After becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel just cannot seem to stay out of the spotlight. All offseason it has been one Manziel story after another. From him tweeting about wanting to leave College Station to getting booted from a University of Texas frat party, he has been the talk of the college football world all offseason.
In 2012, he took the college football world by storm with his exciting play. His unorthodox style led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record including a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma and being the only team to defeat the eventual National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. The two losses on the season for Texas A&M came from SEC rivals Florida and LSU. The Aggies had a great season and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback was a huge reason why. In 2012, Manziel had a 68 percent completion percentage, 3,706 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns to go with nine interceptions. On the ground, Manziel rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was a force to be reckoned with as he picked apart SEC defenses.
With his off-the-field antics Manziel is becoming a bit of a villain in the college football world. Many of his critics say that he needs to be more focused on improving his game. Manziel says that he is just a 20-year-old college kid having fun. I understand that Manziel is just trying to have a good time, but he would make things much easier on himself if he stayed out of the spot light.
The Aggies had five players taken in the 2013 NFL Draft, including three on the offensive side of the ball. Left Tackle Luke Joeckel was taken with the second overall pick. His replacement is 2012 All-American Jake Matthews, who slides over to the left side from right tackle. Matthews certainly has some big shoes to fill, but he is a great player in his own right and should do a fantastic job protecting Manziel. The Aggies also lost running back Christine Michael and wide receiver Ryan Swope. Both players were key at their respective positions, but Texas A&M seems to have plenty of depth to fill the voids left by those players. Offensively, the Aggies are loaded and ready to make a run at a title.
There is a lot of pressure on Manziel this season. The Aggies are poised for a National Championship run, and the only way that Manziel can quiet his critics is by performing on the field. He is no longer a surprise to opposing defenses. They will surely be prepared for him as he looks to repeat his performance from last season. That being said, Manziel is still a very talented player that should continue to have plenty of success on the field.
One thing is for sure; if Manziel struggles this season, his haters will be out in full force.