Johnny Manziel leaves Twitter

Updated: March 27, 2013, 11:50 AM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Johnny Football is leaving Twitter.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, said Tuesday that he has self-imposed a Twitter ban in an attempt to keep his personal life more private.

Manziel 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. ... It's fun to have, but it can get to be distracting at points. I'm surprised to [see] how the attention has continued through the offseason. I guess I thought it would die off and slow down a little bit, but it really hasn't.

-- Johnny Manziel on his decision to leave Twitter

Manziel has been stung in recent weeks by negative publicity from both on- and off-the-field incidents.

The latest controversy came Saturday, when media reports indicated Manziel shoved a Texas A&M graduate assistant after he threw one of his three interceptions during a spring scrimmage. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said he didn't see the confrontation, and Manziel and his teammates said the incident was overblown.

Since winning the Heisman and leading the Aggies to an 11-2 record in his first season as a starter in 2012, nearly every aspect of Manziel's life has become Internet fodder.

Photos of Manziel attending Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl [where he was spotted with the stars of "Duck Dynasty," Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel], NBA games and most recently spring break in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, made their way onto Twitter and other social media.

"I've kind of just shut it all off," Manziel said. "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."

Now, Manziel's more than 330,000 Twitter followers will have to find other ways to keep up with what's going on in his life.

"I'm surprised to [see] how the attention has continued through the offseason," Manziel said. "I guess I thought it would die off and slow down a little bit, but it really hasn't."

Manziel has tweeted nearly 3,000 times, but one of the more recent photos of him on the Internet caused a stir among Texas A&M fans. A photo of Manziel from spring break showed him wearing a Texas Longhorns tattoo. Manziel, who grew up a Texas fan, said the tattoo was only temporary and was a practical joke.

"It was just a fun deal," Manziel said. "Somebody dared me to do it, and we thought it would be funny."

Meanwhile, Texas A&M is trying to cash in on the Aggies' unexpected success in their first season in the SEC. The school's athletics department is planning a $480 million expansion of Kyle Field, which would be the most expensive stadium expansion in college football history.

The project, which would begin after the 2013 season, would increase the stadium's capacity to around 102,000, according to sources with knowledge of the project. Tennessee's Neyland Stadium is the largest stadium in the SEC with a capacity of 102,455.

The school's board of regents will vote May 1-2 on whether to approve the project.

The project would include enclosing the south end of the stadium, replacing the lower deck of the east side, and completely demolishing and rebuilding the west side, including the upper levels and press box. A club area and new scoreboard also would be part of the south end zone project, which would be connected to the Aggies' new dining hall, which is scheduled for completion in September.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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