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The Oral History of Johnny Football
Andy Staples
December 10, 2012
FRIENDS, FAMILY, COACHES AND TEXAS A&M QB JOHNNY MANZIEL HIMSELF EXPLAIN HOW HE WENT FROM HYPERCOMPETITIVE TEXAS TOT TO BEST PLAYER IN THE NATION
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December 10, 2012

The Oral History Of Johnny Football

FRIENDS, FAMILY, COACHES AND TEXAS A&M QB JOHNNY MANZIEL HIMSELF EXPLAIN HOW HE WENT FROM HYPERCOMPETITIVE TEXAS TOT TO BEST PLAYER IN THE NATION

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—Michelle Manziel

"I'm ushering all the [college guys] around. They'd say, 'Well, we're going to recruit him as an athlete and not a quarterback.' I'd go, 'Are you crazy?' I'd walk them down to our offensive line and say, 'Do you see these guys? Do you really think these guys are going to hold up against the teams we're going to play?' I'm not being ugly, they'll bust their tails, they'll try hard, but we're talking about 170-pound guys going against 280, 300. [Manziel's] going to get the ball across the line. I would tell these guys, 'Find a better guy to do that than him.'

"Texas A&M was offering him as an athlete. Then Rossley came to one of our games. That was the night Johnny broke the [Texas] record for most pass attempts in a ball game. People said, 'Did you know you threw the ball 75 times?' I said, 'Well, we called more than 75 passes.' We couldn't block them up front. The only way we could do it was in [Johnny's] hands.... That's when they started to change their tune."

—Julius Scott

"He's got huge hands. I coached Brett Favre for six years [with the Packers]. Brett has huge hands. I think the size of a quarterback's hands is every bit as important or more important than the height of the quarterback. Really, he's a lot like Brett. He is so competitive that he doesn't want to give up on any play. If a play breaks down, he will try to extend the play and try to make chicken salad out of it. Brett would have some plays where you'd walk away and say, 'How'd he do that?' I'd never been around any other quarterback until Johnny that makes plays and you say, 'How'd he do that?'

"It was the hard for him to back out and tell Oregon, No."

—Tom Rossley

"I thought he was bigger. From watching his highlight film, you start to get this Paul Bunyan feeling. You look at him as he gets closer and you say, 'I guess this is him.' That's the first impression. Then he starts throwing the ball."

—George Whitfield, the San Diego--based quarterback coach who worked with Manziel

"We'd go on the other field. Coach Sherman wouldn't even see us. We'd come back and say, 'It's already over. We scored. It only took Johnny about three plays.' I used to try to get other coaches to watch our practice tape from the other field because it was so exciting."

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