Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has become the latest in a string of polarizing SEC quarterbacks. Whether it's fair or not, it's due in part to his own actions.
Manziel burst onto the scene in 2012 rushing for 1,410 yards and passing for 3,706 yards, eclipsing the SEC record for total offense set by Auburn's Cam Newton two seasons earlier. He became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
But that kind of attention, coupled with the open book that is Manziel's life thanks to social media, has made him the first of the group to move past the line of superstar college athlete and into the world of a full-fledged celebrity while still in college.
It's completely unfair, but Manziel has become a lightning rod for criticism for doing what most other people would do if put in his situation. In an effort to slow down the offseason hype machine, Manziel has decided to take a timeout from Twitter this offseason, according to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach.
I've kind of just shut it all off . With how the media has been with me for a while, I just shut everything off. As of [Monday], I said I was done with [Twitter] for however long. It's fun to have, but it can get to be distracting at points.
It's a smart move by Manziel.
It seems like we always build people up to tear them down, so why add fuel to that already white hot fire?
He shouldn't stop doing what he's doing. He's living the dream, and good for him for doing so.
But his life has changed quite a bit since joining Twitter in July 2011, and taking a more calculated approach to social media—which is a major part of the public relations puzzle these days—is a good idea.
Is Manziel's celebrity status going to create a distraction as the Aggies prepare for a run at the 2013 BCS National Championship?
That's impossible to answer. But it could, and taking a few steps to prevent that from happening is a good idea. At some point, it would (and still probably will) become tiresome for Manziel and his teammates to answer the same questions about being and playing with a modern-day superstar.
But there's a vocal minority that is suffering from "Johnny Football Fatigue," and staying out of the spotlight—at least, as much of the spotlight as he can control—is the right move.
Otherwise, "Johnny Football" will overpower Johnny Manziel, and Texas A&M needs Johnny Manziel to return in 2013 if it plans on reaching its ultimate goal.
It's been a good ride for Manziel on the Internet, though. From partying in suburban Dallas to visiting a children's hospital in Connecticut to his week-long New Orleans trip, it's rare that we get to see the life of a college football superstar played out in real-time.
But with spring practice underway, it's time for Manziel to get back to business.