Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel talks to the media during media day ahead of the ESPN awards show in Lake Buena Vista, FLA. on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. (Joshua C. Cruey\ Orlando Sentinel) (Joshua C. Cruey / December 12, 2013)
LAKE BUENA VISTA – Johnny Manziel sat here in the same Promenade Ballroom at Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel about a year ago and discussed his future.
Back then, the Texas A&M quarterback was still making a name for himself. His surname was gone. Replaced by the flashier, alter-ego Johnny Football. He was coming off a record-breaking season with the Aggies that was earning him national attention including a spot as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy award.
The questions were a lot easier – it seemed back then – and Manziel seemed optimistic.
Appearing worn down and tired, Manziel was almost a no-show at the event. The 21-year-old was feeling ill and wasn’t expected to make an appearance. But at the last minute, there he was answering the media’s questions.
The biggest question on everybody’s mind was, once again, about his future.
A possible first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, Manziel’s next decision could be whether he sticks around another season at Texas A&M or jumps to the NFL.
“I don’t think I have a timetable yet,” he said. “I know the bowl game is our focus right now.”
“All the draft stuff and all of that will come eventually,” Manziel said, adding it is something that has been on his mind. “It’s something I’m trying to push off a little bit, but when the time comes, hopefully we’ll make the right decision whatever that will be.
"I’m having fun with it."
Not all questions were serious.
Manziel, who now has a Heisman vote as a past winner, was asked who he voted for on his ballot.
“I’m going to follow the Heisman Trust on that one and keep it quiet,” Manziel said opting not to reveal his vote. He did admit that while he was allowed to vote for himself, he did not.
“I did not vote for myself in first or second place,” he said.
The subject of his health came up and Manziel admitted he was battered and bruised after the Missouri game.
“I think my whole leg was bruised and swollen,” he admitted. “It’s a nagging injury that doesn’t want to go away.”
He did say he expects it won’t be an issue for the bowl game.
Manziel was asked how winning the Heisman last season changed his life and the redshirt junior quarterback talked about how it blossomed into something much bigger than he anticipated.
“To go from such a slow, small type-of small town College Station status where everybody knows you, and then to take that to the national level where if you walk around Times Square and people are running into you and noticing you,” Manziel said. “It’s just how big things spread out across the country and world after, that was nothing like I had expected."
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