Since Johnny “Football” Manziel dashed onto the College Football scene in 2012, the sports world has been infatuated with him. Let’s face it, he’s a headline maker. Recruited as a three-sport athlete from a Kerrville, Texas, Manziel redshirted his first year at Texas A&M. Once he was given the chance to start, he proved himself as the real deal. 

From his team’s huge upset win against Alabama to his five-touchdown game against Missouri, he showed real promise against some of the top-schools in the country.

According to ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr., he ended his freshman year with over 5,000 yards of total offense. One Heisman Trophy later, he’s the face of college football.

Those were not the only noteworthy events  to happen to Manziel in his Heisman year though. Before he even took a snap in 2012, he was arrested that summer and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to identify and possession of a fictitious driver’s license.

Paul Myerberg from USA Today Sports stated Manziel had a brief altercation with a man and officers approached them both.

When an officer asked for identification, Manziel displayed a fake driver’s license.

When he was searched, the officer discovered his real license, confirming he was 19 years old. Manziel pled guilty to failure to identify and the other charges were dropped.

Texas A&M originally pursued a yearlong suspension against the quarterback, but they eventually reinstated him before the beginning of the season.

All the glory of a freshman Heisman trophy winner, that huge upset win against Alabama, almost wiped out because of a fake ID. Wrong place at the wrong time?

Possibly, but already “Johnny Football” was showing signs of questionable decision-making for someone who was about to be thrown into stardom.

Again, Manziel was 19 at the time of the incident, going into his second year of college. Everyone makes mistakes, especially young college kids who haven’t had real responsibilities yet.

Manziel didn’t leave his dorm that June evening knowing his friend was going to get him into trouble and he certainly didn’t know he would be stopped by police.

But he did, and he made a poor decision that he paid for.

Gene J. Pulsar / AP Photo

Gene J. Pulsar / AP Photo

Next comes an incident that has turned into a spec on Johnny’s “rap sheet” of supposed controversies.

At the beginning of his sophomore season, just half-a-year removed from receiving the Heisman Trophy, the NCAA announced it was investigating Manziel. The charges?

Possibly accepting payment for autographs he signed earlier in the year. According to USA Today sports reporter Daniel Uthman, the NCAA could prove Manziel knew the autographs would be sold, but they couldn’t prove he was paid for them himself.

Texas A&M would suspend Manziel for half of the season-opener game against Rice University.

Manziel dodged a bullet this time. If the NCAA found him guilty of receiving money, he could have missed at least half of the football season.

In 2013 Manziel had another year filled with good stats and accolades. According to Sports Reference statistic database, Johnny Football had 4,000 passing yards to go with almost 800 rushing yards.

He was one of the most dynamic players of the college football season. He capped off another great year by being named Chick-fil-A Bowl Offensive MVP in a win against Duke.

After two years as a starter at Texas A&M, Johnny Football decided to take his talents to the NFL.

After two exciting years of college ball in a tough conference, many NFL draft analysts regarded him as a top five pick in the draft. But according to ESPN and Sports Illustrated, other scouts cited discipline and attitude issues as reasons a team wouldn’t risk a high pick for him.

With multiple NFL teams in need of a franchise quarterback, it seemed Manziel would find a team somewhere in the first round.

When draft day came around, the five first picks left the draft board. Manziel was still available. Then the next ten picks. “Johnny Football” was still there.

Halfway through the first round and nobody took a chance on a Heisman winning quarterback who proved to be a big-game, big-play type of guy.

But finally, the wait was over. The Cleveland Browns traded up four picks to draft their guy: Johnny Manziel. So now that he’s here, finally in the NFL, what can fans expect?

Well, if the preseason is to be taken as a preview, we can expect the same-old Johnny Football. At times, he’s been outstanding, like his touchdown pass against the Bears in his final preseason game.

Other times, he’s been the immature kid that so many experts were predicting before the draft. In week two of the preseason, Manziel was spotted flipping off the Washington Redskins sideline after a series of frustrating plays.

It was obvious; anybody watching could see what he did.

“I should have been smarter,” Manziel said to an ESPN reporter calmly in the postgame press conference.

A few days later he was fined $12,000 from the NFL. On the football field, harsh words are common. I’m sure there are a number of middle fingers flying around between plays, in more discrete ways of course.

But on Monday Night Football when you’re arguably the most watched rookie in the NFL? Come on Johnny, be good.

Your fans want you to succeed and be a polarizing sports figure for the right reasons


 Skyler Frazer can be contacted at


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