The star of the Texas A&M football team spoke Tuesday about his dreams of winning the Heisman and something he regrets.
Johnny Manziel, 19, was arrested in June. He was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to identify and presenting a false identification.
"You realize how many people you let down when you're sitting in jail. You affect your family, your group of teammates and all the coaches that care so much about you," Manziel said. "I made serious changes in my life and decided to surround myself with close friends and a great family. They keep me on the right path and definitely care about my well being."
On Monday, Manziel weighed in on his nickname, "Johnny Football," for the first time.
"I think a lot of people here in Aggieland enjoy it," he said. "But I find it extremely funny."
The success of Manziel and the Aggies is no joke. His 4,600 yards of total offense have helped No. 10 A&M to its first 10-win season since 1998, and has him among the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel has thrown for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 more scores in a regular-season the Aggies capped with five straight wins including an upset of then top-ranked Alabama. He is second in the nation in total offense and broke Cam Newton's SEC record for total offense in a season on Saturday.
The celebrity status has been shocking to Manziel, who will turn 20 two days before the Dec. 8 Heisman announcement. He's still surprised when people approach him at restaurants and other places around College Station to ask for photos and autographs, even though it's become a daily occurrence.
"I'm a small-town kid," he said. "I come from Kerrville, Texas and I still see myself that way. I don't see myself as Johnny Football, I still see myself as Jonathan Manziel, a small town guy from Kerrville who is extremely fortunate and extremely blessed to be able to play football here at A&M."
Manziel said winning the Heisman is something he dreamed about as a child, but that he hasn't spent a lot of time worrying about it or any other awards. No freshman has ever won the award given to college football's most outstanding player.
"I feel like that situation will play itself out, and whatever's meant to be will happen," he said. "I'm just doing whatever coach Sumlin and them ask me to do ... so we can take care of things in a bowl game."