Throughout this Johnny Manziel drama that has captivated the college football universe, there have been very few questions about whether or not the defending Heisman Trophy winner can play.
Following a rather lively offseason for a college quarterback, especially for the first freshman Heisman winner in the trophy’s history, Manziel had many questioning his character, however. Some even believed his active lifestyle would lead to a decline in playing ability.
He had an opportunity take some of the heat off his back by playing the second half of Texas A&M‘s Week 1 game against Rice University in dynamic and humble fashion. “Johnny Football,” however, failed to consider the latter.
Manziel scored three touchdowns in the second half of the Aggies’ 52-31 win over Rice, the most he’s ever scored in a single half of his young NCAA career. But instead of acting like he’s been there before, where he has, even though he’s only a sophomore, Manziel did the opposite. He taunted Rice players, made a dollar sign in the air during a touchdown celebration, and was eventually given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was consequentially pulled from the game by head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Most appalling of all his negative actions, Manziel appeared to completely ignore Sumlin on his way to the sideline following his personal foul. If there’s one thing that will undoubtedly raise questions about an NFL prospect, it’s his inability to get along with a head coach.
With every controversial tweet and Instagram post, Manziel began to lead people to questioning his character off the field. He failed to show up one morning at the Manning Passing Academy in July, and then the pay-to-sign allegations in August. Those events might have been rock bottom of Manziel’s tumultuous offseason, but his sophomore season has started on a new low.
Never before did people think Manziel was cocky on the field. Nor did he ever express discourse with a coach. Now, Manziel has pundits questioning his on-field character, which can open up a whole new bag of worms.
The truth has come out about Manziel: he is immature. Whether or not it may have been believed before by some, it is known now. He couldn’t let the spotlight — his popularity — take the back seat to football. He thinks he’s the best football player on the field, and he had to let the rest of the players know it. Then to give the cold shoulder to Sumlin coming off the field, “Johnny Football” evidently doesn’t have the whole respect thing down.
Manziel has raised these questions himself. He recognizes it, yet can’t do anything to prevent them from continuing to uplift. His inability to remain humble on the field may not affect his performance on it, but it may hinder his success to reach the NFL.
Johnny has to act like he’s been there before, but it seems like he’s a long way off.