Oh, what the hell. Let’s add another layer to the college football soap opera that is Johnny Manziel a few days after he tweeted “Bull**** like tonight is a reason why I can’t wait to leave college station.”
Most people know that, in his first season as a starter, the quarterback not only led Texas A&M to an unprecedented first season in the SEC, but also became the first freshman — redshirt or otherwise — to take home the storied Heisman Trophy.
What some people tend to forget is that, exiting spring practice last year, Jameill Showers was the favorite to win the Aggies starting job and, a couple of months later, Manziel was arrested and charged with a handful of misdemeanors related to an incident at a College Station drinking establishment. It was at that point that the fortunes of Aggie football in general and Manziel specifically reportedly reached a crossroads that the public never knew about.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Kate Hairopolous of the Dallas Morning News reports that, in the aftermath of his arrest and subsequent shirtless mugshot, Manziel was suspended for the 2012 season by A&M. As a result, the source told Hairopolous, Manziel gave serious consideration to transferring from the Aggies pending an appeal.
The appeal was successful, obviously, and the rest is downright college football lore.
In Manziel’s first season as a starter… and in Kevin Sumlin‘s first season as the Aggies’ head coach… and in A&M’s first season in the best football conference in the country, well…
An 11-win season that was the Aggies’ most since 1998. A 28-point Cotton Bowl beatdown of then-No. 11 Oklahoma. And, the icing on the cake, handing Alabama its lone loss in a season that ended with the Tide’s second straight BCS title and third in four years.
It was, by all accounts and every tangible measurement, an unmitigated success, with nothing but on-field positives heading into arguably the most anticipated season in the program’s history. That said…
It’s been widely speculated — and not exactly shot down by the player — that Manziel will bolt A&M following the 2013 season for the NFL as he would be three years removed from high school and thus eligible for the draft. Based on the Tim Tebow-like crush of attention the I’ll-live-my-life-however-I-damn-well-please-so-FU Manziel receives, that’s quickly evolving into what’s likely the best course of action for all involved.