Manziel's New Challenge: Higher Expectations

AP Photo

Johnny Manziel's emergence as a household name came in three distinct phases, beginning with his outrageous statistical exploits over the first half of the 2012 season. From there, the myth of "Johnny Football" -- a talent for who the game comes so naturally it might as well be his name -- leaped from the stat sheet into the broader public consciousness in Texas A&M's Nov. 10 ambush at Alabama and was etched in the firmament a month later when Manziel was awarded the Heisman Trophy. But before any of that, there was also the fact, soon to be lost to the deepest, darkest reaches of Google, that Johnny Football almost didn't see the field at all.

It's true: Amid the buzz of a new coaching staff installing a new offense in anticipation of its first season in a new...

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