The above photo came from ESPN's Dari Nowkhah, who is anchoring the network's coverage of the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. You can't really see him, but Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is sitting at the table, taking questions from the hundreds of reporters in attendance.
Manziel handled himself well, repeatedly stating that he was a 20-year-old college kid and while he was having fun this offseason, the much-publicized activities wouldn't affect his play on the field.
The following Manziel quotes cover a wide, wide range of topics.
On what he felt like with all of the cameras surrounding him:
"I guess I feel like Justin Bieber or something."
His thoughts on the Canadian pop star:
"Kid can’t even go out and kick a can without upsetting somebody."
On what happened at the Manning camp:
“I simply overslept. There’s nothing more to talk, and the rumors about the other things weren’t really true. I just overslept and missed a meeting. I absolutely lived up to it. There was no excuse for not having my phone charged or having an alarm set. I was disappointed to not go on being a camper there three or four years prior. I was upset with myself, that was the biggest thing, but hearing Eli and Peyton afterward and the key thing was they wanted me to come back next year, that was great because I had such a great time working with the kids I had and doing some things we do at A&M. I’ve just been on a hectic schedule and overslept.”
On his relationship with the Manning family:
"I will go back to the Manning camp. They’ve invited me back. I think that’s a huge part that people didn’t really hold onto, if something really would have been wrong, there wouldn’t be a reason for Eli or any of them to have me back."
On dealing with the post-Heisman hype:
"I never realized the magnitude of it. People told me but you never really understand until you go through it and deal with it."
On why he hasn't posted on Twitter in a while:
"I haven’t had anything interesting to say. Twitter is what it is, learned a lot from it, probably hindered myself at times."
On critics blaming any disappointment on the football field on his offseason activities:
"I’m fine with that. My offseason, all the stuff that’s gone on, will have no effect on me. Last year still going to games, still having a lot of fun, didn’t really factor in, people didn’t care."
On Peyton comparing him to a 20-year-old Eli:
"I’d be okay with that, I’d be fine with that. I didn’t know Eli when he was 20 but things worked out for him so I’d take that for sure."
On someone he could potentially learn from:
"Cam Newton, probably. He was here for one year, at the top of the world. I remember watching him, the SEC was Cam’s that year. A guy I absolutely admire and love watching play."
On his goals for the year:
"I want to go to the SEC Championship, win the SEC Championship and be in Pasadena this year."
On going against South Carolina's monster defensive lineman:
"I would love to play Jadeveon Clowney, there’s so much talk, I would love to play him. Hopefully we do get a chance to play him this year because that’ means we’re in the SEC Championship. He’s a great player and a freak athlete, I’d love to get to go against him."
On his relationship with his teammates:
“It’s great. Nothing has changed. They understand, the leaders of the team, they’re there for me, texting me and saying your not doing anything we’re not doing. We’re working hard, enjoying life. I love those guys, wouldn’t be here without them, and their opinion, and my family and my coaches’ opinion, that’s all that matters to me.”
On another much-hyped Heisman winner:
"Tebow’s a guy I really look up to, an SEC legend. I can only hope I reach the level and do the things that he did at Florida."
On whether the media scrutiny will change him:
"I’m just in a different spotlight. No matter what happens I’m going to adapt but I’m not going to change. I’m still the same person that I was."
On Texas and Texas A&M no longer playing:
“It is upsetting. I loved watching that game as a kid.”
On interacting with the various famous people he's met since winning the Heisman:
"It’s been a blessing, I don’t get too nervous any more, I just go up and introduce myself, I’m trying to learn something from them."
On his television viewing habits:
"I used to be a person that watched ESPN and "SportsCenter" all day, every day. I
shy away from it now."
On his friendship with A.J. McCarron:
"We’re just buddies, he’s a great quarterback, he’s done a lot. He can sit and talk about the rings and I can talk about the trophy and I want what he has and he might want what I have."
Bonus quote from Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews: "I trust Johnny. I have faith in Johnny."
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