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Manziel talks football, friendships and fame
College football » Heisman winner isn’t concerned about pressure, expectations.


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That includes making friends with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, who during the season will be among the players standing between Texas A&M and a chance at a Southeastern Conference championship or more.

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"Once football season comes around, that’s when it becomes rivals," Manziel said. "Off the field, we’re all 20, 21-year-old kids just enjoying going to school, playing football and like doing the same things. Me and him have talked on Twitter, exchanged numbers and still continue to talk every couple weeks. So I’m maybe building a little bit of a friendship there, maybe going on a trip together this summer some time or just trying to be friends and hang out and have fun."

This July, Manziel plans to serve as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., where he was a camper while in high school.

Manning said he looks forward to having Manziel back in a new role.

In introducing Manziel to a luncheon crowd gathered for the Manning Award trophy presentation at the Manning family’s downtown restaurant, Archie Manning talked of how extraordinary he thought it was for Manziel to do what he did in his first season in the SEC, a conference renowned not only for its string of national champions, but also for defenses loaded with NFL prospects.


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Manning highlighted Manziel’s performance against Arkansas, in which the Aggie QB compiled 557 total yards.

"That day he broke a 43-year-old Southeastern Conference record set by an Ole Miss quarterback in 1969 vs. Alabama," Manning said, referring to his own 540-yard performance against the Crimson Tide. "Thanks a hell of a lot, Johnny."

Manning and Manziel both said they were aware of comparisons made of their free-wheeling, scrambling style of play.

Manning said Manziel’s 2012 season was among the best he’d ever seen for a college quarterback and was flattered to hear people say Manziel reminded them of his days at Ole Miss. Manziel, meanwhile, said being compared to Archie Manning is "awesome," and an honor.

Manziel will be eligible to enter the NFL draft after his next season. He said he’ll make that decision with family and his Texas A&M coaches when the time is right.

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