April 18th, 2013 10:44 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Texas A&M
Tags: Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel, NFL, Tony Parker
Everytime Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel pops up in top-dollar seats at a basketball game or posts a photo of himself at the beach or hanging with another celeb, questions immediately follow.
“How is he paying for that?”
“Think someone’s giving him illegal gifts?”
Well according to Manziel via CBSSports.com, the Texas A&M compliance department has wisely been covering all its bases when it comes to the jet-setting QB:
“They keep sending me questionnaires like, ‘How did I go to the Spurs game?’ Even though I’ve been going to Spurs games since I moved to Kerrville when I was in the seventh grade. A good family friend who we’ve known since before I ever thought of playing college football has a suite there. We’re going to go to the suite and we’re just gonna watch the game. I know (Spurs’ star) Tony Parker on a personal level and if I go down to say hello, I’m not doing anything wrong.
They keep sending me questionnaires asking me who’s funding the trip? Who’s doing this? Every time I respond back, ‘ME, ME and ME,’ in capital letters. Hey, I don’t mean to sound rude, but this is stuff I’ve always done, and I know you’re just doing your job, but it gets to you every now and again.”
Manziel has all the talent in the world, but only someone viewing the world through maroon-colored sunglasses could watch Manziel’s offseason (so far) and not be somewhat worried about fame going to this particular quarterback’s head. It’s a legitimate concern. And whether it’s chatting with Tony Parker at an NBA game or hanging with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel at the Super Bowl, there’s plenty of stuff that might’ve already gone to Manziel’s head.
Even Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin realizes his star’s transformation from Johnny Manziel into Johnny Football requires some coaching away from the playing field:
“The conversations, a lot of times, are on a non-football level. The conversations are about a lot of other things and how to handle them. Everyone has an idea about how they’d handle it, but until you’re in their shoes, you really don’t know.
I don’t know that ‘keeping it in check’ is the right way to put it. In a lot of ways, if he hadn’t won the Heisman, he’d still be going to games and to concerts and trying to meet LeBron (James). But now those guys want to meet him, too. And that’s changed his life…
Johnny really like to play football, though. He’d have stayed in and played the whole (spring) game if we’d have let him Saturday. So what’s the next challenge? Really great players deep down inside are not motivated by the fame or the money. They’re just string to be the best, and he has that in him. What’s the next big thing? Playing at the next level. He really wants to play football and he wants to improve.”
Ah, the NFL.
When Manziel declares himself eligible for the NFL draft — and many expect the redshirt sophomore will do so a year from now — all aspects of his game will be examined. From his arm strength to his height, there will always be doubters.
There will also be a lot of NFL coaches and GMs who’ll pepper Manziel with questions about his high-profile lifestyle.
In the end, talent will win out and A&M’s quarterback will be a hot commodity on draft day. But if Texas A&M’s compliance office gets under his skin a bit, he’ll really be tested when 32 teams at the NFL combine grill him about his personal motivations: Fame or football, Johnny?
And trust us, he will absolutely have to answer that question again and again and again.
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