College football has fallen for Texas A&M's Manziel
TribLIVE Sports Videos
College football fans already know him by his “Johnny Football” nickname.
With 33 touchdowns in his first 10 games, Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel — whose coach still doesn't permit him to speak with the media — has become one of the season's most fascinating stories.
Manziel made his bid for the Heisman Trophy last week after leading Texas A&M to a 29-24 upset win at then-No. 1 Alabama. Manziel was 24 of 31 for 253 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 92 yards on 18 carries.
Manziel has completed 72 percent of his passes (227 of 336) for 2,780 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He's also rushed for 1,014 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 carries (6.5-yard average). He's on pace to set the SEC record for total offense in a season.
“He's been able to handle the moment,” said first-year Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who unsuccessfully recruited Manziel when he was coach at Houston. “There hasn't been a moment that's too big for him.
“He's gotten progressively better all year.”
Buoyed by Manziel's play, Texas A&M has tamed the notoriously brutal SEC in its first year in the league. Entering Saturday's game against nonconference opponent Sam Houston State, the Aggies are 8-2 with losses to Florida and LSU by a combined eight points.
In turn, Manziel — a former Oregon recruit whose Heisman chances increased following his stunning performance against Alabama — has become a football star on the field and a cultural phenomenon off it.
Texas A&M's Memorial Student Center quickly sold out of more than 500 of Manziel's No. 2 jerseys. Texas A&M and Manziel's family are attempting to trademark “Johnny Football” when Manziel's college eligibility expires to prevent outside interests from profiting from his nickname.
“When you win and you're a quarterback, there's a lot of good things that go along with that,” Sumlin said. “I've said it before, as a quarterback, the first thing you've got to realize, just like the head coach, you get too much credit when you win, but you get all the blame when you lose. When you become comfortable with that, you become a better quarterback.”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Confident rookie quarterback Manziel erratic early with Browns
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Steelers WR Wheaton wants to produce after injury-plagued rookie year
- Steelers notebook: Ben believes rookie WR Bryant can contribute
- Inside the ropes: Roethlisberger may have his big receiver
- Business Gallery: July 27, 2014
- Local golf notebook: Fox Chapel graduate to play in Junior PGA event
- U.S. coal exports undermine energy efforts, experts say
- Construction of $500M power plant in South Huntingdon stalled
- Natrona Heights Scoutmaster proud to carry on tradition