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November 26, 2012

Manziel meets the media

Here are the highlights from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's first teleconference with the national media:

On the nickname "Johnny Football":

"Johnny Football was thrown out there when I first got here to A&M and I think it is pretty funny."

On his success this season:

"I hold myself to high standards. I did not think I would have this much success. It speaks volumes about our team and the strides we have taken."

On being a Heisman contender:

"The Heisman is something I dreamed about as a kid and would be a dream come true (to win it)."

On playing for Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury:

"I got a chance to watch Houston play under Coach Sumlin and Coach Kingsbury. They were known to wow others with the way the offense can get the ball down the field."

On beating Alabama:

"We wanted to play as fast and hard as possible against Alabama but we did keep the same game plan (as usual)."

On whether there's additional pressure on him now because of the Heisman hype:

"Is there more pressure now? I don't think of it as pressure. I am extremely blessed to be here and I just go out and play the game I love."

On his career at Kerrville Tivy:

"At Tivy we ran a similar offense so it was an easier transition for me when Coach Sumlin and his staff got here. Tivy helped me become mentally tough."

On whether he thinks he's the Heisman favorite:

"I don't know if I am the Heisman front runner. I am just doing what my coaches tell me to do for the bowl game. It will all play it's self out."

On his growth and the offense's growth this season:

"Each weak our offense has continued to
grow. At the South Carolina State game I remember Coach Kingsbury saying you need to work on this and this and now I look back and see how much I have grown. It motivated me to do more film study."

On the success the Aggies have had this year:

"I don't think I ever really envisioned that we would win 10 games. I guess it was after the Florida the game, even though we lost, we took positives from it, we knew we could compete in this league."

On coach Sumlin's rule against letting freshmen speak to the media:

"I trust Coach Sumlin knows what is best for me and the team. It is nice now to let you guys know who I am."

On the offensive line:

"The O-line has done a great job all year blocking and adapting to the way I play, I can't give them enough praise."

His favorite play of the year:

"One of my favorite plays would be our last touchdown against Alabama, best team play, the most complete play, Malcolme Kennedy making a simple run and everyone doing their part."

On how he views himself:

"I am a small town kid and I see myself that way. I don't see myself as Johnny football so when people come up to me at dinner to take pictures I am still shocked by it, even though it has become a daily thing."

On the Florida game:

"The first half of Florida I was running on adrenaline, and second half came back to reality. Since then, we have grown so much as an offense."

What he's thinking about when he's scrambling around:

"Go and score a touchdown."

On his biggest influences:

"Most influential people in my life? Coach Scott my high school coach; we talk about every week about football and other things too when we want to get away from football; Coach Smith from high school, also Coach Sumlin and Coach Kingsbury."

On other college quarterbacks he's impressed with:

"There are a lot of college qb's doing incredible things, I could not pinpoint one or two because there are so many great quarterbacks."

On the 12th Man:

"It is a true testament of the how the Aggie fan base is (the silence on Saturday when he was hurt then the crowd chanting his name); Last year when Swope went down you could hear a pin drop. Hearing the crowd makes you want to get up and do back flips no matter how hurt you are."

On the media hype:

"There is so much going on in my life I don't really have time to get caught with all of the media hype, sure it's almost impossible to miss the things on Twitter, but it makes you prioritize the important things and focus on that."

On A&M's only Heisman winner, John David Crow:

"John David Crow and my dad have built a relationship, if I could bring the Heisman back to College Station it would be an incredible honor."

His favorite play of 2012:

"The touchdown against Arkansas where I ran in circles a little bit, tried to get it to Mike Evans, it was kind of funny to see but it got the main goal done, and that was to get a TD for the team."

His personality on the field:

"I am going to fight with all of my strength and all my heart to get the ball down the field, and we are going to do this together."

On taking down two Louisiana Tech defenders on a play that was blown dead:

"I wanted the ball. I play with a lot of heart and I will never give up on this team, I was not going to let them run it back, I saw an opportunity to strip the ball and I wanted it."

On playing at Texas A&M:

"Playing at A&M has been an absolute dream come true."

On his evolution as a player:

"I feel like, as time goes on, I will continue to learn the system and there will be fewer scrambles."

On how his receivers adapt to his style:

"We do scramble drills in practice, each wide receiver is hungry to get the ball and I know the OL wants to wipe guys out."

On the comments of LSU DE Sam Montgomery:

"It truly is humbling for one of the best players in the SEC to say things like that about me."

On his coaches and teammates:

"As a team we have grown, I couldn't have done anything without theses guys and the coaches."

On the nay-sayers downplaying A&M's ability to compete in the SEC:

"You hear so much from outside sources and it brings you down a little bit but when you see how great this team is in preseason we are able to bring ourselves back up."

The season's low point:

"The low point probably would have been at Ole Miss, sacked on our own one yard line, it is third and thirty, already had 6 turnovers that was probably a low point but then we turn it around and make a negative a positive and Mike Evans makes an awesome play to bring us out of it."


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