73.1 F
Fort Worth
Monday, September 21, 2020
- Advertisements -
Culture No. 7 Texas A&M mum about Manziel's status

No. 7 Texas A&M mum about Manziel’s status

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...
Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Johnny Football was the elephant in the room Tuesday at Texas A&M.

The seventh-ranked Aggies head into Saturday’s home opener against Rice with questions still swirling about whether Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel will play against the Owls. The NCAA is investigating whether he was paid for his autograph, a potential violation of amateurism rules that could threaten his eligibility.

It was the only thing anyone really wanted to talk about on Tuesday when the Aggies addressed the media. The topic, however, was off limits.

Athletic director Eric Hyman said Monday night that he’d instructed everyone in the program not to talk about Manziel. And if that wasn’t clear enough, a member of the sports information department slowly and sternly read the statement, not once, but twice during the session.

Reporters asked anyway, and coach Kevin Sumlin did what Hyman asked.

“We’re not discussing that,” he said. “I thought we went over that right from the beginning.”

He later added that they have a plan for any number of situations that could happen with their players and team, and that they plan for the possible absence of players every week.

ESPN, citing an anonymous source, reported that Manziel met with NCAA investigators over the weekend. CBSSports.com, also citing anonymous sources, reported that Manziel told the investigators he didn’t take money for his autograph.

While Sumlin wouldn’t discuss Manziel’s availability for Week 1, he had no problem talking about whether football has helped the quarterback deal with everything going on off the field.

“I know he likes to play football,” Sumlin said. “I think the structure that he has had since Aug. 4 has been nothing but helpful.”

If Manziel doesn’t play against the Owls, the Aggies will use either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill. Joeckel is more of a pocket passer and Hill is a dual-threat quarterback. Joeckel has thrown just 11 passes in his college career. Hill, who starred at Texas high school powerhouse Southlake Carroll, threw for 2,291 yards and 20 TDs and ran for 905 yards and 22 more scores as a senior last season.

Sumlin said the competition between the two is ongoing, and that he’s been pleased with the progress of both players. He said it helps his team because they’ve always allowed all quarterbacks to get work with the first team.

“Anybody who has been around knows that we rotate players with the first team, has seen us rotate snaps with the first team and because of that I think it gives your team a chance to develop a relationship or camaraderie with that first team if something happens,” Sumlin said.

Sumlin is confident that Texas A&M’s offense will be OK no matter who’s running the show because of his offensive line. The group, led by left tackle Jake Matthews, is expected to be a strength despite losing Matt’s twin brother, Luke Joeckel, when he was selected second overall in the draft. Matthews, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, will be joined on the line this season by little brother Mike Matthews at center.

“We’ve got a really solid offensive line which takes a little bit of the pressure off Matt and Kenny,” Sumlin said. “When Johnny’s taking snaps, when he’s in there he’s really trying to help the perimeter guys. Our offensive line gives us an opportunity to rotate those quarterbacks and have them be successful.”

Senior running back Ben Malena is confident that Joeckel or Hill could ably fill in at quarterback if necessary.

“Both of those guys have really done great things when they’ve got their opportunities in practice,” he said. “They have both had opportunities to make plays and they have. It’s a great competition.”

The uncertainty surrounding Manziel has put a damper on the excitement surrounding the Aggies after they finished 11-2 in their first SEC season. Without naming Manziel, Sumlin was asked how he balances the needs of a player over those of the team. He then likened his team to a family, saying that many things are done and said behind closed doors the public will never know about.

But he did share his philosophy on leading the Aggies.

“There’s nothing more important than the team,” he said. “We talk to them about what we expect from them on the field, what we expect from them off the field and what we expect from them effort-wise and accountability-wise and being able to trust each other.”  

- Advertisements -
- Advertisements -

Latest News

What to Know: New leader at FW Opera, RGB’s impact and New York for your nose

Afton Battle FWO courtesy Got a bit of a scoop, or at least it's fairly new news. There's...

Fort Worth Opera names new general director

The Fort Worth Opera has selected a Texas native to lead the company into its 75th Anniversary season in 2021.

Tropical Storm Beta churns slowly toward Texas and Louisiana

By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated PressHOUSTON (AP) — Tropical Storm Beta trudged toward the coasts of Texas and Louisiana on Sunday, threatening...

Ginsburg, a feminist icon memorialized as the Notorious RBG

By MARK SHERMAN Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg moved slowly.When court was in session, she often had...

Magnolia at the Modern returns (with masks)

 Magnolia at the Modern, an ongoing series featuring critically acclaimed films, resumes on Friday, September 18, in the Modern’s auditorium. New adjusted showtimes: