HOOVER, Ala. – Wednesday could have been an extremely bad day for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Instead, the Heisman Trophy winner handled media scrutiny at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. with the same agility and finesse that he handled opposing pass-rushers last season for the Aggies.
Manziel’s made some bone-headed decisions since hoisting the Heisman Trophy last December, most recorded on various social-media platforms. The most recent was being sent home early from Manning Passing Academy this past weekend where he was a counselor.
Rumors flowed that Manziel’s departure was a direct result of partying too hard the night before, but the Texas A&M quarterback laid those to rest.
Manziel said he missed a Saturday morning meeting because his cell phone died, forcing him to oversleep. He animatedly denied being hung over, but would not answer questions about whether or not he was drinking alcohol the night before.
“There’s no excuse for it,” said Manziel. “Absolutely my fault.”
Claiming the media spotlight is 10 times brighter now than it was just months ago, Manziel said he feels like Justin Bieber at times. “No matter what I do, somebody’s going to get upset.” But the young football star brings most of the scrutiny on himself.
On Halloween last year, photos were made public of Manziel’s rowdy holiday celebration. In January Manziel posted an Instagram photo of him at a casino flashing a roll of cash titled “casino ballin.” He later lashed out on Twitter. “Nothing illegal about being 18+ in a casino and winning money…KEEP HATING!”
And there’s nothing wrong with these exploits IF Manziel continues putting up Heisman-like numbers for Texas A&M in 2013.
“I hope people still see that I’m a 20-year-old in college,” said Manziel. “I’m just trying to enjoy my life and I hope that doesn’t upset too many people.”
Manziel admits he’s made mistakes this offseason but doesn’t think he’s done anything that can be categorized as catastrophic. He also promises that his play on the field won’t be affected by anything that’s happened, or will happen, off the field.
"I guarantee when its football time,” said Manziel. “I'll be ready to go."
For his sake, Manziel had better live up to that promise.