Johnny Manziel's inclusion in the college football preview issue of ESPN The Magazine was a foregone conclusion. But Wright Thompson's 6,000-word profile on the Texas A&M sophomore quarterback is full of surprises.
Focusing on his bad temper, Thompson reveals that the Heisman Trophy winner frequently breaks his cell phone in anger, is prone to throwing golf clubs, and has been referred to therapists on multiple occasions.
Not that Manziel doesn't have reason to be angry. His black Mercedes Benz was recently keyed, and he can scarcely go out in public without being mobbed. Thompson writes that his inability to control his emotions is a family tradition. His father, Paul, saw a promising golf career derailed by his immaturity, and his temper continues to strain the entire family's relationship with Texas A&M.
His family doesn't think Manziel will be in College Station for more than a season, and they're not exactly torn up about it. They reportedly had to fight Texas A&M to get their hands on the Heisman Trophy, which now resides in Tyler, though he would like to take it home himself.
In an odd move, Thompson's story includes a futuristic Associated Press headline of Manziel's career flaming out after an arrest in the Dallas suburb of Plano.
PLANO, TEXAS (AP) -- Johnathan Paul Manziel, who captured the nation's attention en route to winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy, was arrested in suburban Dallas on Tuesday. The future of the trophy, like Manziel, remains in limbo.
Perhaps Thompson is onto something about Manziel's downward spiral. After all, Thompson wrote this profile days after Manziel's parking ticket incident, a relative nonstarter considering just weeks later the kid was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy and a fraternity party in Austin.
Nevertheless, it seems premature to write off a 20-year-old phenom whose most recent accomplishment is winning the Heisman Trophy because he's a hothead on the golf course and likes to drink alcohol.
As Manziel said at SEC Media Days earlier this month, he's looking forward to once again being judged by what he does on the football field, not off it.
"My offseason 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."