Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, struggled in Saturday’s scrimmage at Kyle Field, connecting on less than half of his passes against the Aggies’ defense.
Manziel completed 5 of 12 passes for 48 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception, before yielding the field to players competing to be his backup. Among the backup candidates, junior Matt Joeckel was the most accurate, completing 7 of 14 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Joeckel, of Arlington, ended spring drills as the backup quarterback. He is being pushed in fall camp by incoming freshman Kenny Hill, a Southlake Carroll graduate who completed 4 of 9 passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage, as well as redshirt freshman Matt Davis (1 of 5, 1 yard).
The identity of the Aggies’ backup quarterback could be crucial for A&M, the No. 7 team in the Saturday’s Associated Press preseason poll, if Manziel is declared ineligible based on an NCAA investigation into allegations that he accepted money for signing memorabilia in violation of NCAA rules.
Baylor receiver Robbie Rhodes, an incoming freshman from Fort Worth Southwest, continued his strong fall camp by grabbing four passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s scrimmage in Waco.
Rhodes’ TD came on a 78-yard strike from backup quarterback Seth Russell, who completed 10 of 14 passes for 162 yards.
Bryce Petty, the Bears’ starting quarterback, connected on 19 of 27 passes for 207 yards and two scores. But Rhodes’ emergence remains one of the Bears’ primary stories of fall camp.
“He is a dynamic guy. He has talent stored away,” said Baylor coach Art Briles, adding that Rhodes will contribute “without question” in the team’s Aug. 31 opener against Wofford. “He’s really good.”
Other notable efforts from Saturday’s scrimmage came from running backs Lache Seastrunk (4 carries, 36 yards) and Devin Chafin (8 carries, 37 yards), receiver Tevin Reese (6 catches, 74 yards), defensive end Chris McAllister (5 tackles, 2 sacks) and linebacker Kendall Ehrlich (6 tackles).
Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman said the school is doing all it can to support Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel while looking out for its own interests as the NCAA and the school investigate allegations he was paid to sign autographs, ESPN.com reported.
The comments were made in a note sent Friday via email to members of the 12th Man Foundation, the school’s booster organization represented by about 20,000 families.
Hyman told boosters that the university has surrounded Manziel with a support network of staff from administration, academics, scheduling, compliance, media relations, and even security to assist him.