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Russ Mitchell - I Believe...

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 26, 2013


...that Johnny Manziel is going to light up the 2013 college football season like his own personal Broadway.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me @russmitchellcfb

Don’t kid yourself – Johnny whatever-you-want-call-him is absolutely going to light up the 2013 college football season. SEC defenses be damned.

He’s bigger, faster, stronger and more confident than he was this time last year. Plus he’s still the same athletic freak. The same genetic lottery winner that granted him the balance of Baryshnikov with the step of a springbok.

That confidence isn’t just in himself – it’s also in his grasp of head coach Kevin Sumlin’s offense. While we're on that subject, all the Kliff Kingsbury fan-boys/hand-wringers would be well served to remember this is Sumlin’s doing, not Kliff’s.

Sumlin is the playwright, and Manziel his muse…if a muse can sprint a 4.4 40 while changing direction like the wind. All while possessing a more than adequate arm.

Don’t expect the rest of the SEC to have caught up with Sumlin and Co., either – it often takes a few years for a conference to adjust to something as foreign and special as what Sumlin has created.

As for Johnny, not only is he better today than he was a year ago, he once again has a lot of help around him. Senior tackle Jake Matthews returned to anchor an offensive line that includes Jarvis Harrison and Cedric Ogbuehi. All three are not long for the NFL.

Behind them is an embarrassment of riches at tailback. Senior Ben Malena returns after starting 2012, although he will have to share the spotlight with others, including Sooners transfer Brandon Williams. Then there’s 6-0, 228-pound Oregon transfer Tra Carson behind him...all fighting to keep Trey Williams off the field.

6-5, 225-pound sophomore receiver Mike Evens should step nicely into the number 1 role, while Holmes, Pope and Kennedy, plus more in the wings, should provide ample targets to help Manziel spread the field.

If that’s not frightening enough, add to that a schedule that brings Bama to College Station and swapped out Florida for Vandy.

Finally, if you think Manziel won’t be focused when he steps back between the lines, the SEC Coaches all but made sure he would be razor sharp – thanks to voting the reigning Heisman winner just second best in his own conference.

A snub of that magnitude will get anyone’s attention – let alone if they’re the kind of guy that keeps a chip on his shoulder. Not to mention a guy who plays exceptionally well with said chip.

Need we remind you of the second half of 2012, when all the naysayers hit full chorus? How Manziel responded?

Some of his best statistical outings, one of the most humiliating losses ever forced upon Oklahoma, and a Heisman trophy.

Johnny Football may not win a second Heisman, but it won’t be for lack of production.


Russ Mitchell is the Lead SEC Columnist for CFN and Campus Insiders. Follow him @russmitchellcfb



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