When you’re 20, you feel invincible.
You make bad decisions.
You are underage.
Johnny Manziel covers all of those things, except for one tiny thing — he is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
Which means, suddenly the jitterbug quarterback from Texas A&M gets an invite to participate in things like the prestigious Manning Passing Academy. Only to be excused early after he staying up late and being unable to make a morning session after he claimed his cell phone battery ran out of juice.
The reason that it’s hard to believe this is coming from Manziel is because of what happened last year. He came out of spring practice as the backup quarterback after inconsistent play, but after fine-tuning the mechanics with a private quarterback coach in the summer, Manziel won the A&M job.
Still, people were wondering if the 6-foot-1, 200-pound freshman could withstand an SEC pounding. And of course, he answered by dropping jaws with an unforgettable 29-24 win over No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Manziel was 24-for-31 for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air against a Tide defense that would see four players get drafted in the spring.
But after all that, Manziel isn’t acting like the unassuming, hard working kid that earned his spot in the summer with routine workouts.
He’s getting kicked out of University of Texas frat parties and getting in Twitter fights by using his Heisman Trophy to snipe back at the opposition.
And then there’s that bit about getting politely told to leave arguably a camp coordinated by some of the greatest quarterbacking talent the game has ever seen. And to make matters worse, his father covered up the whole episode by saying that he was dehydrated. If he wanted to be honest, why didn’t he just say he was suffering from a severe case of cotton mouth?
Many scouts have Manziel as a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Let’s face it, he’s clearly got the talent. He can sense and avoid the rush, he can make the deep throws and the throws on the run and most importantly, he can improvise in a flash.
However, if he’s doing all this off-the-field garbage the summer after winning the biggest award in college football, imagine what he’s going to do when he’s taken in the first round? The struggling NFL team won’t put up with a guy becoming a bar fly and failing to plug in his cell phone. A task that we all do every day — of course, it’s usually a lot easier when we’re not impaired.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being 20, living in the moment and soaking up the Heisman Trophy limelight. He has made the various media rounds and has been generally charismatic and accepting of becoming the face of not only Texas A&M but also all of college football.
But if he gets embarrassed in College Station on Sept. 14 by a very talented Alabama team that is out for blood this year, you can bet that many will be asking if his head has always been in the right place.
It was hard work that put Manziel on top of the college football world but it’s a string of poor decisions that will bring him back down to earth.
To contact Cory Jennerjohn e-mail him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @CoryJennerjohn.