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As with most teenagers, glimpses into his off-the-field life can be found online. He talks about his affinity for country music, chats about upcoming tests and occasionally quotes Bible passages on Twitter. He also takes time for fun; pictures on the Internet show him at a party dressed as Scooby Doo alongside some beautiful and scantily-clad young women.
His Twitter account also hints that he might not be all that fond of being called Johnny Football. When someone mocked him for "accepting the nickname," he fired back: "How did I accept that nickname? When have you ever seen me use it?"
He also quotes 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow as part of his profile on Twitter.
"I don't know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future," the quote on his page attributed to Tebow reads.
After his redshirt season last year, Manziel entered spring practice as the front-runner to nab the starting job. But a tough spring left the decision up in the air.
"In spring, he was extremely careless with the football," Sumlin said. "He would make a great play and then he would give it to the defense. He's done a lot better job of handling the football and taking care of it and still creating the offense."
Manziel didn't have a turnover against Alabama's top-ranked defense and hasn't thrown an interception in three games.
As the Aggies continue to win and Manziel's profile has grown, so have the attempts to profit off the catchy moniker. Jason Cook, Texas A&M's vice president for marketing and communications, said the university has sent more than 10 cease-and-desist letters to retailers selling products with the Johnny Football name or Manziel's likeness in the last few weeks.
The proliferation of merchandise prompted Manziel's family to start working with Texas A&M officials to try and trademark Johnny Football.
"No one is looking for profit off the mark," Cook said. "It's to protect eligibility and to protect his name and likeness from being exploited by third parties."
Another byproduct of Manziel's success is the growing talk about the Heisman Trophy.
"It's like anything else that comes with winning," Sumlin said. "As you win, those types of things come."
Some have questioned why A&M hasn't embarked on one of those in-your-face Heisman campaigns. The school is certainly promoting Manziel for the award, Cook said, but noted that he's already being talked about across the country.
"Right now, it is wall-to-wall Johnny Manziel," Cook said about the media coverage. "The awareness for us is already there. Our approach is, we need to reach the right people with the right message to make the right decision. Our efforts are targeted directly at Heisman voters and the football writers."
No freshman has ever won the award, and John David Crow is Texas A&M's only winner, back in 1957.
Cook, who was instrumental in Texas A&M's move from the Big 12 to the SEC, talked often about how the new league would bring increased exposure to the school.
"Our No. 1 decision factor was visibility, and Johnny Manziel is benefiting from that," Cook said.
The Aggies can thank Manziel for some visibility, too.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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