Johnny Manziel enjoys the limelight - or so it would seem. Since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the Texas A&M quarterback has been scrutinized for everything from choice seats at NBA playoff games to reportedly getting thrown out of a fraternity party last week.
And his father is concerned all the media attention is equating to mounting pressure that will culminate in a bad situation.
"Yeah, it could come unraveled," Paul Manziel told Wright Thompson in an interview with ESPN the Magazine. "And when it does, it's gonna be bad. Real bad," Paul Manziel said. "It's one night away from the phone ringing, and he's in jail. And you know what he's gonna say? 'It's better than all the pressure I've been under. This is better than that.'"
Manziel's father went on to say his son drinks to cope with stress and that he has anger issues. After his arrest in 2012 on a misdemeanor assault charge, Johnny's parents and Aggies football coach Kevin Sumlin mandated he visit an alcohol counselor.
"I don't know where the anger comes from," said Paul Manziel, who added he doesn't like to even play golf with his son because of it. "I don't think he knows. If it comes from his drinking, or if he's mad at himself for not being a better person when he fails, when he fails God and his mom and me. If it makes him angry that he's got demons in him. You can only speculate because you can't go in there."
Manziel told the magazine that he views it as his duty to provide his son guidance because, "The school sure the hell isn't gonna do it," and suggested Johnny will leave for the 2014 NFL Draft after just his redshirt sophomore season because the family is growing weary of NCAA investigations.
"It's starting to get under our skin," Paul says. "They're so selfish."
Johnny Manziel was asked to leave a fraternity party at a bar near the rival University of Texas in Austin on Friday night, according to multiple reports. SB Nation's Burnt Orange Nation website said Manziel was dealt with quickly and harshly soon after he arrived. The following day, Manziel was reportedly spotted again in Austin at another fraternity party wearing a Tim Tebow New York Jets jersey.
It's the latest in a long line of high-profile off-field stories involving Manziel this offseason.
He has been seen on the beach in Cabo and playing golf at Pebble Beach. He left the Manning Passing Camp in Louisiana earlier this month after saying he overslept. The 20-year-old also recently reached a plea agreement on a misdemeanor assault charge from a 2012 arrest after allegedly shoving a graduate assistant coach. He has also been embroiled in controversy over his postings on Twitter.
Manziel's parents would like to have bodyguards from Houston be around whenever their son goes out to help diffuse any situations.
At the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. earlier this month, Manziel said he feels like a rock star.
"The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago," Manziel said. "I guess I feel like Justin Beiber or something. I never thought it would really be that way."
While Manziel's father has expressed concern about how the program is dealing with all the attention thrust upon his son, the quarterback has expressed regret to Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin for bringing negative attention to the program.
"I feel like, to be honest, I haven't done anything criminal this offseason," Manziel said at the Media Days. "I haven't done anything like that. I've made my mistakes. I'm still growing up. I'm still learning from that.
"At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to make mistakes and the big thing for me is to learn from them and not make the same one twice."
However, Johnny's father admits his son becomes more of a mystery with the more fame he receives.
"I really don't know what makes him tick," Paul told Thompson.