Johnny Manziel denies hangover rumors but defends partying ways
Fresh off a very public dismissal from the Manning Passing Academy, Johnny Manziel denied his behavior had anything to do with a hangover. He said the decision to leave was a "mutual" one between him and the Manning family.
"I overslept," Manziel said during SEC media days in Alabama. "I made a mistake." The sophomore quarterback said accounts that he was hungover were "absolutely incorrect" and his early exit "had nothing to do with the activities the night before."
Before being sent home, Manziel was photographed out on the town in Thibodaux, La., the site of the prestigious camp led by Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning. Manziel has also spent time this offseason partying with Drake, LeBron James and Jimmy Tatro.
"We worked so hard last year. I think we deserved to have a little fun this offseason," Johnny Manziel says.
On the field, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, led the Texas A&M Aggies to a Cotton Bowl victory and finished the season with 3,706 passing yards and more than 1,400 rushing yards.
"We worked so hard last year. I think we deserved to have a little fun, all of us, this offseason," Manziel said.
Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin has defended his star player's off-field antics before, but his words has a different tenor this time around.
"There's no question he's made mistakes," Sumlin said. "He's not perfect and we're not perfect."
Manziel said that Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow had called him recently to "check in" and see how he was doing.
Manziel had high praise for Tebow, calling him "an SEC legend." But Johnny Football bristled at a comparison to his fellow Heisman Trophy winner from Florida.
"I'm not Tebow. I'm different in many ways," Manziel said.
A&M kicks off the season against Rice University Aug. 31, and faces its first big test against Alabama on Sept. 14. The Aggies had a stunning victory over Alabama last season on the road. This time, the Crimson Tide rolls into Kyle Field.
"My off season and all that stuff that's gone on will have no effect on me coming into this season," Manziel said. "When it's football time, I will be 115 percent prepared to go."
Although Manziel admitted fault, he still seemed far from apologetic about his penchant for partying.
"I'm just trying to enjoy my life," Manziel said. "Hopefully that doesn't upset too many people."