FORT WORTH — Winning the Heisman Trophy was a big deal for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Winning the Davey O'Brien award is also a big deal — but in a different way.
On Monday night, Manziel was in Fort Worth to official accept his award.
"It's a big deal because you want to be the best at your position, you want to be the best at what you do, so this award symbolizes that for my position, so for me that's a big 'wow' factor," Manziel said.
To say that Manziel has gone through a lot the last few months would be an understatement, and the scrutiny that he has received for his off-the-field activities have gone through the roof.
It's been a learning experience for him and his family.
"I just told him he needs to find a quiet getaaway, read, and just relax... watch some TV and do the things he does without all the pictures and the autographs and the stuff which what I said, it’s never going to go away," said his father, Paul Manziel. "You're two months into a lifetime career of it, so get used to it — but you need your down time."
"He's got it tough now with all these cell phones and all this social media stuff, it’s going to be tough on him, but it seems like he's got a good head on his shoulders," said former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon, who won the Davey O'Brien award in 1981. "I talked a little bit to him last night, I talked to his folks. It’s going to be a good ride for him."
"It gives you thick skin for sure," Johnny Manziel said. "You kind of let things roll off your back a little bit more now. People are going to hate, and so some things when you're doing great things in your life. For me, just take it in stride and realize that's part of it."
Manziel also clarified the "Dude Perfect" video where he hit a basketball goal with a football from the top of Kyle Field.
"The last one took less than five takes," Manziel said. "The first one kind went off the backboard and like, 'Oh, I can throw it that far.' It was as far as I could throw it; one just happened to look really good and it went in. You can tell from the reaction that we were all pretty shocked."
Shocked, yes — but in a Cinderella year, anything is possible.