July 17, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
HOOVER, Ala. — He's flashed cash at a casino, been spotted at courtside of NBA games and made a quick-and-curious exit from the recent Manning passing camp.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel arrived at SEC Media Days on Wednesday saying he just wanted to be "a normal college kid like everybody else."
Simple enough, but his coach, Kevin Sumlin, said Manziel has not always stayed the course.
"Off the field, there's no question he's made some mistakes."
Manziel later said he's "learned" from those mistakes.
Welcome to the world of Johnny Football.
Manziel was the talk of college football last season, and has a Heisman Trophy to show it was a success. He accounted for five touchdowns against Auburn last season on the way to the Aggies' 11-2 season, and will be looking for more when the Tigers visit College Station on Oct. 19.
Manziel said his off-season of distractions won't affect him or the Aggies.
"These guys know where my heart's at. They know where my mind's at. There are no hard feelings," Manziel said.
Manziel said he's prepared to be a "normal college kid" by taking classes on campus this fall. He's been taking online courses since winning the Heisman.
"That took some pressure off," Manziel said. "There was a lot of stress going on in my life."
Sumlin said Manziel has "done an exceptional job" on the field.
But off of it: "He has made mistakes. We've had discussions about that."
Sumlin said Manziel has done a lot of good things, but "unfortunately the poor decisions are the ones that are publicized."
"Is he perfect? No. I think he’s done some things he’s not very proud of. He’s made some poor decisions."
Sumlin said he's had talks with Manziel about a variety of topics. Manziel doesn't tweet anymore, for example.
Auburn remembers Manziel's Heisman Trophy season. Johnny Football threw for 260 yards and a touchdown and ran for 90 yards and three more scores in the Aggies' 63-21 win.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine