By Zac Ellis
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel met with reporters for the first time since his departure from the Manning Passing Academy over the weekend, and he provided his version of the events that led to his sudden exit from the camp. In an interview with ESPN's Joe Tessitore before his SEC Media Days press conference, Manziel said the reason for his dismissal is simple: He slept through a meeting after his cellphone died:
"[There are] a lot of rumors out there, a lot of talk. I missed a meeting, phone died, I overslept."
"I was not asked to leave. It was a mutual decision."
When asked whether he drank alcohol at the Manning camp, Manziel responded with the following:
"I'm not going into details."
Manziel has faced immense scrutiny for his lifestyle and behavior during the offseason, and he expressed a readiness to let his play between the sidelines do the talking again. Some other tidbits from the reigning Heisman winner's SEC Media Days appearance:
"I've had my fun, now its at the point, season is coming up."
"Going back and bickering with people on Twitter, as much as it might make you feel better, it doesn’t really get anything done."
"Twitter is what it is. I've learned a lot from it ... Probably injured myself from time to time."
"To be honest, I haven’t done anything criminal this offseason. I’ve made my mistakes."
"I haven't done anything that I feel is catastrophic."
"I've made mistakes. I try not to make the same one twice. I'm ready to do my talking on the field."
Manziel also addressed his friendship with Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. The two were roommates at the Manning camp, and Manziel said they shared friendly jabs about their teams' rivalry.
"He can sit there and talk about rings, and I can sit there and talk about a trophy."
Manziel also gave his take on South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, saying all the talk surrounding the likely No. 1 pick in next year's NFL draft had made him yearn for a meeting with the Gamecocks.
"I would love to play against Jadeveon Clowney."
And perhaps most significantly, Manziel said this:
"I guess I feel like Justin Bieber or something."
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin also fielded several questions on Manziel's offseason. He admitted last year's Heisman winner has made some mistakes, but said Manziel is working on improving his decision-making:
"Off the field, there's no question he's made mistakes."
"Can he be better in that area? Certainly. And that's something that we're working on."