Johnny Manziel showed signs of nervousness and humility Tuesday as he met the media face-to-face for the first time, but he loosened up and was at ease by the time the 30-minute press conference ended.
Manziel had been dazzling in Monday's 55-minute national teleconference, but walking in to the Hagner Auditorium in front of 25 or so cameras and a horde of reporters is much different. The former baseball standout also was smart enough to know he wouldn't get all softballs. He'd have to address his arrest in Northgate in June for disorderly conduct. His voice got the lowest when the 19-year-old talked about the fight that earned him headlines before his football skills starting doing so on a regular basis this season.
"I've had to make a lot of changes in my life," he said. "I'm really more aware of my surroundings and what goes on in my life, and I've surrounded myself with a great group of people."
Those folks, his family, close friends, the coaching staff and teammates, are the ones he hurt the most, he said.
"It was a critical mistake in my life, and it was something that I had to learn a lot from," he said. "And it was something that had its consequences with Coach Sumlin, with my teammates and with everybody here in Aggieland. I've had to revolve around that and what happened."
He's obviously moved forward, thus far showing it was an anomaly.
The good and bad news is that it never will go away. No matter what he accomplishes, the incident will be rehashed, even when he goes to New York next week for the Heisman Trophy presentation which was the case with 2010 winner Cam Newton, whose SEC total offense record Manziel broke in Saturday's 59-29 victory over Missouri.
Newton, while at Florida as a backup to Tim Tebow, was charged with stealing a computer from another student. Newton was arrested for buying stolen property and suspended from the football team. His road back included winning the 2009 junior college national championship at Blinn followed by leading Auburn to the 2010 national title.
"I believe that a person should not be thought of as a bad person because of some senseless mistake that they made," Newton said in 2010 during a teleconference before the LSU game. "I think every person should have a second chance. If they blow that second chance, so be it for them."
Manziel, like Newton, certainly has worked hard to put his error in judgment behind him. He's the frontrunner to become the first freshman to win college football's most coveted award. The attention he's received the last two days is only a sampling of how crazy things are going to get in his life.
"My friends do the best job of making sure that doesn't really get to me or to my head or anything like that," he said.
Most of the attention he'll get will be good, much like these last two days have been -- and this entire, remarkable season for that matter. But there will be those who will try to get Johnny Football in trouble, goading him into doing something stupid.
It's then when he needs to remember that Friday night at Northgate in June. That seems like so long ago, and that's a good thing.