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.”