- Cullman, Alabama

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July 18, 2013

SEC MEDIA DAYS (ALABAMA NOTEBOOK): McCarron focused on self, avoids Manziel talk

HOOVER — By all accounts, A.J. McCarron and Johnny Manziel are friends. At the very least, the two SEC superstars are bros.

Plans to take a tropical vacation together or not, the Alabama quarterback is his own person, a fact McCarron made very clear during the Tide's turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday.

“I can't answer on Johnny Manziel's part,” he quickly quipped when asked about Johnny Football's version of events involving an early exit at last weekend's Manning Passing Academy. “My name's AJ, so everything that has to do with him, he's his own man. I know how I handle myself, how I carry myself in front of people and that's what I worry about.”

The tide has recently started to turn away from Manziel, at least as far as public perception is concerned.

The Heisman winner found himself knee-deep in drama twice in the last week alone, beginning with the Manning-camp debacle. Then, on Monday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from an arrest in 2012.

Each incident came with its fair share of negative headlines for Manziel, a fate McCarron said he does his best to avoid each and every day.

“I never want to bring any bad attention on anybody close to me, especially not my teammates, my coaching staff, my family. That's just the way I am,” he said. “I don't need spotlight. I'm happy in my own skin, the person I am, trying to represent everybody the right way.”

Having the spotlight isn't all bad, though. On Thursday, McCarron donned a special bow tie to honor his cousin, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Hopefully it'll spread some type of awareness throughout the state of Alabama for breast cancer,” he said.

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