Johnny Manziel Says He Would Give Up His Heisman Trophy for a Chance to Play for the National Championship

December 10, 2012 – 11:20 am by Chris Fedor

It was Johnny Manziel’s dream ever since he was a young kid to play at the University of Texas. Texas was actually recruiting him to play defensive back and he never received a scholarship offer from them. It’s their loss. Manziel ended up going to Texas A&M to play quarterback and it was the greatest decision he ever made. In Texas A&M’s first season in the SEC, playing against the top competition in college football, as a freshman, Manziel broke the SEC record set by Cam Newton for most yards by one player in a single season. He made incredible play after incredible play and Johnny Football became one of the most exciting players in college football. He added one more piece of hardware to his mantel Saturday night. Manziel became the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and deserved every vote that he got because he was the best player in college football this past season.

Johnny Manziel joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what he would have said a few months ago if someone told him he would be the Heisman Trophy winner, how tough it was dealing with all the added media attention, if he had to change his number because of so many calls he was receiving, if he would rather be the Heisman Trophy winner or be in the National Championship hunt, what opponent he felt was the toughest, who helped him with his speech and whether he was actually ever offered a scholarship to play at Texas.

What he would have said a few months ago if someone told me he would be the Heisman Trophy winner:

“I probably would’ve said you were crazy. (Host: When did you go, you know what, I have a chance at this thing?) There was a time after the Alabama game where talk really started to swirl and then I had to stop watching SportsCenter and stop watching some stuff just to focus on the season and not worry about this because I was the frontrunner or whatever it was.”

How tough it was dealing with all the added media attention:

“It progressively got worse as the weeks went on and it got closer to the season being over and then after that Missouri game, when the season was over, it was nothing but waiting for the Heisman and it got crazy. Couldn’t go eat anywhere without being recognized and kind of made sure I ordered stuff to go and had my roommates go pick it up. Just because I didn’t want to go out. I guess it’s a good thing to have.”

Whether he had to change his number because of the number of calls he had received:
“Had to get a new number. Just once so far.”
 
If he would rather win be the Heisman winner or be in the National Championship hunt:

“I would rather be in the National Championship hunt. (Host: You would gladly give that over to Manti Te’o to play Alabama in the National Title game?) For sure.”

On the toughest team he faced this season:

“We played three really good teams in Florida, LSU and Alabama and no disrespect to Alabama or Florida but I feel like LSU defensively was the fastest team we played all year. They had their offensive guy going there a little bit and we didn’t do some things that we wanted to so LSU defensively was the most impressive team I saw this year.”

Who helped him with his Heisman speech:

“There was a group of people within A&M that I gave kind of what I wanted to do, I put down my key points, really what I wanted to say and so many people I wanted to thank and then worded it and rearranged it into what order we wanted to do. Over the course of the week I e-mailed it to myself, went through it whenever we were at the airport or whenever I had some free time so I really wanted to make it seem like I wasn’t reading it because I did know it and I just needed to look down and kind of know you go from this step, to this step, to this step and really did kind of freelance a little bit from what I wrote.”

Whether Texas actually offered him a scholarship:

“No they did not. (Host: And you were on your way to Oregon and changed in the 11th hour?) The weird thing about that was Oregon came out to our school and we had a family friend that knew one of the recruits at Oregon and he flew out to Kirvin, the middle of nowhere, saw me throw one day and then invited us to a camp and then when I got in front of Coach Kelly and everything, I got an offer, committed, loved it, it was the best offer I could’ve ever had and loved everything about Oregon. The jerseys, school, Autzen and everything and then whenever I got back home the more thought that came into it and the more people that, the special people in my life like family and everything and I got an offer from A&M, I was like I’m a Texas kid at heart and I want to stay in Texas.”

 
Listen to Johnny Manziel on The Dan Patrick Show here

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