Johnny Manziel talks about the roots of 'Johnny Football,' NIL in College Football

The former Heisman Trophy winner discussed his breakout game and more in an interview with BetSided!
Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass
Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass / Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

For Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies in 2012, the team had nothing to lose heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium to face the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Manziel, who is the subject of "Untold: Johnny Football," which streams on Netflix, starting on August 8th, discussed that fateful game that ignited his Heisman Trophy campaign in 2012 with BetSided.

"I remember this like it was yesteday," Manziel told BetSided. "We were getting on the bus to go to Tuscaloosa and there was a quote from the movie 300, give to them nothing but take from them everything."

The Aggies, who were in its first season in the SEC, were ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll before the road game at No. 1 Alabama, but were looked at as an afterthought against the defending National Championships in the eyes of oddsmakers.

"We were 15-and-a-half point underdogs, playing really good football by the way, but not given much of a chance to go in there, what did we have to lose?" Manziel continued. "May as well let it rip."

Manziel finished that game completing 24-of-31 passes for 293 yards while adding 92 yards on the ground, propelling him to the Heisman Trophy that season and a celebrity status.

However, when Manziel was at the center of the college football landscape, Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) had not developed just yet to where it is today. Players could not generate revenue off their own name, something that Manziel would have been able to take advantage of then. In 2012, Manziel was a superstar in his own right, transcending the sport, now players can work within the rules of the NCAA to generate profits.

Reflecting on his time in college and where the sport is today, he shared some of his thoughts on NIL and advice for players.

"There's no money that you are going to make in college that is going to outweigh the money you can make in the NFL," Manziel said about advice to college football players today. "It may seem like a freshman coming into your school that a million dollars is going to change your life or your rich, and I've seen some coaches like Nick Saban talk about that, but this is small money compared to what you can go make if you do things the right way, stay committed to your team, work hard and do all the little things the way you need to...the NIL money is nothing compared to what you can [get] in the NFL."

The former first round pick by the Cleveland Browns is a fan of NIL and thinks it helps lower level college players that may not be able to make it to the NFL, but said that there's still a ways to go before the rules are in place for everyone to be satisfied.

"For me it helps that the 'little guy' gets helped out that doesn't have the opportunity or the means," Manziel said when discussing NIL. "It's life changing for your college experience, but at the end of the day you can't get focused on just the money you are going to make in college. There's so much more to college sports that was so special, the camaraderie, the bond, playing for the school, the money now has made things a little messy.

"It's interesting, and we are such at an early development in this whole thing, in my personal opinion, this has only been out for a couple of years and they are still trying to fine tune and tweak how this goes, look at the transfer portal, It has taken a little bit away from the old school way of college football that I did like. But at the end of the day I do love that it's giving kids an opportunity to grow up a little sooner and have some money in your pocket, there's nothing wrong with bringing so much to the table for everyone else."

Manziel is one of the most prolific college athletes in recent memory, someone that led one of the most thrilling upsets since the turn of the century, and someone that is now looking forward to sharing his story with other phenoms in college sports, but also hopeful that the players don't lose sight of the big goal of making to the NFL.

You can watch the full video interview with Johnny Manziel below and steam Untold: Johnny Football on Netflix on August 8!