20 Things You Never Knew About Johnny Manziel

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2014

20 Things You Never Knew About Johnny Manziel

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    Patric Schneider

    He's one of the most popular and polarizing athletes to ever play college sports, but as much as former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel gets talked about, he still has some secrets—sort of.

    And while the media continues to uncover things about "Johnny Football" in the days leading up to the NFL Draft in May, I'm giving you some things that you probably didn't know about the likely top-10 pick—and they have nothing to do with his over analyzed trip to visit the New England Patriots.

He Had His Own Camera

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Although sports fans are constantly having a ton of new media stuffed down their throats, college football absolutely ate up everything about Manziel—especially last season coming off his Heisman Trophy win.

    With so much interest in him, CBS actually had a designated camera to focus just on him during the anticipated matchup with Alabama, making him the first athlete to have a lens pointed at just him to catch all of his antics.

He’s Not Just Good at Football

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    Forget the fact that the kid was in college at playing golf at one of the most prestigious golf courses on the planet—Pebble Beach.

    What really made Manziel's trip to the course so intriguing is that he shot a 79 during his round, meaning the nickname "Johnny Football" might have to be altered to "Johnny's One Hell of an Athlete."

    I don't care who you are, that's damn impressive.

His First Love Was Baseball

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Although Manziel has already inked a major endorsement deal—more on that later—and is slated to make millions more from an NFL salary, his first love was actually another sport; baseball.

    Admitting that the diamond was his first passion and that he always wanted to play in the MLB—even once considering to try and play the sport at Texas A&M—Manziel just sort of fell short on the dream.

    Oh well, based of the accolades he has achieved from football, he seemed to choose the right sport.

Texas Didn’t Recruit Him

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    John Bazemore

    As a Texas-born-and-bred kid, there are few places that Manziel knows has the respect of people from that state like the University of Texas does.

    With great tradition and huge money from its own TV network, Longhorn Nation is one that is nearly unmatched by any other college football fan bases.

    But while the school has made wise moves in the past, deciding not to recruit Johnny Manziel as a quarterback wasn't one of them.

    Seeing how Manziel blew up at UT's rival the past two seasons, I'm sure it was just a little bit sweeter knowing he got shunned by the Longhorns.

His Dream Job Has Nothing to Do with Sports

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    Patric Schneider

    Even after writing about how Manziel has seemed to shine in all things athletics since breaking into the scene a few years ago, his dream job doesn't actually have anything to do with sports.

    That's because Johnny said he'd be back home in Tyler, Tx. with his family, doing something in oil and real estate should the whole football thing not work out.

    Given his competitiveness, thick skin and success at everything he's shown on sports, I'd bet he'd be damn good at any career he does.

He Has Huge Feet

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    Bob Levey

    Manziel might have measured just under six-feet at the NFL Combine last month, but just because he's a bit shorter than some coaches would prefer their franchise signal-caller to be, Manziel does possess some gigantic feet.

    Wearing a size 15 shoe, Johnny uses every inch he has to allude defenders out on the gridiron, so it's to his advantage to have the foot size he does.

And Ridiculously Large Hands

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    Jeff Roberson

    Although Johnny doesn't come with prototypical height for an NFL quarterback, besides his feet being huge, his paws are pretty damn massive, too.

    That's a very good thing seeing how he'll be able to control the football under extreme conditions, while consistently having velocity on his tosses—or so he hopes.

He Has Some Very Famous Friends

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    Patric Schneider

    Whether it's getting props from Miami Heat star LeBron James—more on their friendship in a bit—or hanging out with other celebs, Johnny Manziel lives the dream life for any college kid.

    And with him projected to go as high as No. 1 in the draft, we all know this dude's celebrity will continue to grow—as will his famous entourage.

He Wasn’t Highly Recruited

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    Patric Schneider

    It's true that Manziel earned his nickname of "Johnny Football" while building a legendary high school career, but it didn't seem like many high-profile colleges noticed—nor cared.

    I already mentioned how Texas ignored him, but recruiting sites actually only rated him as a three-star prospect, and ranked him as the No. 22 QB in the class of 2011.

He Signed with LeBron James' Firm, LRMR

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    Dave Martin

    LeBron James gave Johnny Manziel some dap for his pro day performance last week through Twitter, but the two have more of a relationship than just through social media.

    Choosing James' LRMR agency as his management company, Manziel and James have already appeared in a McDonald's commercial together—which probably won't be the last time the two are seen on-camera as a pair.

He's a Heisman Trendsetter

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    Patric Schneider

    There still hasn't been a true freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, but Manziel did become the first freshman to win college football's most prestigious award two seasons ago.

    And while he was electrifying as hell in 2012, his 2013 stats were even better—though he lost out to another redshirt frosh, Florida State's Jameis Winston.

    However Johnny's career ends up, he'll always have this honor associated with him.

Tom Brady Wants His Help

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    Michael Conroy

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has given some tough love to Manziel in the past, but currently, the three-time Super Bowl champ has lightened his mood towards the kid.


    The unathletic Brady allegedly reached out to see if Johnny can help with his speed training, hoping to be a little bit more fleet on his feet.

His Last Name Was Famous Even Before He Was

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    John Bazemore

    It's true that Johnny took his family name to a whole new level, but even before he was gaining football fame, the Manziel's had a recognized the last name.

    That's thanks to his grandpa taking a $400 gamble in the 1930s to buy an oil drill, which promptly paid off with him earning quite the living as an oil rigger in East Texas.

    So he may be building his own legacy by going by "Johnny Football."

He Blasted Rap at His Pro Day

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    Patric Schneider

    Typically, college players on their Pro Day's rock shorts and team gear.

    That's too boring for Manziel, though.

    Instead, Johnny came out in full gear, wearing a helmet, pads, the whole bit, to simulate everything he'd be wearing during a football game.

    And instead of crowd noise—and for sheer entertainment—Johnny blasted rap to just add to the electric atmosphere.

His Sister Has His Back

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    Jamie Martin

    I've got a couple sisters, and while I'm not Johnny Manziel, I'd hope to think that they would have my back like his sister Meri does.

    At least that was the case during Johnny's last collegiate game against Duke, whe she tweeted out how annoyed she was with one particular Blue Devil fan, and how he was messing with, "the wrong sister," should he say something else bad about her brother.

    Looks like there's no sibling rivalry in that family.

He Lost a Bet with His Dad in High School

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    Michael Conroy

    This isn't the typical bet you might be thinking, as this one dealt with helping to discipline the high school version of Manziel.

    Hoping to keep his son away from boozing in high school, John Paul Manziel told Johnny that he would get a car should he hold up to the bargain.

    Manziel didn't, and was hit hard for breaking the deal with his pops.

    In fact, Johnny's dad had the judge extend his punishment and took away the car he had bought him.

    So don't think that it has all been a spoiled life for Johnny up to this point.

He Has Serious Hops

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    I've already mentioned how Manziel stands under six-feet, but that doesn't mean the kid doesn't have some insane athleticism—as if we all didn't already know that.

    And when he's not showing it on the football field, Johnny put it on display by throwing down a few basketballs a few weeks ago.

    No, I don't think the hoop was lowered, either.

His Girlfriend's a Winner

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    As you'd expect, all of Manziel's winning in the past few years has gotten him plenty of attention from the opposite sex.

    And while we've all probably Internet stalked the girls he has had as arm candy, his current girlfriend—Lauren Hanley—seems to have gotten in on Johnny's winning ways.

    That's because she was named COED of the Year on COED.com earlier this year.

    Sure, it probably helped that she was Manziel's lady, but still, the girl's sexy all on her own.

He Nearly Transferred Before the 2012 Season

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Some fans aren't aware that, just months before earning the starting gig at A&M, Manziel was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and for having a fake ID.

    That trouble nearly led to Johnny actually packing up and leaving College Station before the 2012 season.

    Instead, he stuck it out, won his appeal to play and, well it ended with him lifting the Heisman Trophy.

His Nike Deal Is the Largest Ever for a NFL Rookie

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    Patric Schneider

    Most sports fans know by now that Johnny has inked a deal with Nike, but did you know that it's the largest contract signed by any rookie in the NFL—though official numbers weren't released.

    So how much is the apparel company banking on this guy?

    Seeing that they released limited edition Pro Day attire that he wore for NFL teams last week, I'd think it's a hell of a lot.