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The Johnny Manziel Saga

The story of Jonathan Manziel is one of the most amazing ones out there. The
Johnny Manziel
little, 6-1 quarterback out of Texas has become an American superstar. But, his future seems just as interesting as his unlikely past as he faces eligibility questions and criticism. Any way you look at it, the Johnny Manziel saga has just begun.

"Johnny Football" didn't just come out of nowhere. The talent was a high school superstar who showed loads of promise. He was recruited by a number of schools out West including Baylor, Colorado State, Stanford and Oregon. Manziel was rated by many scouting services as a three-star prospect but many schools didn't see a future for him at quarterback. Manziel was raised as a Texas Longhorns fan but Texas only wanted Manziel as a defensive back. Johnny committed to Oregon (imagine him in that offense) but later changed his mind and committed to the Aggies. There, the legend of Johnny Football began.

We all know Manziel received a redshirt in 2011 because of the fact Texas A&M still had Ryan Tannehill and his future was uncertain when 2012 began. Manziel won over the quarterback job over Jammeil Showers and began his career at home against the 24th-ranked Florida Gators. The Aggies lost but Manziel impressed but it was still obviously clear he wasn't in the Heisman race. Manziel then responded with dominant performances against Arkansas, Louisina Tech and more. He quickly became a real Heisman threat when he led the Aggies to a surprising win over No. 1 Alabama. We all know what happened after that; Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman and became an American sensation.

As interesting as that unlikely rise to the Heisman was this off season has been even more amazing. Manziel has been criticized for partying off the field including an incident where he was kicked out of a frat party. That, along with his 2012 arrest and reports of him drinking before practices left many to wonder what his future would be. Manziel has all the talent in the world but many believed his off-the-field issues would catch him on the field and he could suffer a sophomore slump. To make it even worse, reports came out that he had been paid for signing autographs. Eligibility questions have been raised leaving the Aggies in an uncomfortable position; have Manziel get the bulk of snaps in practice or prepare backup Matt Joeckel?

It isn't unrealistic to think if Manziel hadn't won the Heisman, that these issues wouldn't be big news. A lot of players have had issues similar to Manziel but because of the fact that he is so well known, his have been front-page news. If Manziel does end up struggling on the field this year (if he even plays) everybody will blame his off the field questions.  So he may have more pressure on him than any other player in college football. He must defend his Heisman and deal with critics questioning every move he makes. This story isn't over; his eligibility is huge news and he still has at least one more season in College Station meaning this saga will only continue. 

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