Manziel bolts Texas A&M, enters NFL Draft
In a surprise to no one, the most dynamic player in Texas A&M history is headed to the NFL.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel, who had two years of eligibility remaining, has declared for the NFL Draft. Manziel is expected to be a first-round pick in a quarterback-heavy draft.
"After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft," Manziel said in a statement. "The decision was not an easy one, but we all felt this was the right time to make the next step toward a professional career," said Manziel. "My experiences here and the support of this school, coach (Kevin) Sumlin, Chancellor (John) Sharp, my teammates, my classmates and Aggie football fans everywhere will be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life. I’ll always be an Aggie."
Since leading Texas A&M to a 52-48 comeback win over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Manziel had been noncommittal about his future. He did manage to spend time with Drake and hang out at a Florida State party in addition to doing some television work at the BCS championship.
Now Manziel will have to live up to lofty professional expectations raised by a record-setting career in College Station in which he set at least 35 school, NCAA and SEC records.
"In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen," Sumlin said. "We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best."
Manziel helped usher the Aggies into the SEC last season by guiding the team to an 11-2 record, eventually becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy Award.
In just two seasons, Manziel totaled 9,989 yards of total offense, the most every by a sophomore and owns the SEC record for total yards in a season. He also set the Texas A&M record for passing yards in a season this year with 3,744.
Manziel’s freshman year was marked by Texas A&M’s 29-25 win at Alabama, a game that vaulted Manziel to the top of the Heisman Trophy hopefuls.
His sophomore year began with a ½-game suspension as a result of signatures of Manziel being sold in the offseason. Despite the off-field issues, Manziel ended his sophomore year by being tabbed a second team All-America by The Associated Press.
Manziel led the SEC in passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense. Twice he surpassed 500 yards in total offense and was the only player in college football to finish in the top 10 in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, quarterback rating and total offense.
He finished his sophomore year with school records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense as he generated 4,873 total yards, while completing 300 of 429 passes for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns and rushing for 759 yards and nine touchdowns. His completion percentage of 69.9 was also a school record.
The Aggies won 20 games with Manziel as the starter and finished the season ranked in the AP polls in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1998-99 seasons.
Manziel is the second underclassman on the Aggie offense to declare for the draft. Last week All-America receiving Mike Evans, who is also a redshirt sophomore, announced he was headed to the NFL.
With Manziel gone, the Aggies will now likely turn to Kenny Hill. Hill played in four games as a true freshman, going 16 for 22 and a touchdown. Kyle Allen, one of the top quarterback recruits in the country, has already enrolled at A&M and is expected to participate in spring practices.