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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Johnny returns to Aggieland

Photo by Vanessa Peña

Smiles like these from Manziel are few and far between these days.

Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel returned to College Station for a public autograph signing session Sunday evening at Aggieland Outfitters on University Dr.
The event, which was Manziel’s first public signing since becoming a professional athlete, saw hundreds of fans brave heat, three hour long waits and spend anywhere from $125-$155 for an up-close encounter with A&M’s second-ever Heisman winner.
An initial 250 tickets were released for the signing, with an additional 100 released at a later date. Both sets sold out within 24 hours.
Fans like supply chain management junior Griffin Vela were unphased by the cost of tickets or the line that wrapped all the way around the building and zigzagged through the inside of the store.
“I love Johnny, and he really got me into football,” Vela said. “The ticket was kind of expensive but I think it’s worth it.”
For 10-year-old fan Johnny White, the chance to meet Manziel was too good to pass up.
“He’s my favorite football player and he’s just stunning on the field,” White said.
Dallas Shipp, director of marketing and communications for Aggieland Outfitters, said bringing in high-profile former A&M athletes is about more than just attracting a large number of customers to the store.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s an honor for us to have these guys back, especially for the kids,” Shipp said. “Even though they’ve been in line for an hour or two, to see them come out of line after high fiving Johnny makes all the work that goes into these events worth it.”
Shipp said giving Aggies a chance to meet their sports heroes is something the store takes pride in.
“We love having [former athletes] in here,” Shipp said. “For me, I remember guys like Ja’Mar Toombs, Rocky Bernard, Mark Farris and Reggie McNeil. For these younger fans, their heroes will always be Johnny Manziel, Ryan Swope, [Ryan] Tannehill and all those guys. To see so many kids smiling, you couldn’t ask for a better day.”
Hannah McAfee, class of 2015, said Manziel’s return to Aggieland meant a lot to her and other Aggies.
“It shows his love for the 12th Man,” McAfee said. “He’s still coming back even though he’s a big shot now.”

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