By JULIE TAKAHASHI, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Johnny Manziel’s Southeastern Conference Media Day consisted of hundreds of media members.  The Heisman Trophy winner took to the crowd in stride and didn’t seem to be phased by all the attention the Texas A&M quarterback has faced this off-season.  Manziel at one point addressed all the cameras surrounding him saying, “I guess I feel like Justin Bieber or something.”

The 20-year-old sophomore answered every question respectfully, and handled the 30-minute Q&A with maturity.  “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything that’s catastrophic,” Manziel said. “Of course, I’ve made my mistakes. It’s time to grow up.”

National Football Post writer Joe Fortenbaugh talked with SportsRadio 610’s MAD Radio about Johnny Manziel’s popularity.  “Manziel’s turning into that Tebow-esque character,” Fortenbaugh said, clarifying not as individuals but as popularity.  “He’s starting to fill that void that Tebow left when he went to the NFL.”

Manziel also addressed his latest headline from last weekend’s early dismissal from the Manning Passing Academy.  Manziel was supposed to be a counselors at the camp for high school prospects run by the famous Manning Family;  Archie, Peyton and Eli, but he left before it was over.  He told the media that he “overslept,” and his absence had nothing to do with being out the night before.  “I was not asked to leave. It was a mutual decision,” Manziel said.

Fortenbaugh thinks to an extent, that his early departure from the Manning Passing Academy is being “a bit blown out of proportion.”

“The speculation of me being too hung over and that’s the reason I missed the meetings is absolutely incorrect,” he said.  Manziel went on to say he fell asleep without setting his alarm and his phone died during the night.  He said he was rooming with Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, but that McCarron didn’t wake him up.  “I’m definitely not going to pin it on him,” Manziel said. “It’s my fault — 115, 120 percent.”

According to the Associated Press, Manziel said he was disappointed he missed camp activities, but that there were “no hard feelings” between him and the Mannings. He said he’s already been invited back to next summer’s camp and looks forward to attending.

Manziel is the first freshman to win the Heisman and led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record, including a 6-2 mark in its first SEC season.

“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.”   Fortenbaugh adds to those sentiments by believing the key for him is “winning” saying, “if this team is in national title contention, nobody’s going to care what happened off the field.”

Manziel needs to remember the 2013 Nike ad: “Winning takes care of everything”


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