News Column

QB Johnny Manziel Reportedly Going Pro

January 8, 2014

By Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

After two seasons of wowing college fans with his on-field abilities and off-field antics, Johnny Football is taking his game to the NFL.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel submitted paperwork Wednesday declaring his intentions to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, according to Gil Brandt, an NFL.com analyst and former Dallas Cowboys vice-president of player personnel. Brandt posted the news on his Twitter account (@Gil_Brandt).

The only thing missing, at this point, is Manziel's formal announcement that he has filed the paperwork. Such a step would be consistent with recent Manziel actions, including his selection of an agent and his ongoing comments about NFL draft interest that began in February.

If he's truly gone, as A&M insiders envision, Manziel leaves as the school's career leader in total offense (9,989 yards) and completion percentage (68.9 percent) while compiling a 20-6 record in two seasons as the Aggies' starting quarterback.

Manziel, 21, topped the 500-yard mark in five games at A&M. He owns school records for most total yards in a game (576), most passing yards in a game (464), most total yards in a season (5,116), most touchdown passes in a season (37) and highest completion rate in a season (69.9 pct.).

Despite his undersized frame (6-foot, 200 pounds), Manziel is projected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, perhaps a top-5 selection. His quickness and improvisation skills have set him apart from other college players, helping the Kerrville Tivy product account for the two most prolific seasons by an SEC quarterback during his two years at A&M.

Manziel has reportedly selected Select Sports Group, a Houston-based agency, to represent his NFL interests, with marketing opportunities overseen by LRMR, a firm run by LeBron James' business partner Maverick Carter.

Manziel has dropped strong hints about his NFL intentions since February, when Manziel cited the rookie success of undersized Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson (5-11, 204) as a motivating factor for his NFL dreams while in Fort Worth to accept the 2012 Davey O'Brien Award.

"Regardless of how long I'm at A&M, ... I'm going to enjoy the time that I do have and go out and try to win every game," Manziel said in February. "For me, being a shorter guy, a chance at the NFL, at a high draft pick, that's something that I've only ever dreamed about ... When the time comes, I think it will be a hard decision."

Asked about his NFL potential before the Duke game, which would be his last as a college player, Manziel said: "You take everything into account. But more than anything, 'Are you ready for the next level?' That's the big thing. In my mind, I think I am."

Original headline: Manziel reportedly files NFL paperwork, ending A&M career


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