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Continued: Johnny Football in SEC spotlight: Heisman Trophy winner says 'It's time to grow up'

  • Article by: DAVID BRANDT , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 18, 2013 - 7:04 AM

— He also created a minor stir in February when he said he took most of his classes online and didn't go on campus very much.

None of the transgressions were huge, but they combined to keep Johnny Football in the news and raise questions about his character.

Every move Manziel made on Wednesday was shadowed by a media throng. At one point, the quarterback said he felt like pop star Justin Bieber.

He talked about his friendship with NBA star LeBron James, his upcoming trip to the ESPYs and all the other positives that comes from his fame.

He said his carousing has been at times "blown out of proportion," though he did acknowledge that he needs to make better decisions because he's such a public figure.

"My offseason, all the stuff's that's gone on will have no effect on this season," Manziel said. "I'm ready to stop. No more talk after this. Let's play football."

Manziel is the first freshman to win the Heisman and undeniably a unique talent on the field. He led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record, including a 6-2 mark in its first Southeastern Conference season.

Second-year coach Kevin Sumlin's hurry-up offense was a perfect match for Manziel, who finished with 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns passing and 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.

His 5,116 total yards were an NCAA freshman record and No. 9 on the NCAA's all-time list.

Sumlin and Texas A&M defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. both praised Manziel on Wednedsay.

"Johnny Football is a great guy," Hurd Jr. said. "He works hard. He's dedicated to his craft. I can't make any predictions on what he'll do, but I can tell you if you want to stop him, you might want to put 22 men on the field.

Said Sumlin: "I think (handling the Heisman spotlight is) a learning experience, a growing experience, because, quite frankly, it's something that nobody's ever been through at that age."

Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace was also at the Manning passing camp and said the other quarterbacks enjoyed their time with Manziel. Wallace said Tuesday Manziel is "a fun kid" and "may catch more slack than he should."

"It's difficult — you want to go out and do 20, 21-year-old things," Wallace said. "But at the same time, you've got to know that you're the face of a brand. Ole Miss is a huge brand, A&M's a huge brand and you've got to have that in the back of your mind with every decision that you make."

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