Johnny Manziel's accomplishments and off the field issues have been well documented the past few years. It started with his electrifying Freshman and Sophomore years with the Aggies, then it stretched into the Heisman Trophy spotlight, and it carried on to his time as a draft pick and quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.
Standing at the podium after being the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, on what was undoubtedly one of the happiest days of his life, Manziel thanked Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, his offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, the Aggie offensive line, and his parents and grandparents. I can also vividly recall him thanking Mark Smith, his high school head coach at Kerrville Tivy HS (TX), and offensive coordinator Julius Scott.
Don't remember hearing that? Here it is (the 3:50 mark is the exact location):
After spending 10 weeks in rehab earlier this off season, Manziel turned to one of the mentors of his past to help keep him on the right path. According to Sporting News, ESPN, and other outlets, that included moving in with his former offensive coordinator at Tivy high, Julius Scott.
As a rookie in Cleveland, Manziel agreed to a four-year, $8.25 million dollar deal, and yet instead of locking himself in a four or five-star hotel, or getting a fancy place to rent just to get away as he sorts out his personal issues and focuses on training for the 2015 season, he decides to crash at the home of his former high school coach.
That speaks volumes for our influence as coaches.
As coaches, it's easy for us to think that our influence in our players' lives diminishes once they graduate, or once they sign that scholarship offer, or letter of intent, or in rare cases when they hear their name called on draft day. But the reality is that our influence goes well beyond that.
Manziel deciding to move in with one of his old high school coaches is a great reminder of that never-ending influence.