Last season was a magical one for Johnny Manziel. The quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies accomplished something that had never been done before: winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy as a freshman.
Manziel was lauded for his play for coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies. Manziel seemed to create something when nothing was apparently available. He led Texas A&M into Tuscaloosa and beat the top-ranked (and eventual national champion) Alabama Crimson Tide.
Plain and simple, Johnny Football was on top of the world.
However, many fans seem to forget that college athletes are simply young people. Manziel is only 20 years old, and despite the fact that he wowed the college football world last season, he’s still a young person and is still learning the ropes of life.
Manziel has not had the offseason that many would have liked. He has been present at NBA games, Major League Baseball games, and many other places. Seemingly everywhere but College Station where he is enrolled in school.
In his latest public incident, which apparently stemmed from a parking ticket, Manziel took to Twitter to defend himself, basically asking fans to walk a day in his shoes.
All of the celebrity and public comments will not help Manziel as he attempts to become just the second two-time winner of the Heisman. First of all, how will his concentration be on the field? Will he allow all of these distractions to take away from his play?
Secondly, those close to Manziel say that he has an eye on the NFL and would love to go ahead and turn pro (which he will be eligible to do after the 2013 season). Will Manziel’s wandering eye hurt his play on the field?
Additionally, voters for the Heisman Trophy have traditionally shied away from voting for someone who seems to want to be “bigger than the game.” While some players of that ilk have won the trophy, the fact that Manziel is enjoying his celebrity status could work against him in this fall’s Heisman balloting.
While Manziel displayed a ton of talent during last year’s Heisman run, it seems that the deck may be stacked against him this fall as he tries to repeat.