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Manziel: life’s been ‘pure chaos,’ but ‘still the same person’

O Brien Award Manziel Football AP

As eloquently encapsulated by Ben late this past week, Johnny Manziel‘s life has been a whirlwind over the past year, from exiting spring practice trailing in the Texas A&M quarterback race to a summer arrest to claiming the starting job on the way to a historic Heisman Trophy as part of a stunning SEC debut to myriad off-field “hoopla.”

In particular, Manziel’s offseason since the Aggies’ 28-point thrashing of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl has been a seemingly daily source of contrived controversies.  Exhibit A: a Big 12 assistant stating during a January radio interview that “[i]f they can keep (Manziel) out of jail or keep him eligible, he’s gonna be pretty good.”  The bright spotlight shining on Manziel’s every move led A&M’s athletic director to have a sit-down with the player and his parents to discuss how to successfully navigate the sudden and ofttimes crushing trappings of fame.

For his part, though, the quarterback sees the same old Manziel he was prior to Johnny Footballing his way straight into the nation’s consciousness.

I still see myself as the same person I was before,” Manziel told ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit during an interview.

“We did a lot of great things. I’ve been so blessed to have the done the things I did individually. For me, I don’t see it that way. I still see myself as young, the same guy I was before I ever won the Heisman. Hopefully my friends still feel I’m the same way. I just want people to know I”m still the same person I’ve always been.”

Manziel did allow that his life has been “pure chaos” since winning the Heisman last December, admitting that he doesn’t understand people “freak[ing] out” upon meeting him. “I don’t get it. I don’t understand it,” Manziel said of the attention he’s garnered.

With another trip to a noted quarterback guru planned for the not-too-distant future, Manziel and his Aggie teammates opened spring practice Saturday with expectations as high as they’ve ever been.  Collectively, A&M will be looking to somehow improve upon an 11-win season in the school’s first season as a member of the SEC.  Individually, Manziel will be looking to become just the second player ever to repeat as a Heisman winner.

As should be expected when it comes to Manziel, however, there’s even drama attached to something that’s nearly a year down the road.  As Manziel will be a redshirt sophomore in 2013, and thus three years removed from high school, he would be eligible for the 2014 NFL draft.  The speculation is, given the recent success of non-traditional quarterbacks — i.e. not strictly pocket-passing QBs — in the NFL, Manziel might decide and may even be leaning toward early entry into the draft.

During the Herbstreit interview, Manziel didn’t exactly pour cold water on the rumor mill churnings.

“You never know how things might play out. If an opportunity comes to go to the NFL, you have to look at that just like you have to look at everything,” Manziel said. “For me, the NFL is the thing that’s always been, kind of somewhat like the Heisman, it’s been a dream as a kid to be able to have an opportunity to even be talked about being able to play in the NFL.

“For me I’m enjoying my time here for sure and if that comes calling, just like anybody else, the decision will have to be made.”

Manziel did state that he’s “very happy here and very happy with Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and in college football. I love it.”

How long he’ll remain in College Station, unfortunately, will likely be one of the overriding themes as Manziel attempts to replicate in 2013 an unprecedented 2012 season.

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14 Responses to “Manziel: life’s been ‘pure chaos,’ but ‘still the same person’”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 3, 2013 1:12 PM

    Sounds pretty level headed to me.

  2. abninf says: Mar 3, 2013 2:29 PM

    Jerry Jones make it happen.

  3. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 3, 2013 3:31 PM

    abninf, how so?

    Jerry Jones played for the University of Arkansas in the 60’s. He and Jimmy Johnson played together along with Ken Hatfield. Won the 1964 National Championship. His money goes to to the Razorback
    Foundation.

  4. jimbo75025 says: Mar 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    Hmm, so I suppose he was with his bikini model gf before he “got famous” also?

  5. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 3, 2013 4:30 PM

    jimbo,

    Actually, yes. They met when he was red shirting his freshman year. One of the reasons he went to online classes is that he became the center of attention in all
    his classes. Especially coeds were slipping him their phone #’s.

    He looked focused, almost relieved to be back on the field yesterday in A&M’s first day of spring football. I don’t know how A&M is going to fare this year, but that game in September against Alabama still scares the crap out of me.

  6. jimbo75025 says: Mar 3, 2013 5:32 PM

    amosalanzostagg says:
    Mar 3, 2013 4:30 PM
    jimbo,

    Actually, yes. They met when he was red shirting his freshman year. One of the reasons he went to online classes is that he became the center of attention in all
    his classes. Especially coeds were slipping him their phone #’s.
    ———
    Noted on the gf thing, but just saying the whole all online class thing certainly raised a few eyebrows. Especially considering the bruhaha that started up at FSU a few years back of rampant cheating.

    Also guess that no star college QB has never had to deal with actually going to classes before? I know when I was in school I had a few classes with our QB at the time-some scrub named Peyton Manning or something like that. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?

  7. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 3, 2013 6:00 PM

    One of the Associate AD’s addressed that yesterday, to press members. The gentleman said that the classes are proctored by the various departments, not
    the Athletic Department, and the classes are video and the assignments are due just like every other students.

    The Athletic Department did not make the decision. The various department deans did. They did not want the courses being over run by outsiders. The example the Associate AD gave yesterday was an English class that Manziel was enrolled in had 25 students enrolled, by the end of week one, the hallways were so congested with students NOT attending classes, but to see Manziel, it became a problem.

    On line courses are not easy ones to take. In most cases, it takes a greater focus and more discipline.

  8. gator2006 says: Mar 3, 2013 8:36 PM

    What is wrong with these students? We let Tebow live his life and did not follow him to class. We had better things to do, like enjoy the Florida sun or hit on chicks.

  9. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 3, 2013 8:57 PM

    Much ado about nothing for the online classes. You still have to show up and take the final exam in the classroom. The final exam is worth 40% of the final grade. If he isn’t doing the work online (implying that someone else is), it will all come out in the wash on final exam day.

    Even Harvard Business College offers classes online.

    As far as his life being complete chaos, maybe he should quit tweeting pictures of him with LeBron, him with hot chicks and wads of cash at casinos, him sitting courtside at NBA games and at the Super Bowl, him playing golf with the Jonas Brothers, and him hanging out with the Duck Dynasty clan.

    He is my QB, and I’m glad he is. He’s also the biggest attention whore there is in college football today.

  10. 11thstreetmafia says: Mar 3, 2013 9:01 PM

    When this guy crashes and burns, it is going to be spectacular. I cannot wait.

  11. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 3, 2013 9:06 PM

    @11thstreetmafia –
    I don’t think he will. He wants to turn the world upside down and be the best QB EVER. If he stays healthy, there is no reason to believe he’s going to ‘crash and burn.’ He’s a really good football player, or does your hatred for him not allow you to see that?

  12. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 4, 2013 11:04 AM

    11thstreetmafia wrote: Mar 3, 2013 9:01 PM

    When this guy crashes and burns, it is going to be spectacular. I cannot wait.

    Must be a tortured, insecure soul that looks for another person’s failure to validate their existence. Life is too short to be so vindictive.

    From my visit Saturday to A&M, Manziel looks to be a normal college student. From my new Aggie friends, they stated that A&M is very strong on tradition. They revere A&M’s other Heisman winner in John David Crow and can only imagine how Manziel will be treated after his football playing days are over.

    Manziel has already made his legacy with A&M. A storybook legacy.

    Sort of like an unknown greenskeeper winning the Masters

  13. 11thstreetmafia says: Mar 4, 2013 6:15 PM

    I am not a tortured soul or whatever, train wrecks are just fun to watch. This guy has been on a mighty high pedestal and his schedule is pretty tough.

  14. abrellbama says: Mar 4, 2013 6:16 PM

    I think it is stupid that Texas A&M students can’t handle the Manziel hype and force the kid to take online classes for ALL his classes. That is just dumb. Part of the college experience is attending the classes. Going one on one with the Professor and because Texas A&M students go ga-ga over Manziel, he is going to miss out on it. I wouldn’t blame him if he did go to the NFL after this year. You guys are treating him like he is Elvis or something when he is just a good QB.

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