Johnny Manziel takes time to support childhood cancer fight

Johnny Manziel

Credit: WFAA

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel helped raise money to fight cancer at the III Forks Golf Classic in Plano on May 6, 2013.

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by GEORGE RIBA / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

PLANO — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's celebrity is transcending the game of football.

"I told a lot of people after my trip to Kerrville that I really wanted to start doing better things," Manziel said. "I could change a lot of peoples' lives and raise a lot of awareness with that trophy."

That trophy, of course, is the Heisman, which he won in December as a freshman.

On Monday at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Manziel was playing golf to help bring more awareness to kids battling cancer. The tournament was the III Forks Golf Classic benefiting the Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Sunday's auction raised nearly $100,000 for the foundation, and $15,000 of that was a direct result of Manziel’s support through autographs — and, of course, a chance to play a round with the Heisman Trophy winner.

"It’s not only that's he's lending support for this Team Connor today and to raise funds, but I think he lends such hope to children that are fighting cancer that somebody like him — who has such stage presence and all this media attention — is fighting for them," said Joy Cruse, Connor's mom.

Connor was just eight years old when he died in 2009 after a four-year battle with cancer.

"As the father of an eight-year-old son that I lost, for him, a hero to grow up in Texas, what he's accomplished as a freshman and what he stands for and him being here, we're very proud to stand with him. Very proud," said Tait Cruse, Connor's dad.

Meanwhile, Manziel said he's learned a lot recently about being himself — no matter how much he's scrutinized in public.

"I just feel like I’m not changing; I’m not going to let this trophy change me," Manziel said. "It’s going to change for the better. It brings opportunities to my life like this and other things."

And that certainly sounds like man a who is figuring out how to be a celebrity.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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