Whatever’s left of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel’s life as a regular college student appears to be diminishing as his fame skyrockets and expectations for Texas A&M soar.
It’s not just the off-season adventures and celebrity shoulder-rubbing documented on his Twitter timeline. The Aggie quarterback also revealed that he is taking only online classes this semester, none on campus, where he often causes a stir.
Manziel opened up about his evolving existence before receiving the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award on Feb. 18 at the Fort Worth Club in Texas.
Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman, said he is taking four online classes through Texas A&M. He originally had signed up for one small, on-campus English class, but even that “kind of turned into more of a big deal than I thought,” Manziel said.
He elaborated that he didn’t need to take all the online classes toward his sports management major in the same semester, “but it just happened to work out to where it was good after the football season, with all that was going on.”
Everything Manziel does—on and off the field—has been closely watched since No. 2 led A&M to a blockbuster 11-2 debut season in the Southeastern Conference. While handling what comes next is clearly a work in progress, he has appeared in many ways not to have let the scrutiny affect his actions.
He most recently attended the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, and NBA All-Star events, developed a friendship with rapper Wale, and has met celebrities from LeBron James to the Duck Dynasty guys. Manziel remains active on Twitter, with a thick skin, he said, shielding him from some negative feedback.
Manziel said he and his parents recently sat down with coach Kevin Sumlin, athletic director Eric Hyman, and A&M compliance officials to make sure “we were on the same terms,” considering the great scrutiny of Manziel. He said he fills in A&M compliance before taking trips.
Sumlin and Hyman, Manziel said, have visited with Florida officials about how they dealt with the spotlight on Tim Tebow after he won the Heisman as a sophomore in 2007. But Manziel mania has a life of its own.
Spring practice is set to begin March 2. Manziel said it feels like it has come quickly. He’s been attending 7-on-7 sessions but working more with the younger players and giving his arm a rest.
Manziel said last season was the most fun he’s ever had in football. Expectations are even higher for 2013: “A national championship,” he said.
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