Johnny Manziel makes it official, leaves Texas A&M to enter NFL draft
Johnny Football is heading to the NFL.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft on Wednesday following two spectacular seasons in which he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and helped the Aggies make a splash in their first two years in the SEC.
"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 letter posted online by the university. "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."
Some NFL draft analysts have Manziel ranked as high as third among quarterbacks expected to be available in the draft.
In a style befitting his record-setting career, Manziel led the Aggies to a 52-48 come-from-behind win against Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in his final college game. Texas A&M trailed 38-17 at halftime before Manziel guided the Aggies to the victory by finishing with 382 yards passing with four TD tosses and 73 yards rushing and another score.
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman in 2012 after setting numerous school and SEC records while leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 record and a victory against No. 1 Alabama in its first season in the SEC.
The Aggies were supposed to contend for a national title in Manziel's encore. But another standout season by the dynamic quarterback wasn't enough to overcome a porous defense that was among the worst in the nation. Texas A&M finished 9-4.
Manziel led the SEC with 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns and he topped the team in rushing with 759 yards and nine more scores. He threw more touchdown passes, had more yards passing, a better completion percentage and averaged more yards an attempt than he did in 2012.
Manziel also led the SEC in total offense in 2013.
Manziel was again a finalist for the Heisman in 2013, but Jameis Winston stole his thunder with a season much like Manziel's a year before to take home the award to Florida State. Manziel finished fifth.