Spring practice begins Saturday for Texas A&M after one of the most memorable seasons in the program’s history, but is returning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel ready to get back to business on the field after a busy offseason?
Manziel has been widely featured in the public spotlight since becoming the first freshman to win college football’s most prestigious award in December. The Texas A&M star quarterback made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, flashed a large wad of cash on an Oklahoma casino floor in a post-Cotton Bowl victory celebration, and even managed to find his way to the Super Bowl in New Orleans in February.
Is his head coach, Kevin Sumlin, concerned his quarterback is starting to get too far ahead of himself after a whirlwind offseason? Doesn’t seem that way after Friday’s news conference in College Station on Friday.
Sumlin was quick to dispose of any talk of a rift between him and Johnny Football telling KHOU he isn’t concerned with distractions and he expects the Heisman Trophy winner “to continue to get better.”
Manziel might have had his fun over the past few months, but teammates aren’t worried about the newly-found fame going to his head either.
“Off campus situations… we really can’t speak on that because we’re not Johnny Manziel, but as a leader and as a player, he’s still the same guy who won the Heisman,” running back Ben Malena told KHOU.
As the calendar turns to another year, Sumlin knows Manziel and the Aggies will have targets on their backs after shocking college football with an 11-2 record in their first season as members of the SEC. The head coach is counting on his quarterback’s eagerness to improve as the key to build on the team’s success.
“As much as we want him to improve, as hard as we can be on him, there’s nobody harder on him than himself,” Sumlin told KHOU.