A&M Football players defending Manziel
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 7:16pm
COLLEGE STATION, Tx (KYLE) — When it comes to Texas A&M Football it seems all anyone wants to talk about out lately is Johnny Manziel, especially in light of the new dark cloud hanging over the team.
And with their first practice under their belts, all focus should be on the Aggies' season opener against Rice but it was made apparent during a fall practice press conference Monday that all eyes are on "Johnny Football."
"For the first time in my six years as a head coach no one has asked me about the news guys and the fact that all 31 are eligible," said Coach Kevin Sumlin.
Sunday evening ESPN broke the story that A&M's star quarterback and Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, signed memorabilia for a "five figure flat fee."
Senior running back, Ben Malena, says he and his teammates aren't concerned with the latest allegations.
"He still has all the leadership qualities he displayed last year and he's being more vocal now and taking more of the leadership responsibilities so I think all the off-the-field issues, it doesn't bother us not one bit."
Senior defensive back, Toney Hurd Jr. agrees. He says when they're on the field, it's all about getting down to business.
"As a team, I feel like we're going to embrace the spotlight," said Hurd. "Last year we were the underdogs. This year we are the top dogs. We're just looking to show the world, you know, that we can be good and we can be great despite all the off-field issues."
If the allegations are true Johnny could be ineligible to play but his teammates say no matter what happens, come August 31st, the Aggies will be ready to hit Kyle Field.