Johnny Manziel has had well-documented alcohol and substance abuse issues in recent years. Stuck in a self-described "rut," he said a conversation with his mother helped steer him away from his dependencies and onto a path that he hopes will lead back to the NFL.
"I got so low to the point where I questioned what I was doing and if my life was probably really worth living to a point anymore and got really down and really had to sit and reflect and look on what I was doing every day," Manziel said Wednesday during an interview with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt.
"My mom came to me one day and asked me -- she didn't really ask, she was just in tears -- 'What are you doing with your life? Why do I have to go around and get this secondhand of words and conversations of the negative things you're doing around the world that's coming back to me?'
"And I saw how bad that it broke her heart, and it sucked. And it really hit home."
The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback performed at Texas A&M's pro day on Tuesday in front of NFL coaches and scouts. He will make his debut in the developmental Spring League on April 7, hoping to impress the scouts who have watched him throw this week.
He told reporters at pro day that he feels he's in a good place mentally as he chases another shot at the NFL or, if that doesn't come to pass, opportunity in the Canadian Football League.
"I have a great family. I was always raised the right way. I knew the difference from right and wrong, but for whatever reason, I just liked to choose wrong," Manziel told Van Pelt. "And I got in that rut."
Manziel said he's reliant on his family, agent, wife and a "great support system out there if I choose to use it, and I started to use it." He said he has shed those in his life who were in it just to have fun.
"It's nice to wake up with a smile on your face and not be down and out," Manziel said.