- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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By now, we all know about the suspension that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel almost faced before the 2012 season.
If that suspension, which was supposed to come after he was arrested for his role in a bar fight last summer when he was found with a fake ID, had been handed down, Manziel would have missed out on becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Not only would he have missed all of the 2012 season, but he was planning to transfer.
But neither the suspension nor the transfer occurred because coach Kevin Sumlin helped get the suspension overturned. Sumlin went as far as to write a letter in support of Manziel by stating that his quarterback was taking the harsh, internal punishment very seriously and didn't need further punishment thrown his way.
"A lot has been said about discipline, but he went through all that, which is a little bit more than people think," Sumlin said, according to NewsOK.com. "That's not a public deal, it's just what I ask him to do. He did all those things and his parents were involved in all of that. So for him to go through that, then go through camp and those types of things and earn the job, that's what's brought him to where he is now."
Clearly, Sumlin saw something in Manziel before any of us truly knew him. He saw a special football player, but I think he also saw someone willing to change and prove his worth to his school. If not, Manziel would have either transferred or continued to be that other inexperienced quarterback on Texas A&M's roster, not a record-breaking All-American.
If he wasn't willing to change, we'd barely know Manziel, and who knows if the Aggies would have been as successful without Manziel running the show.
Instead, Manziel decided to play by Sumlin's rules and the rest, as they say, is history.