Johnny Manziel was candid and honest about his personal shortcomings over the course of his career during a conversation with Kevin Hart on the comedian's YouTube showCold as Balls, which aired Tuesday.
As Hart and Manziel sat in two ice tubs stationed next to one another, Hart asked the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns quarterback if he felt that "the monster of fun" got the best of him while at Texas A&M. Manziel, now a quarterback for the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, said it absolutely did.
"A kid from where I'm from—20,000 people—we don't get the chance to meet celebrities," Manziel said. "Much less meet everyone that you would want or have the chance to talk to them at the tip of your finger. ... So after that first year, after the fame and everything started to come, I couldn't help but eat it up."
In 2012, Manziel's legend blossomed when he led Texas A&M into Tuscaloosa, Ala., and upset top-ranked Alabama. He admitted that all that came after, notably the fame, was somewhat overwhelming to handle. Hart later asked the quarterback if there had been a point in school where he felt like Manziel "had to check yourself or were you just riding with it?"
Answered Manziel: "I felt like I was the guy that had to party to be able to play good."
As for leaving College Station for Cleveland, when the Browns selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, Manziel said he was optimistic about it, despite friends expressing how much they disapproved.
"I looked at the players they had, I was cool with it," Manziel recalled. "Once I landed and went to Berea, Ohio, for the first time I was like, 'Can I go back to college?' I don't know anybody. I don't know where I'm at. It's cold."
Manziel, 25, played two seasons with the Browns, appearing in 15 games (eight starts) before he was cut by the team. Manziel's history of struggles off the field became further illuminated. In dealing with them head-on, he is determined to one day return to the league but admits he doesn't expect sympathy from those who've observed his rise and fall.
"I don't expect people to look at my story and feel bad for me. A lot of what I did was self-inflicted," Manziel said. "I'm at a point now where I can look back, I can reflect and realize that I was one way. That was wrong. What can I do moving forward, because I can't change how I was."