Texas A&M Football: Johnny Manziel Can Now Focus on Season

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistAugust 29, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, TX - APRIL 13:  Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 looks to pass during the Maroon & White spring football game at Kyle Field on April 13, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

There are likely few college football players in the country who must have looked forward to August 31 as much as Johnny Manziel.

On that date, the sophomore quarterback for Texas A&M will start to make headlines for what he is doing on the field and not off of it.

It has been a tumultuous offseason for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Manziel has drawn criticism for everything from tweeting about his frustration with the College Station police department, to attending a fraternity party in Austin.

The allegations that Manziel received compensation for autographs broke on the first day of A&M's Fall camp, and called into question whether the Aggies would have their quarterback for the 2013 season.  

The investigation resulted in Manziel being suspended for the first half of the Rice game. He will be eligible for play during the second half against Rice and for the rest of the season. 

Manziel can now concentrate on what he does best, which is help the A&M score touchdowns and lead the Aggies to victories. With Manziel under center, Texas A&M fans have plenty to be excited about in 2013. 

The Aggies are ranked in the top 10 entering the season and are expected to compete for the Southeastern Conference and BCS titles. The Aggies have a slew of talented skill players on offense surrounding Manziel. 

At running back, the Aggies have four players who are difference makers. Senior running back Ben Malena, sophomore Trey Williams, sophomore Brandon Williams and sophomore Tra Carson all rushed for more than 200 yards last season. 

Sophomore wide receiver Mike Evans returns to lead the unit after leading the team with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards in 2012. He will be joined by junior Malcome Kennedy and a large group of freshmen receivers who are trying to make their mark in Aggieland. 

Texas A&M may have the tallest crop of pass-catchers in the country.

Evans stands 6'5" and is joined by 6'6" freshman receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, 6'3" freshman JaQuay Williams, 6'4" redshirt freshman Edward Pope and 6'6" tight end Cameron Clear. 

Manziel will be protected by an offensive line that returns three starters from the 2012 unit. Senior left tackle Jake Matthews was an All-American in 2012

Clarence McKinney took over as the play-caller when Kliff Kingsbury left A&M to become the head coach at Texas Tech. The offense is Kevin Sumlin's baby and Aggie fans should not expect to see much variation as long as Sumlin is the head coach. 

On defense, the Aggies returned five starters. All-American defensive end Damontre Moore left early for the NFL, which created a void on the defensive line. 

Sophomore defensive end Julien Obioha will be looked upon to provide a pass rush for Mark Snyder's defense. The Aggies do return a veteran secondary. De'Vante Harris, Deshazor Everett, Floyd Raven and Howard Matthews have all seen extended playing time in the SEC.

Raven will miss the first game of the season while Everett will sit out the first half as they both serve suspensions for the same incident.  

Texas A&M has the talent in place to make a run at the national championship. Now that all of the distractions of the offseason are over, they can finally focus on just playing football.