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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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Back on track

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Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Former A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was in attendance for A&M’s victory over Kentucky. 

A comeback is defined as a return by a well-known person, who is typically an entertainer or athlete, to something they did before and found success. However, for former Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, his comeback means more than just returning to an NFL stadium.
In the two years since his release from the Cleveland Browns, Manziel has experienced ups and downs which have been well documented since his rise to stardom after winning the Heisman.
Now, as Manziel returned to his old college stomping grounds a changed man, he said his focus aside from football is taking care of himself. Last year, Manziel announced he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is taking medication.
“I have a regime that I do,” Manziel said. “I say this sometimes, but it’s equally as important — if not more important — I can’t do what I want to do football wise if I don’t do what I need to do mental health wise. If I’m not going to see a psychiatrist and psychologist at least a couple of times a week, if I’m not going and taking my medicine that I need to take, then I’m not the same person and I see it. First things first, I can’t do me without doing the necessary steps to get my head right and that’s just the fact.”
Manziel participated in the Aggies’ 2018 Pro Day, throwing to wide receivers Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley, as well as others who participated in the drills. When asked what Tuesday’s Pro Day was like in comparison to his Pro Day a couple of years back, Manziel said they were polar opposites.
“It was a lot different, last time was a circus,” Manziel said. “We had a president here, it was nuts. We had music playing and it was a big ordeal. I was in shoulder pads and a helmet. This really wasn’t about me, it was about the guys. It was a lot more relaxing. It was a win-win situation for everybody, as far as me getting to come out and throw, [Christian] Kirk getting to catch some balls from me. I know everybody wanted to see that connection. That’s the one we missed with me leaving and him coming in.”
Attendees included Manziel’s wife, Bre Tiesi Manziel.
In interviews and on social media, Manziel has credited his wife for being a major contributor to his comeback.
Bre said she is grateful for the support her husband receives every time they come to Aggieland.
“It’s a pretty cool thing to see,” Bre said. “I didn’t do the whole college experience and I really didn’t have a background in sports whatsoever. So, when I came here, I had no idea what to expect, but it is pretty amazing how supportive this community is and how much people care about him. To go from our lows to this, it’s great to see him at a good place again. We appreciate the Aggies.”
Bre said she and Manziel met through mutual friends and have been able to remain honest and truthful to one another.
“I think our relationship does well because we’re very sarcastic and we were really good friends before we ever dated,” Bre said. “It makes it really easy to talk — we’re both very blunt, upfront people.”
Before the start of the A&M Pro Day, Bre said she and Manziel had a conversation about being able to envision what they want to accomplish and then going out and executing it in the right manner.
“Whatever you put out in the universe, you’re going to get back,” Bre said. “That’s something we work on. Obviously, he’s very talented and he has his cocky moments and that’s what makes him the player that he is, but we also we want to make sure that he’s putting out in the correct way and focusing his energy into that.”
Bre runs her own company, Bodies by Bre, which focuses on workout routines designed to help women lose weight and tone their bodies. Bre said the passion for working out she and Manziel share and their competitive nature allow their relationship to thrive while also staying on track to reach their goals.
“Fitness is a really good base for us,” Bre said. “Because I’m getting up in the mornings, so even the days that he doesn’t want to get up I’m like, ‘Alright, what time are you going to the gym because I’m going at nine.’ It’s always cool ‘cause he’s very competitive, so I’ve learned [to say], ‘Okay I’m going, and I was there for two hours, when are you going?’ So it’s fun. We push each other.”
Manziel said the question of whether or not he’ll be invited to a training camp will not burden him moving forward. He said he plans to make the most of the opportunities given to him throughout his comeback.
“I’ve blocked it off,” Manziel said. “I can’t do anything, I can’t stress about it. All I can do is make sure I am where I need to be. Where I’m at mentally, physically and when I get a chance to go to the Spring League — being there, getting to do the film stuff, getting back in to the real football stuff, not just coming out and throwing and working out. The Spring League gives me a little bit of a practice setting.”
Mike Evans, current Tampa Bay wide receiver and one of Manziel’s top targets in college, said he looks forward to what the future holds for Manziel and hopes to see him back in the NFL.
“I think he is an NFL guy,” Evans said. “Starting from the bottom up is good. It shows that he’s willing to work. He just loves football.”
Johnny said regardless of if he gets an offer to play in the NFL, he will play football this year in the Canadian Football League. However, Johnny said he will try and exhaust his resources to try and stay stateside.
“If something pops up, then it pops up,” Manziel said. “If not, I’m going to go play in the CFL and things are going to be fine. One way or another, one day down the line, I’ll get back to exactly where I want to be. I’m not going to stop ‘till I do.”

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