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Updated Sep 17, 2013 - 8:36 am

Johnny Football is unlikable, but he can sure play quarterback

Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, left, is pulled down by Alabama defender Jarrick Williams (20) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Williams was called for a personal foul on the play. Alabama won 49-42. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Say what you want about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Yes, he is a punk. Yes, he thinks he is above the law. Yes, his actions on and off the field make you hate him and root against him.

But damn, that kid can play the quarterback position.

There is a lot to like about Manziel. Almost as much as there is to dislike about him. He plays with a reckless abandon that defies logic and common sense. And that is what makes him great. Many will question his size (or lack of it) and his pure disregard for his own reputation, and that is to be expected. But when it comes to results, there is no questioning the most controversial figure in college football.

Look, Manziel doesn't care what anyone thinks about him. He's not going to conform. Not going to do things the way others want just to please people. Based on personality, he is, in many ways, similar to Jim McMahon. He is defiant. He is arrogant, smug, pompous and brash. But on the field there are no comparisons. There are no players to compare him to because he is so different. He is the only quarterback in the country not in the NFL that can torch an Alabama defense for 562 yards, 464 of those through the air. And there are quite a few signal callers in the NFL that couldn't do that right now.

Manziel is not going to be the first quarterback taken in the 2014 draft and likely won't be the second. He may not even go in the first round because he doesn't have prototypical size. But some team is going to take the kid in the first two or three rounds and get a steal.

Heck, the Cardinals even proved this year with Tyrann Mathieu in the third round that they like the reclamation projects, so maybe it's Bruce Arians that sees the talent and winning attitude of Manziel and decides the reward is greater than the risk.

You may not like him, but Johnny Football can play the game and somehow he's going to find his way onto an NFL field. When he does, I'm not going to be betting against him succeeding.

About the Author


School: School of Street Smarts

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 6 years ago

Favorite sports memory: Bucky Dent's home run over the Green Monster in the one-game playoff vs the Red Sox in 1978

Favorite all-time athlete: Tommy John

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers and Field of Dreams

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