Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He was not even named the Aggies’ starter until a few weeks before the season began, but by the time he was finished blowing out Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, Manziel had a Heisman Trophy and a new (extremely marketable) nickname: Johnny Football.
Under the tutelage of offensive guru, head coach Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Football absolutely thrived. He blew away the SEC’s total yardage record for a single season with 5,116 through the air and on the ground, combined, and scored a whopping 47 total touchdowns.
He was the star of the show and he loved every minute of it.
However, with his numbers, the unflappable confidence he showed in upsetting Alabama and all the publicity he has gotten off the field, people tend to forget that he is still to young to legally have a drink (well, except for when he heads down to New Orleans).
It is Sumlin’s job to make sure his star signal-caller keeps his eye on the prize. If fans and members of the media have forgotten how young and inexperienced Manziel is, Sumlin can’t help but keep it at the front of his mind.
“He can help his footwork, his mechanics, his thought process and his overall knowledge of the offense,” Kevin Sumlin said Friday, via TexAgs. “That’s all part of playing the game.
“Johnny needs to continue to get better. So I wouldn’t look for the reps to change much more than they would, particularly early in the spring. And when you have new coordinators, there’s going to be a different personality to the offense. I don’t look for the reps, particularly early in the spring, to change much more than they would in preparation for a game.”
Manziel has the opportunity to go down as one of the greatest to ever step onto a college football field. Only one player in the history of the sport, Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, has won two Heisman Trophies and, again, no one has ever put up the type of numbers Manziel has in a single year.
Johnny Football is not getting any slower. Sumlin will call for No. 2 to run out in space a number of times in 2013, but Manziel has only cracked the surface of his potential.
He can use the Spring to work to improve everything within the A&M passing game. If he can improve his timing with his elite corps of receivers, his knowledge of the playbook, his footwork and finally his arm strength, we might just be seeing Johnny Football under the bright lights of Broadway, hoisting another Heisman Trophy next season.