Not that the Texas A&M quarterback’s off-field missteps since winning college football’s top award as a redshirt freshman in 2012 reveal disturbing character flaws. He’s a 20-year-old college student who went from relative obscurity to history-maker in less than six months and did it in the social-media age.
An unforgiving, Twit-pic world has watched as his maturity runs behind his sudden celebrity like a chasing tackler.
To be clear, nothing Manziel has done should prevent him from winning the award again. If he earns it on the field, he should win it, and the same goes for a deserving freshman.
But humans vote, and oversleeping at the Manning Passing Academy?
Losing his cool with a graduate assistant in a spring scrimmage?
Bleeding on Twitter and other hiccups?
They all go to maturity and could make some voters queasy about voting for another freshman or player of similar age.
Other players Manziel’s relative age won the Heisman and wore it well. Mark Ingram and Tim Tebow, both true sophomores when they won, come to mind.
But Manziel’s offseason reminds voters of the risks, especially in an age where everyone with a cell phone is potential paparazzi.
Contact Sports Columnist Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @jmedley_star.