Make us your home page

Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Florida coach Will Muschamp very familiar with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel



He might not have much game film from which to study Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, but Florida coach Will Muschamp is well aware of what type of player the Gators will face this weekend.

He's known Manziel since back in the day. His high school days, to be exact.

"I knew Johnny coming out of Tivy High (in Kerrville, Texas),'' Muschamp said. "He’s an outstanding player. He was commited to Oregon when I was at Texas (as defensive coordinator) his junior year, and ended up flipping and going to A&M. But we thought the world of Johnny as far as a football player is concerned. I remember being in the Austin area and (seeing)  some of those great games that he had.''

Like Florida QB Jeff Driskel, Manziel was in a quarterback battle in fall camp, but TAMU coach Kevin Sumlin made a final decision sooner than the Gators, saying Manziel had proven he's the best player for the job.

"The reason I said he was starting two-or-three weeks ago was that he earned the right to start,'' Sumlin said. "We gave him that with two weeks to go. We gave him that so that he could get more reps and because he's the starter and the team can feel comfortable with him and he can feel good in a leadership role. I think he's continued to progress, but he's a young guy. As I've said before, experience is not about age. You can have a young guy that's playing or you can have a third-year, fourth-year or fifth-year senior. People get that confused. Until you're in a game with game speed and the intensity level, that's where your experience comes from. It's not about age, it's about experience. He's an inexperienced player and because of that, our surrounding cast of our offensive line or our running backs or our skill people on the perimeter who have experience, have to play well and create a quarterback-friendly atmosphere for him. Fortunately we've got experienced players in those positions.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 3:50pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours