It all must start somewhere, right?
For Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, it was the day he left a camp early that signaled a change from being a Heisman-winning quarterback to taking the role of the “biggest celebrity college football has ever seen.”
It was reported that he was sent home from the Manning Passing Academy because he was hungover.
Manziel denied the rumors Wednesday, saying he simply overslept because the alarm on his phone did not go off because its battery ran out of power.
The Texas A&M quarterback also said it has been difficult dealing with the spotlight.
“It gets to me a little bit. I’m not going to lie,” Manziel said. “I feel like, to be honest, I haven’t done anything criminal this offseason. I haven’t done anything like that. I’ve made my mistakes. I’m still growing up. I’m still learning from that.”
The story that seems to matter so little entered the presser of a team that does not have him on the roster and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was having none of it.
“Everything that has to do with him, he’s his own man,” he said. ”I’m not going to speak on another man’s business. That’s how I was raised – if it doesn’t have anything to do with you, don’t speak of it.”
While the SEC player decided to keep his mouth shut, the members of the media all have their own take on Manziel’s dealings over his short career.
Christine Brennan of USA Today came to Manziel’s side, telling people to lay off, at least, until football season kicks off.
“It also would be helpful if all the cameras and microphones went away, and he went away too, and we could start ignoring him, at least until football season begins,” she wrote. “Yes, he’s the Heisman winner, but he’s also a kid.”
Dennis Dodd of CBS added in his column, “Unless you have a rap sheet, a formal charge or pending litigation to bring forward, shut up. Manziel is what college is about to thousands of young adults.”
Fox Sports’ Greg Couch, on the other hand, did not spare Manziel in a column about all of his antics, saying he loves the spotlight and is not a victim of it.
“I think Johnny Name-Dropper is proud of almost everything he has done, everyone he has met, just as any 20-year-old would be,” he wrote. “That doesn’t include the way the Manning camp ended.”
Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports wrote that being 20-years-old is not an excuse, either.
“Manziel won’t be held back by his inappropriate tweets or his trip to the casino or his “dehydration” over the weekend. None of those things will hurt him or his school. Fans will get over it, reporters will get over it, and scouts will get over it,” he wrote. “What might hurt him, however, is his thought process. Saying “I’m not going to change” and “I feel like everything’s fine” sounds more like denial than understanding.”