The Texas A&M QB, who has maintained his high visibility in the off-season, will throw out the first pitch at the Rangers' home opener on Sunday.
DAN PATRICK:Do you have your Heisman Trophy with you?
JOHNNY MANZIEL: I do not. That is with my parents. It's probably better they keep it there than in a college house.
DP:If I walk into your parents' house, how long until I find the Heisman?
JM: It might take a couple of minutes. It's not out for everybody to see. My dad's hoarding it.
DP:Are you concerned that people say you put yourself out there too much?
JM: I'm O.K. with the criticism. Whatever the people at A&M ask me to do I'm more than O.K. doing it.
DP:What about social media?
JM: I'm not on near as much as I used to be. I used to be on Twitter a bit more.
JM: Nothing really stings anymore. There used to be a lot of things. I was just really surprised at how people reacted. But I forgot there are millions of people who [tweet]. It's a tool to vent whatever you want behind a computer. It kind of rolls off my back.
DP:When you go to basketball games and events, how do you make sure everyone knows it's on the up-and-up?
JM: Before I go anywhere I check with compliance. I think there's such a stereotype about student-athletes. Most people come from different families and are not as blessed as I am. The situation I'm in with my family being able to buy me tickets or take me to games.... I'm just extremely lucky.
DP:Why would you come back to college after next season?
JM: Being here at A&M is something that I love a very large amount. It wouldn't be easy to leave here with years remaining. Obviously I want to win a national championship, and another Heisman would be out of this world.
DP:What could you run a 40 in?
JM: I have not run a 40 in a year and a half. I think I could run around a 4.5. I don't know if I could keep up with [South Carolina defensive end] Jadeveon Clowney though.
DP:Some question your arm strength.
JM: I feel like I'm able to do a lot of things at the quarterback position. I think I have as strong an arm as most of the people in the country. I'm not going to say I have a cannon and can outthrow everybody.
DP:How far can you throw it?
JM: Close to 70.
DP:Who is the most famous person you've met through all of this?
JM: Probably LeBron. For him to sit with me for a few minutes and give me advice and say if I ever need anything, just hit him up....
DP:You know who you play on Sept. 14, right?
JM: Yes, sir.
DP:Alabama. Here's what I'm thinking: Have your girlfriend sit next to AJ McCarron's girlfriend.
JM: Brent Musburger won't be there, will he?
DP:If he was, that would blow up the Internet.
JM: That'd be good.
"When I studied him, ultimately I saw a quarterback who has average arm strength at best and who's not particularly athletic in and around the pocket. So what will make Matt Barkley a high-level NFL quarterback? I struggle to answer that question."
—GREG COSELL, NFL Films producer, after watching tape of the former USC star
Heat forward Shane Battier told me that attitudes have changed toward his team this season. "Last year no one was chanting MVP! on the road," Battier said. "We still get our fair share of boos, but it's not as fierce as last year." ... I asked Michigan point guard Trey Burke if winning the title would affect his decision to go to the NBA: "It would probably make my decision much easier, which is to leave because that's just today's culture." ... Elvis Dumervil, who landed in Baltimore as a free agent after his fax faux pas with the Broncos, developed a thick skin because of his name. "Early on it was tough with the Elvis Presley jokes," the pass rusher told me. "Everyone wanted to dance in front of me with a guitar."... Former Georgetown coach John Thompson thinks mid-major coaches have good reason to be hesitant about taking over at major programs. "I think these guys are smart to stay where they are," Thompson said. "UCLA coach [Ben Howland] has gone to three Final Fours and gets fired. If I'm those guys, I'm going to go where I'm appreciated."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 FOR SI (PATRICK)
BRETT DAVIS/USA TODAY SPORTS (MANZIEL)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER/SI (BATTIER)
SIMON BRUTY/SI (BURKE)
GAIL BURTON/AP (DUMERVIL)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (THOMPSON)