Manziel contrite but unapologetic about off-field behavior

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner sat in front of cameras on ESPN’s SportsCenter and a crush of print media at SEC Football Media Days to explain his behavior this summer. Manziel left the Manning Passing Camp this past weekend for not fulfilling his responsibilities as a coach and counselor there and has been unleashing controversial tweets.

Speculation swirled that he was dismissed from the Manning Camp because he’d been partying the night before he was scheduled to take the field.

:There’s been a lot of talk and I’ve been very eager to get a chance to share my side of the story,” Manziel said. “The main thing was I missed a meeting. It wasn’t anything due to the night prior. It wasn’t anything involved (with) that. It was just simply my phone died, I overslept, I woke up the next morning whenever I did, went to talk to them and it was kind of a mutual decision to get home and get some time to relax.”

The 20-year-old denied being hungover.

“Absolutely not,” he said. But he would not acknowledge whether not he drank alcohol.

“I’m not going into details about what happened at the Manning Camp,” he said. “We had social events every night. I got a chance to really socialize, a chance to talk with Eli and Peyton (Manning) off the field and get to pick their brains, Archie, all those guys. There are so many experiences that are valuable to us as college quarterbacks.

Manziel admitted that he’s struggled at times to deal with his celebrity since winning the Heisman Trophy last December.

“I feel like I am on a little bit higher pedestal than most people in college football,” Manziel said. “But at the same time, I’m still 20 years old, I’m still a sopohomore in college, I’m still going to do things that everybody in college does and I’m going to enjoy my life. Hopefully people don’t hold me to a higher standard than that because I am still in college and I’m still going to live my life to the fullest.”

As for his reputation as somewhat of a college bad boy, he said: “I think I brought a little bit of it on myself. I’ve put things out there that, to me and to everybody else, is stuff I always wanted to do and maybe it rubbed people a little bit of the wrong way. But for me I just feel like it’s been a little off and it’s good to come to things like this and share my side of the story. Going back and bickering with people on Twitter might make you feel better but it doesn’t really get anything done”

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