Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is one of the hottest names in American sports, and now he's gracing the cover of Time Magazine. In its latest issue, Time makes the case for paying college athletes, and an image of Manziel is the primary art.
It isn't every day that a college football player makes it onto the cover of Time. In fact, as noted by CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman, it appears the last time it happened was Oct. 28, 1966, when Notre Dame duo Jim Seymour and Terry Hanratty made an appearance.
The photo of Manziel is from the same recent shoot that produced a cover image for Sports Illustrated. Photographer Andrew Hancock conducted the shoot with the Heisman Trophy winner earlier this summer. SB Nation's A&M blog, Good Bull Hunting, profiled Hancock and discussed everything that went into the session.
Johnny arrived ten minutes early which gave us some bonus time. He was accompanied by members of Texas A&M's Athletic Department, who had been escorting him from one media appointment to another all day. The shoot took place on an "off day" during spring practice and Johnny had already been interviewed by several media outlets including ESPN. Kirk Herbstreit would be on-hand to work in the booth for A&M's Maroon and White Spring Game. Despite a whirlwind day, Johnny was polite and accommodating. He struck me as a bit shy.
By now, Andy was in the zone. He was a consummate professional and never gave any indication that he was an A&M alum or an unabashed fan. It was time to work. Andy communicated his ideas for the primary shot to Johnny and we all held our breath as the Heisman Trophy winner nimbly ascended the scaffolding wearing new Adidas cleats that Andy had specially modified for the shoot.