    I have no dog in the hunt this year and really don’t care who wins the Heisman. But I just got to listen to Jerry Jeff Walker sing “Pissin’ in the Wind” … so I’m happy :)

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