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College football: Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about Johnny Manziel's overturned 2012 suspension

Recent reports revealed that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was nearly suspended for his Heisman season. Kevin Sumlin helped the ruling get overturned. He talks about it.
by Anthony Slater Published: June 24, 2013

/articleid/3855946/1/pictures/1920566">Photo - Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin answers a question during a news conference leading up to the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Irving, Texas. Before Sumlin became a successful head coach, he was on Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops  Stoops' staff. Before that, they were both assistant coaches recruiting the same area. Now Sumlin takes his Texas A&M team against Stoops' Sooners in a Jan. 4th Cotton Bowl matchup of former Big 12 rivals that are both 10-2 (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin answers a question during a news conference leading up to the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Irving, Texas. Before Sumlin became a successful head coach, he was on Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops Stoops' staff. Before that, they were both assistant coaches recruiting the same area. Now Sumlin takes his Texas A&M team against Stoops' Sooners in a Jan. 4th Cotton Bowl matchup of former Big 12 rivals that are both 10-2 (AP Photo/LM Otero)

But it all nearly never happened. And not just because of the arrest and overturned suspension. 

Manziel was in a fierce battle for the starting job during that same tumultuous fall camp. And in many people's estimation, sophomore Jameill Showers was the favorite to land the spot, especially after Manziel's rocky offseason. 

“Really close,” Sumlin said of the competition. “That's why we didn't name a quarterback until two weeks before we played Louisiana Tech (in the season opener). About as close as you can get … But hopefully we picked the right guy (laughs).” 

By now, it's all a moot point. 

Manziel is looking toward the high expectations that await in 2013, as the first Heisman winner to return to school since Sam Bradford in 2009. 

But once again, he must shed the stigma of another rocky offseason, this one spent routinely stepping into the PR pitfalls that come with instant fame and the constant spotlight from social media. 

“It's been really hard,” Sumlin said of Manziel's post-Heisman life. “You know, he's a young guy. And because of that, he is who he is and he's made some mistakes. Everybody knows that. But right now, I think for him to be back, we have summer school going, we have fall camp coming up. Him being back with his teammates, that's a good deal, good for him.”

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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