Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel took part in SEC media days this past week and was one of the most highlighted appearances of the Hoover, Ala., event. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has been the most talked about story of the college football offseason, garnering criticism for his off the field activities.
Many have deemed the redshirt sophomore “immature” due to his excessive partying and use of social media. Obviously, Manziel is held to a much higher standard than the average 20-year-old college student.
While his actions may not seem so odd compared to most people his age, the Aggies’ quarterback is constantly under the watchful eye of the media. Upon his Heisman Trophy victory, Manziel propelled himself to superstardom and gained the interest of the public.
Following an early exit from the Manning Passing Academy camp, Manziel agreed to participate in the media day sessions this week to clear the air on his latest controversy.
“It’s been a busy summer for me,” Manziel told ESPN of what he called a mutual decision between himself and officials at the camp. “I probably bit off more than I could chew in July, been traveling, been going a lot of places. I just overslept. I made a mistake and didn’t wake up in time when I should have.”
Manziel showed poise and maturity during sessions with media representatives throughout the week. This shows signs that he is working toward crafting a more mature public image before he sees a drop in his draft stock.
Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King mentioned the comparisons drawn of Manziel to notorious NFL bust Ryan Leaf, whose off the field partying and mental incompetence was a major factor in his lack of success at the professional level.
Manziel will look to shed this criticism before teams are scared away from his social activities and continue to draw this comparison. This past week was a great start to Manziel’s reconstruction of his public image.