The Ultimate Johnny Manziel Texas A&M Timeline
That's the name of the Kanye West tune that accompanied the 2012 highlight reel that Texas A&M released in mid-November.
Since that time, all Manziel has done is set the SEC's single-season total yardage record and become the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
But it wasn't easy for Manziel. There were plenty of bumps along the way to become a modern-day college football superstar.
Here's a look at how Johnny Manziel became "Johnny Football."
June 27, 2010: Johnny Manziel Commits to Oregon
Johnny Manziel received good news the weekend of June 27, 2010 while attending camp at the University of Oregon—an offer from then-head coach Chip Kelly to sign with the Ducks.
It makes sense. After all, Manziel was a 4-star dual-threat quarterback from 247Sports.com and a perfect fit to run Kelly's spread offense in Eugene.
Oregon was a program on the rise, and it certainly could benefit from Manziel's ability to run with the football, make smart decisions and be accurate on the run.
At that point, the Kerrville, Texas native had attended a few camps at the major universities in the state of Texas, but had yet to receive an offer from Texas A&M.
Sept. 20, 2010: Manziel Flips to Texas A&M
After receiving an offer from Texas A&M in late August, Manziel made unofficial visits to College Station twice in early September 2010 according to his 247Sports.com timeline.
The lure of playing for the home-state Aggies was too much to overcome for Manziel.
On September 20 he made the flip to the Aggies and then-head coach Mike Sherman in order to stay closer to home.
This time, it stuck. Manziel would ultimately sign with the Texas A&M on Feb. 2, 2011, and his march to superstardom officially began.
April 28, 2012: Manziel Takes a Back Seat
After sitting out his redshirt season of 2011, Manziel found himself in a four-way battle to replace him at the top of the Aggies' depth chart in spring practice. Not an easy task. After all, filling first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill's shoes in a new system with new coaches in a new conference is a lot to ask.
Despite a strong spring, rising sophomore Jameill Showers appeared to have the edge on Manziel, Matt Joeckel and Matt Davis; after Showers completed 20-of-31 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns in Texas A&M's spring game.
Manziel was down, but not out. He scheduled a trip to San Diego to work with noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. for a week that May. One of the primary tweaks made to Manziel's game that trip was an emphasis on redistributing power to his lower body.
June 29, 2012: The Arrest
Early in the morning of June 29, 2012, Manziel was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by fighting, failure to identify and possession of a fake driver's license.
It was a major blow to the redshirt freshman, who was already behind Showers in the race to win the starting job. Now not only was Manziel fighting an uphill battle on the field, he had to win back the trust of head coach Kevin Sumlin and the new coaching staff.
It was the low point of the year for Manziel, but things were about to turn around in a hurry.
Aug. 15, 2012: Manziel Wins the Starting QB Job
Don't call it a comeback, even though it kind of was.
Despite opening camp behind Showers and trying to overcome the offseason arrest, Manziel made history.
On Aug. 15, 2012, Texas A&M announced that Manziel would be the starting quarterback of the Aggies when the season kicked off in Shreveport, La., against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30 (that game would later be moved to Oct. 13 due to Hurricane Isaac).
According to 247Sports.com, he was the first redshirt freshman quarterback of the modern era to open the season as Texas A&M's starting quarterback.
No pressure, kid.
Sept. 17, 2012: Manziel Lights Up SMU
Johnny Manziel showed flashes of what he was capable of in Texas A&M's 20-17 season-opening loss to Florida on Sept. 8, but we didn't get to know "Johnny Football" until Sept. 17 when the Aggies went on the road to take on SMU.
Manziel exploded against the Mustangs, throwing for what was then an A&M freshman record 294 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 124 rushing yards and two more scores in the Aggies' 48-3 rout of SMU.
The offensive outburst earned Manziel SEC Freshman of the Week honors from the SEC office. It was the first time Manziel's name appeared on the SEC's weekly award release, but it wouldn't be the last.
Over the course of the season, Manziel would win 12 weekly awards from the SEC. There's no truth, however, to the rumor that the SEC Freshman of the Week award will be renamed "The Manziel."
It probably should be though.
Sept. 29, 2012: The First SEC Win
Manziel closed out a strong September with a fantastic game against Arkansas in a 58-10 win over Arkansas in College Station.
He threw for a school-record 453 yards and tossed three touchdowns, while adding 104 rushing yards and another touchdown in the win, setting the SEC and Texas A&M records for total offense in a game with 557 total yards.
Not surprisingly, Manziel took home the SEC's Offensive Player of the Week and "The Manziel" (yes, this is a serious campaign to rename the SEC's freshman of the week award).
Sure, it was Arkansas and Arkansas was a disaster in 2012. But we saw Manziel do things on the football field that Saturday that are difficult to do against air—much less an SEC defense with SEC-caliber players.
Oct. 13, 2012: The Louisiana Tech Game
At this point in the season, it was pretty difficult for Manziel to one-up himself on a weekly basis.
But he managed to do it on Oct. 13 in a wild affair with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
After leading his team to a big lead, the Aggies' defense allowed the Bulldogs back into the game and Manziel was forced into a Texas-style shootout.
Manziel passed for 395 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 181 yards and three more touchdowns, and re-set the SEC's total offense record. The last of his touchdowns came with 2:04 to play, when he took off on a designed run down the right side for a 72-yard touchdown to give A&M 59-44 lead.
That was enough—barely. The Aggies would hold on for the 59-57 win, and Manziel would win the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week Award.
Oh, he also won the SEC's Offensive Player of the Week award and "The Manziel." But you probably already guessed that.
Oct. 31, 2012: Halloween
Halloween 2012 was the weekend in which Manziel went from star football player to Internet sensation.
Why, you ask?
The guy showed up to the Northgate District as Scooby-Doo like a boss and was the hit of the party.
"He would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids."
Well, and the Internet.
Nov. 10, 2012: The Heisman Moment
Yeah, Manziel had been great so far during his redshirt freshman campaign. But he couldn't really lead his team over the vaunted Alabama defense on the road, could he?
He could, and he did.
The Aggies jumped out on the Crimson Tide early, scoring 20 points in the first quarter, highlighted by Manziel's 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 when he scrambled, fumbled the football, regained control and found Ryan Swope in the back of the end zone.
Manziel's stats that afternoon—253 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 92 rushing yards—were rather pedestrian by Manziel standards.
It didn't matter. He still earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.
He shocked the world on that Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa and vaulted himself from fringe Heisman candidate to Heisman front-runner in the span of four hours.
Dec. 8, 2012: Manziel Makes Heisman History
After a week of claiming some of the most prominent awards in college football, Manziel took home the game's ultimate personal prize—the Heisman Trophy.
The kid that was fighting for his job just six months prior became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, beating out Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State's Collin Klein for the award.
"I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid, running around the backyard pretending I was Doug Flutie, throwing Hail Marys to my dad," Manziel told the Associated Press after hoisting the trophy.
The vote wasn't all that close. Manziel topped second-place Te'o 2,029 points to 1,706 points, garnering 474 first place votes in the process—153 more votes than the senior linebacker for the Fighting Irish.
Dec. 19, 2012: The Courtside Tour Begins
How does a redshirt freshman celebrate?
By hob-nobbing with NBA superstars, of course.
Manziel lit the Internet up on Dec. 19 when he posted a picture of himself striking the Heisman pose with Houston Rocket star James Harden in the locker room after sitting courtside at the Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers game.
The very next night, he was shown on TV sitting courtside when the Miami Heat visited the Dallas Mavericks. That fueled speculation on whether Manziel, who is still an amateur athlete, could afford such a pricey ticket.
Manziel defended himself with a tweet.
Bought myself a little birthday present tonight stop hating! #HEATvsMAVS— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) December 21, 2012
That was probably the moment where the perception changed. Fair or not, it was when the public perception shifted to view Manziel more like a superstar celebrity than a college kid having fun.
Jan. 4, 2013: Back to Football...at Least for the Moment
After the winter awards tour and taking in a few NBA games, it was back to football for Manziel.
He picked up right where he left off.
Facing a familiar foe in the Oklahoma Sooners, Manziel showed the Sooners what the new-look Texas A&M program was all about, to the tune of 287 passing yards, 229 rushing yards and four total touchdowns (two run, two pass).
In a season full of records, Manziel closed the season in true Manziel style setting the Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards.
There's no such thing for Manziel.
Jan. 4-5, 2013: The Celebration
How did Manziel tie a bow on a successful redshirt freshman campaign? By living it up, of course.
After slicing and dicing through the Oklahoma Sooner defense, Manziel then crossed the border and took some of Oklahoma's money. Legally, of course.
To celebrate the Cotton Bowl win, Manziel and some friends went gambling at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. It was a successful trip, as Manziel posted a picture of himself a two friends showing off their winnings at the 18-and-over establishment.
But Manziel wasn't done celebrating.
The next night he was photographed by TMZ.com popping bottles of Dom Perignon at a Dallas-area club. According to TMZ the 20-year-old Manziel wasn't breaking the law since his parents were present at the establishment.
Legally gambling? Drinking? Having fun with friends?
How dare he. Clearly, Manziel is out of control (tongue firmly planted in cheek).
Manziel told the Associated Press that he needs to make some better decisions in the future, but he really didn't have to. The only issue may be to be less transparent in the day and age of social media, but that's a common problem these days.
Jan. 24, 2013: Shots, Shots, Shots
You're not a true celebrity until you have your own trick-shot video, but when the new Dude Perfect trick-shot video featuring Johnny Manziel hit YouTube on Jan. 24, it sealed the deal.
This video is just silly. From hitting moving targets in the indoor facility to "skeet shooting" with footballs to hitting a basket from the top of Kyle Field's end-zone stands, this video has it all—including an overuse of the Superman pose.
Manziel is the first true college football celebrity of the social media age. Sure, Tim Tebow and Cam Newton existed in the age of social media, but Manziel clearly is using it.
Good for him. After all, not many of us can do the things seen in the video above.
The Week of Feb. 3, 2013: Super Bowl and Mardi Gras
With the Super Bowl taking place a six- or seven-hour a drive from College Station, you'd imagine everyone would want to head to the Big Easy and take part in the festivities.
Well, Manziel did—and we saw a play-by-play of the events live on Twitter and Instagram.
From partying with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, to hanging with the Duck Dynasty brothers to posing for the camera with Rob Gronkowski, Manziel made the rounds and then some during Super Bowl week.
Manziel decided to stick around with thousands of his new-found friends to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Big Easy, which was also well-documented on his Instagram account.
Did it seem like he was boasting a bit? That's in the eye of the beholder.
But you know who else would take pictures at Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl and post them on social media? Other 20-year-olds.
Do your thing, Johnny.
Feb. 19, 2013: The Online Class Saga
How do you know the offseason has dragged on too long? When we are discussing the legitimacy of a player's full load of course work is certainly a definitive signal.
Manziel made headlines in mid-February when it was revealed that he was taking...get this...four online classes.
How dare he not show up on campus with the regular students? Clearly, his ego is too big for College Station!
Well, not really.
The truth is that online classes are becoming more and more popular, and he certainly isn't the only person in the world that sees a benefit from working from home, the road or anywhere he wants. I have an 11-step commute and work from the house, and it's pretty convenient.
The one issue I've had with Manziel this offseason is him saying that his presence would cause a distraction. Cam Newton is a much bigger star than Manziel and is taking classes at Auburn this semester. It was an issue for about 48 hours for him. After that, it just became routine.
March 23, 2013: The Shoving "Incident"
If you ever needed an example of the overwhelming magnifying glass that exists over the head of a Heisman Trophy winner, here's a prime example.
After throwing an interception in practice, a giddy defensive graduate assistant celebrated a little too close to Manziel. As expected, Manziel shoved him. He didn't punch him, kick him or put him in a sleeper hold. He shoved him.
Not a big deal.
Until it was.
The story took on a life of its own, despite the fact that similar incidents take place on practice fields around the country all the time, as my colleague over at Your Best 11 Michael Felder so eloquently points out.
Still though, it's clear at this point that Manziel is out of control. Shoving GAs? Partying with his friends? Online classes??? OUT OF CONTROL.
March 27, 2013: Twitter Timeout
In an effort to distance himself from the noise that is generated from Twitter, Manziel decided to take a Twitter timeout on March 27.
Probably a good idea.
Even though social media is common these days, it can be perceived as boasting and self-indulgent due to its personal nature.
With Texas A&M in the midst of spring practice, Manziel taking a step back from the keyboard will allow himself to ignore the "haters" and the Internet tough guys, and focus on football.
For everybody's sake, let's hope this hiatus isn't permanent. A social media world without Manziel simply isn't as exciting.
March 31, 2013: Social Media Loophole
Manziel self-imposed a Twitter ban (although he broke it for a moment before deleting some song lyrics according to LarryBrownSports.com), but that doesn't mean he has sworn off social media altogether.
"Johnny Football's" Instagram account is alive and well, and it gave us this picture of the Heisman Trophy winner and Miami Heat superstar Lebron James following the Heat's 88-86 win over the San Antonio Spurs on March 31.
What? How did Manziel make it to San Antonio? He's supposed to be taking online classes!!!
Relax, it was a Sunday and there is Internet in San Antonio.
April 7, 2013: First Pitch at the Rangers Game
Even though he's in the midst of spring practice, that didn't prevent Manziel from making a trip up the road to Arlington to take in a Texas Rangers game.
The rising sophomore was invited to throw out the first pitch of Rangers' game versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before the broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN2.
He was smart to stick with football.
Manziel played shortstop in high school, but a throw like that would get his first baseman destroyed. His pitch was high and inside, and probably would have hit a right-handed batter.
Maybe he is out of control. "Out of control." Get it?
It's been quite a journey for Manziel as a member of the Texas A&M football program, and the next year should be a lot of fun to watch.