Eight head coaches and eight general managers were present, including Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O'Brien, who hold the rights to the No. 1 overall pick. Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles still seems to be the favorite to be the top pick if Houston stays put, but the in-state product Manziel will be considered. O'Brien spent a good amount of time talking with Manziel's family and will meet privately with the former Heisman Trophy winner and local product who has publicly dared the Texans to pass on him. If not Houston, Jacksonville (third overall pick) and Cleveland (fourth) are two other possibilities. Browns general manager Ray Farmer was not at Manziel's workout, but by no means does that make him less of a possibility for Cleveland. Does this elevate Manziel's draft stock? Doubtful. But it was a positive step for him as the draft process winds down. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/03/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: Johnny Manziel knocks it out of the park at pro day...At a pro day with a former U.S. president in attendance, Johnny Manziel was the main attraction Thursday. The former Texas A&M quarterback threw in front of dozens of NFL scouts and coaches. And he threw well. Very well. The scripted 65-pass session was created by Manziel and his quarterback coach, George Whitfield, who has recently worked with top prospects in preparation for draft workouts, including Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. Every snap Manziel took was under center -- he operated out of the shotgun primarily in A&M's spread offense -- and only two passes hit the ground. One was juggled by fellow first-round prospect wide receiver Mike Evans. One other throw took the receiver out of bounds so Manziel officially finished 62-for-65.
It was not quite perfect, but the projected top-10 pick lived up to his reputation of delivering on the big stage. "I thought it was good," Manziel said Thursday. "I was obviously going for perfection so when a couple balls hit the ground, one was on me and one was a little high, could have gotten it down for him a little bit. Overall, I thought it was really good." There was nothing conventional about the scene at the Aggies' indoor practice facility, where the workout was held. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/03/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft: Week 4 Pro Days takeaways...1. The man. The myth. The top-5 pick? I'd be remiss if I didn't put Johnny Football as the No. 1 pro day topic from this past week. I've been to a lot of pro days and the performance of Robert Griffin III at Baylor two years ago is probably the only on-campus workout that came close to the spectacle I witnessed on Thursday. Manziel, who surprisingly donned a helmet and shoulder pads for his passing session, threw 65 times with only two balls hitting the ground. And of the 65 passes only eight were inaccurate, according to my eyes.
While it was a positive workout, Manziel didn't show much that we didn't already know about him. He has a better-than-advertised arm, he can throw on the move and he shines with all eyes locked on him. Maybe the only thing he answered for scouts and coaches this week was that he can take snaps from under center without any issues as all 65 of his snaps were from a traditional pro-style, under center look. So while he looked good and started a stir among most in the media, let's keep the pro day in perspective as there is nothing new about him that we didn't know already. Manziel will be considered at No. 1 for the Texans and he does have a realistic shot of going first. But if not to Houston, I expect Jacksonville at three and the Browns at four to be the next likeliest landing spots for the exciting, but polarizing prospect. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/03/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: Johnny Manziel knocks it out of the park at pro day...Manziel donned shoulder pads and a helmet, a rare occurrence for a quarterback or any player at a pro day. Former NFL executive Gil Brandt has been covering the NFL for over 50 years and said he has never seen it done. Perhaps Manziel was hoping to mask a frame that is small by NFL standards, and certainly in contrast to the past two No. 1 overall picks -- Luck (6-5, 235) and Newton (6-5, 239). When reporters asked why, Manziel said "Why not?" Manziel showed off his quick feet in his three-, five- and seven-step drops with a compact, swift release. He dropped to a three-quarters or sidearm delivery on a few throws.
His timing was slightly off on others, especially over the middle, and his low release point stood out, but there were certainly more positives than negatives to the workout. Whitfield used a broom and bean bags to represent pressure and even rushed himself with his arms above his head to simulate pass rushers in his face, similar exercises to those performed at Luck's pro day in 2012. In typical Manziel fashion, he looked athletic escaping and moving the pocket while snapping a throw downfield. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/27/2014 - 2014 NFL COMBINE: 10 TAKEAWAYS FROM INDIANAPOLIS: 4. Moving up in the first round of this draft is a legitimate accomplishment, as several long-time scouts praised it for its talent and depth. "I've been doing this 30 years," Pittsburgh Steelers' general manager Kevin Colbert said, "this is the deepest draft I've ever seen." A record 102 underclassmen entered this year's pool, which clearly improvement the depth of the talent pool but also added to its unpredictability. "The juniors added into it make it a very talented group," Colbert said. "With the juniors and redshirt sophomores, we are very cautiously optimistic about their emotional and physical readiness for this huge jump. Even though it's the most talented group I've seen, it's probably the most immature group." - The Sports Xchange
02/21/2014 - 2014 NFL combine: Manziel falls just short of 6-foot mark...Before players run the 40-yard dash or participate in positional drills, they step on the scale and get measured for the "official" height, weight, hand size, arm length and wingspan. There usually aren't too many surprises among the seniors, but with the large number of underclassmen, we can finally get the exact numbers on the juniors and redshirt sophomores. And going into Friday, there were three main questions for the top quarterbacks in this group that were answered: Would Manziel get above 6-foot?
No, Johnny Manziel measured in at 5-11 3/4 and 207 pounds, but he also has the largest hands of any quarterback at the Combine (9 7/8 inches). Manziel has clearly worked his tail off in the locker room since arriving at Texas A&M, adding 35 pounds of muscle to his smaller frame. And with his big hands (and size 15 shoes), it wasn't the worst-case scenario weigh-in for Johnny Football, despite not reaching the 6-foot mark. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 7. *Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M, 6-0, 210, 4.45, 1...One of the most dynamic performers in college football history must now prove he can continue his magic in a league even tougher than the SEC, where in only two years he collected 9,989 total yards (7,,820 passing, 2,169 rushing), 93 touchdowns (63 passing, 30 running) and a Heisman Trophy (first freshman winner, 2012). He maintains flamboyant, spontaneous, vociferous style on and off the field, which concerns some who question his focus. But that's the package, which now includes his unpopular decision not to throw at combine. Otherwise, he has amazing football instincts, and an adequate arm with great accuracy. Can he produce in the NFL? The honest answer is, for now, nobody really knows. Some team must roll the dice to find out. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Combine: From 40 times to Fritos, 10 Bold Predictions: 1. How brittle is Manziel's chip? While he has already announced that he won't be participating in any athletic testing until his personal pro day March 27, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel remains the "big" story of the 2014 draft, and therefore by extension the combine. Just how big remains to be seen. Manziel was officially listed at 6-1, 210 pounds by the Aggies and what he actually measures in at will be the first of many important tests he'll face in Indianapolis. Another will be what kind of composure he'll show when facing critics who question his assertion that if the Houston Texans select anyone other than him at No. 1, it will be "the worst decision they've ever made."
Electing not to compete on the field at the combine could prove one of the worst decisions Manziel has ever made. While no one questions Manziel's confidence or improvisational skill, there are plenty of concerns about his accuracy, including when standing still in the pocket - a trait certain to be tested in the combine's drills but not necessarily as much so during Manziel's choreographed session a month and a half from now. Should Bridgewater, Central Florida's Blake Bortles or Fresno State's Derek Carr take advantage of Manziel's absence with a spectacular throwing session in Indianapolis, they could be the quarterback vaulting up draft boards. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/12/2014 - Johnny Manziel sets date for private workout...The next time most NFL talent evaluators are likely to see Johnny Manziel throw a football is March 27. That is the date of Manziel's personal on-campus workout in College Station, with the Houston Chronicle's John McClain reporting Manziel will skip the Aggies' March 5 team pro day. Manziel has not announced whether he will throw at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis -- quarterback passing drills are scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23 -- but he has been working in the San Diego area with noted quarterbacks guru George Whitfield Jr. along with Baylor's Bryce Petty and Rice quarterback Nate German. They are among 14 FBS starters expected to work with Whitfield in March, according to McClain.
Manziel has been working on his mechanics, and it is not uncommon for top quarterback prospects to schedule their own pro days, choosing the time for NFL teams to flock to their campuses to watch them throw to familiar receivers. Manziel is the No. 3-rated quarterback and No. 7 prospect overall, according to current NFLDraftScout.com ratings. However, he remains one of this draft's most polarizing prospects with a high-profile off-field life to go along with a skill set that has scouts debating his NFL potential. NFLDraftScout.com analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler both have Manziel going No. 4 overall to the Cleveland Browns in their current mock drafts, although he is not among the top 10 on Rang's Big Board. - The Sports Xchange
01/13/2014 - Johnny Manziel confirmed Monday that he has signed with LRMR and Maverick Carter, the longtime friend and associate of LeBron James, to handle some of the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's off-field projects. Manziel also said Erik Burkhardt will be his agent and Bradley Beckworth and Jeffrey Angelovich are overseeing his business-related matters. The relationship with LRMR and Carter has been developing for some time. James said last week that he texted Manziel regularly throughout the quarterback's final season at Texas A&M. And when Manziel was deciding who to align with, Beckworth said the model that James followed was one that was most appealing. Beckworth said after reviewing management models, the Manziel team was "most impressed by one uniquely established for the NBA's LeBron James." - AP Sports
01/08/2014 - Texas A&M QB Manziel headed to NFL...Texas A&M Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel today announced that he has begun the process of filing the paperwork necessary to declare for the 2014 NFL draft. "After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft. 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 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."
Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, leaves Texas A&M as one of the most decorated and exciting players in college football history. The first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, Manziel was a two-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick at quarterback. He was the college player of the year in 2012 and he also won the Davey O'Brien Award and the Manning Award. "In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen," Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best." - Texas A&M football
01/08/2014 - Texas A&M QB Manziel headed to NFL...As a sophomore, Manziel was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and finished fifth in the voting. He was also a finalist for the O'Brien, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Award, Manning Award, Hornung Award and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. In 2013, Manziel set school records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense in 2013 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.
Manziel is the only player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to gain 5,000 total yards in a season, while rushing for 1,000 yards (5,116/1,410 in 2012). Also in 2012, he became the fifth FBS players to pass for 3,000 and rush for 1,000 in a season, and he became the fifth player to rush and pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a single season. Manziel became the first sophomore in FBS history to pass for 7,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in 2013. - Texas A&M football
01/07/2014 - Report: Manziel selects NFL agents...Johnny Manziel passed on the bright lights of the ESPN stage before Monday's national title game to announce whether he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, but Texas A&M's redshirt sophomore quarterback has selected his agents, according to ESPN.com. Manziel has chosen Houston-based Select Sports Group to be his contract agency and LRMR to handle his marketing, according to the report. LRMR is the firm run by LeBron James' business partner, Maverick Carter. Manziel attended a Miami Heat playoff game last season, and said he and the NBA superstar regularly traded text message last summer. He was reportedly seen sitting courtside with Carter at the Heat's game against the Golden State Warriors last week. Manziel is currently the No. 8-rated overall player eligible this year, according to NFLDraftScout.com ratings. He is likely to be a top 10 selection should he indeed elect to leave school, but the quarterback class received a strong boost with juniors Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville and UCF's Blake Bortles announcing they will forgo their final years of eligibility. - The Sports Xchange
01/05/2014 - Johnny Manziel - the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and star Texas A&M quarterback - will forgo his final two years of college eligibility and enter the National Football League's 2014 draft, according to a teammate. According to The Houston Chronicle, Ricky Seals-Jones, a Texas A&M wide receiver, said "Johnny's gone," in an impromptu remark made Friday night that represents the first public account from an A&M insider of Manziel's plans. "He's gone." The paper writes Seals-Jones made the prediction during an off-the-cuff interview given at basketball game at his old high school. The wideout reportedly dropped by the broadcast booth for a Sealy High School contest - the school is located in Sealy, Texas - and was asked by an announcer about Texas A&M's quarterback rotation for the still-far-off 2014 campaign.
The Texas A&M Aggies just concluded their 2013 season on Dec. 31 with a 52-48 win over Duke University in the Chick-fil-A-Bowl in Atlanta - a game in which Manziel passed for 382 yards at four touchdowns. When Seals-Jones failed to include Manziel in his response, the savvy announcer quickly retorted, "Do we have a scoop? Did I just hear Johnny Manziel not being mentioned for next year?" That's when The Chronicle reports a bemused Seals-Jones rendered the prediction concerning Manziel's intentions for the NFL. Many have long thought Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football," was headed to the pros - and especially after a 2013 imbroglio concerning allegations he'd received payment for autographs briefly threatened his NCAA eligibility. But Seals-Jones' Friday remarks reportedly are the first from either Manziel -- or anyone connected to the A&M program -- about whether the football phenom would bypass his final two years of college eligibility. - Fox News
01/01/2014 - If this was it for Johnny Manziel, he went out in style. And college football certainly will miss one of the most polarizing players to come along in years. Manziel put on a show in what most believe will his final college game, rallying No. 21 Texas A&M to a 52-48 win over No. 24 Duke in a thrilling Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday at the Georgia Dome. Toney Hurd Jr.'s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown gave A&M its first lead with 3:33 left in the fourth quarter. Manziel threw four touchdown passes, rushed for a score and added to his lengthy career highlight reel with a remarkable play that jumpstarted the Aggies' comeback. On A&M's first possession of the second half, with Duke leading 38-17, Manziel took off up the middle, jumped into the air and bounced off a defender before rolling to his left and finding wide-open wide receiver Travis Labhart for a 19-yard touchdown. Labhart caught three touchdown passes on the night.
Manziel ran in from 3 yards out to cut Duke's lead to 41-38 early in the fourth quarter. Blue Devils quarterback Anthony Boone answered by leading a 14-play, 75-yard drive, capped by his third touchdown pass of the game, a 21-yarder to tight end David Reeves that put Duke up by 10 with 6:48 to play. Manziel responded with his fourth touchdown pass, tying a Chick-fil-A Bowl record with a 44-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Derel Walker (six catches, 113 yards). The redshirt sophomore quarterback finished 30 of 38 with 382 yards, and he added 73 yards on 11 carries. - The Sports Xchange
12/31/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M is the headliner wherever he goes and this will be no exception for the bowl game. He directs the passing attack, but he's also a threat to run the ball for the Aggies. That combination figures to be troubling for a Duke defense that can be vulnerable at times, as it surrendered chunks of yards the last two games to North Carolina and Florida State. Manziel threw for 33 touchdowns and 3,732 yards this season, and he's also the team's top rusher with 686 yards. - The Sports Xchange
12/12/2013 - 2013 DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD FINALIST (TOP QUARTERBACK): Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ... Manziel led the SEC in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, total offense and points responsibility. Manziel completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 686 rushing yards. He averaged 368.2 yards of total offense per game and is one of just seven FBS players to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in 2013. - Texas A&M football
12/12/2013 - 2013 MAXWELL AWARD FINALIST (COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR): Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Manziel picked up the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and the Heisman Trophy in recognition of his play last season, and he has continued to post amazing numbers this fall. For the season, he has passed for 3,537 yards and 32 touchdowns and added 665 yards on the ground for the 8-3 Aggies. - Maxwell Award
12/12/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD FINALIST: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel...Manziel led the SEC in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, total offense and points responsibility. Manziel completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 686 rushing yards. He averaged 368.2 yards of total offense per game and is one of just seven FBS players to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in 2013. - Texas A&M football
12/12/2013 - Manziel told reporters in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where he's up for two awards in Thursday night's The Home Depot College Football Awards, that he doesn't have a timeline for deciding whether to declare for the NFL draft. But the redshirt sophomore said he's certainly thinking about it. Most have considered it a foregone conclusion the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and '13 finalist will leave. "You take everything into account," Manziel told reporters, in audio provided by Texags. "More than anything, are you ready for the next level? You don't want to go be unprepared for the National Football League or leave two years on the table. In the grand scheme, it all comes down to making the best decision for you."
Manziel, one of four Aggies up for awards, said that while he's focused on the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, he will do research in the coming weeks to come to a decision. He does think he's NFL ready. "I'm playing for the most part a really high level of football," he said, "putting the ball where I want, throwing it with a lot of velocity, so in my mind I think I am." - Kate Hairopoulos, The Dallas Morning News
12/11/2013 - 2013 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Manziel led the SEC in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, total offense and points responsibility. Manziel completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 686 rushing yards. He averaged 368.2 yards of total offense per game and is one of just seven FBS players to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in 2013. He had a pair of 500-yard total offense games with 562 vs. Alabama and 502 vs. Auburn. - Texas A&M football
12/10/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM: QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-1, 210, So,...Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, led the SEC in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, total offense and points responsibility. Manziel completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 686 rushing yards. He averaged 368.2 yards of total offense per game and is one of just seven FBS players to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in 2013.
He had a pair of 500-yard total offense games with 562 vs. Alabama and 502 vs. Auburn. He is the only player in college football to rank in the top 10 statistically in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, QB rating, yards per attempt, total offense, yards per play and points responsibility. - Texas A&M football
12/09/2013 - 2013 HEISMAN TROPHY FINALIST: Texas A&M redshirt sophomore QB Johnny Manziel...Manziel, a sophomore from Kerrville, Texas, is the only player in college football to rank in the top 10 statistically in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, QB rating, yards per attempt, total offense, yards per play and points responsibility. Comparing his 2013 stats to his award-winning numbers from 2012, Manziel has seen improvement in passing yards, QB rating, completion percentage, passing touchdowns and yards per attempt. Last year, Manziel became the first freshman and fifth player to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 3,000 yards in the same season. This year, he became the 14th player and only sophomore in NCAA history to hit 2,000 rushing yards and 7,000 passing yards for his career.
Manziel did it in the 23rd game of his career. Going into the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Manziel has generated 9,534 total yards, including 2,096 rushing yards and 7,438 passing yards in just 25 career games. In 2013, Manziel has completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 686 rushing yards. He averaged 368.2 yards of total offense per game and is one of just seven FBS players to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in 2013. He had a pair of 500-yard total offense games with 562 vs. Alabama and 502 vs. Auburn. - Texas A&M football
11/29/2013 - Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says he doesn't know when Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will decide whether to enter the 2014 NFL draft. A report this weekend said that Sumlin said that the redshirt sophomore quarterback would make a decision on his future before Texas A&M's bowl game. On Tuesday, Sumlin said his comments were misconstrued. "I didn't say that he's going to make a decision before the bowl game is played," Sumlin said. "I never said that."
He said he and his staff will gather information on Manziel and other Aggies who are eligible for early entry into the draft after the regular season ends on Saturday to help them make their decisions when the time is right. "We'll have an analysis by the NFL, I'll talk to some different people and what I try to do is give our guys as much factual information that I can gather from the NFL specifically instead of what's being said on television or on blogs and things like that," Sumlin said. "That's my job as a coach to give them as much information as I can so they can make the best decision for them and their family." Manziel has refused to discuss his plans, saying he's focused on his remaining games this season. But most believe that he will enter the draft after two stellar seasons in College Station. - AP Sports
11/29/2013 - Terrence Magee piled up rushing yards the old fashioned way. Johnny Manziel couldn't keep up. Magee rushed for a career-high 149 yards, LSU's defense pulled the plug on Johnny Football and Texas A&M's video-game offense, and the No. 18 Tigers energized Death Valley with a commanding 34-10 victory. What was likely Manziel's only visit to Tiger Stadium was among the worst outings of his otherwise brilliant career. He passed for 224 yards and a TD, but completed only 16 of 41, was sacked twice and intercepted twice as the Aggies' road winning streak ended at 10.
Two weeks ago, LSU's young defense appeared ground down in the second half of a 38-17 loss at Alabama, begging the question of how vulnerable the unit might be against A&M's SEC-leading offense, which came in averaging a whopping 578 yards and 49.2 points per game. Instead, the Tigers became the first to shut out Manziel in a first quarter since September of 2012, and ended A&M's 13-game streak of scoring 40 or more points. - AP Sports
11/23/2013 - Sumlin: Manziel draft decision expected before bowl...Expect Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to decide before the Aggies' bowl game whether he'll stay in college for another year or declare for the NFL Draft, his coach said Friday. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin plans to sit down with Manziel and discuss the future after the Aggies' regular-season finale against Missouri on Nov. 30.
Manziel, a redshirt sophomore, is projected as a first-round draft pick should he decide to jump in next year. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Manziel is the No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 3 quarterback behind Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Oregon's Marcus Mariota. "We haven't had that conversation," Sumlin said Friday during the SVP & Russillo radio show on ESPN. "My job is to get him all the facts that we can get him. We'll have that discussion after the Missouri game, certainly during the bowl preparation. I'm sure the announcement will be made at that time." Texas A&M (9-2) plays at No. 19 LSU on Saturday.
"He's handled things on the field as well as any player in the country," Sumlin said. "His numbers are better than they were last year. And I've had a number of people tell me there's no more exciting college football player in the country than he is, and he's the guy they like to watch. He's a special talent. "His energy, his leadership on the team is evident and he continues to get better every week." - The Sports Xchange
11/14/2013 - Drew Brees says Johnny Manziel 'can do it all,' can be NFL starter...Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees faced much of the same size-related criticism long before leading the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl and breaking NFL single-season passing records. FoxSports.com reached out to Brees earlier this week to talk Manziel, and the Saints quarterback had plenty of compliments for Manziel -- and a Russell Wilson comparison.
"He is a heckuva player," Brees told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. "He's fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays. "He's got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all."
Most importantly, Brees thinks the third-year sophomore who most expect will declare for the NFL after this season has the most necessary of intangibles - the ability to take control of a huddle and lead an NFL offense. When asked if Manziel, who is listed at 6-foot-1, could be a starter at the next level, Brees put it simply: "Yeah, absolutely." Do you think Brees, Manziel and Russell Wilson will have their own exclusive party at the Pro Bowl one day? I'd like to think so, considering all that's been made of this whole "undersized quarterback" narrative. If they do, I'd bet 6-foot-7 quarterback Brock Osweiler (currently with the Denver Broncos) is definitely not on the list. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
11/11/2013 - TOP 10 SCARIEST PLAYERS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB: When you can put a scare into Nick Saban, you're a pretty frightening dude, and the Aggies quarterback certainly is. No one extends plays like Manziel. All off-season we heard how Saban and Kirby Smart were going to bottle up Manziel since they had months to find answers for him, and all the 6-foot, 203-pound Texan did was account for 562 yards as his team piled up 628 and six TDs. To provide context, in Alabama's seven other games combined, the Tide has surrendered three TDs and only 1,619 yards. After the surviving this season's encounter with Manziel and the Aggies, Saban told A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, "You took 10 years off my life." It's no stretch to think that Manziel was a big reason why the 61-year-old coach felt like that. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
11/11/2013 - If this was Johnny Football's final home game, he gave the fans something to remember. Johnny Manziel threw for 446 yards and tied a career-high with five touchdown passes to lead No. 11 Texas A&M to a 51-41 win over Mississippi State in what could be the Heisman Trophy winner's last home game. The crowd chanted "One more year! One more year!" late in the game for Manziel, who is eligible for the draft after this season. Whether he comes back remains to be seen, but he went into the stands to celebrate with the student section when the game was over.
Among the crowd of 88,504, third largest ever at A&M, on hand to see Manziel play at Kyle Field for the possibly final time was former President George H.W. Bush and former Texas A&M and current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. Texas governor Rick Perry was the co-pilot in the pre-game flyover and also attended the game Mississippi State cut the lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Manziel threw his fifth touchdown pass to make it 44-27 for A&M. - AP Sports
11/11/2013 - WEEK 11 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for 446 yards and tied a career high with five TD passes to lead the No. 11 Aggies to a 51-41 win over Mississippi State in what could be the Heisman Trophy winner's last home game. - AP Sports
11/09/2013 - Whether or not Saturday was Johnny Manziel's last home game, the Heisman Trophy winner certainly made sure to soak in every last moment. Manziel threw for 446 yards and tied a career-high with five touchdown passes to lead No. 11 Texas A&M to a 51-41 win over Mississippi State. The crowd chanted ''one more year'' late in the game for Manziel, who is eligible for the draft after this season. Whether he comes back remains to be seen, but he went into the stands to celebrate with the student section when the game was over.
Manziel denied that he even has entertained the thought that he might not play here again. ''Not one bit,'' he said. ''I'm focused on trying to get us to a BCS bowl.'' He did admit that Saturday was an emotional day and said that the crowd was ''awesome." ''With the chant and with the energy they brought ... just a great way to end this year,'' he said putting extra emphasis on the words ''this year.'' - AP Sports
11/04/2013 - Stat of the Day, Take III: Against UTEP, Johnny Manziel accounted for six TDs (four throwing and two running). It marked the ninth time the sophomore has accounted for at least five TDs in a game. What's really amazing is that Manziel's only played 22 college games, meaning 41 percent of the games he's played, he's scored at least five TDs. Most college QBs don't even play as freshmen and don't really blossom till their junior seasons. The Aggies still have three regular-season games and a bowl remaining and Manziel's already tied his passing TD total of last season (26). His completion percentage is up from 68 percent to 73 and yards per attempt has gone from 8.5 to 10.4. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
11/04/2013 - WEEK 10 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NATIONAL FBS OFFENSIVE PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Johnny Manziel (Texas AM)...Johnny Manziel didn't like the way Texas A&M's offense was playing early on Saturday night against UTEP, so he called an impromptu meeting on the sidelines to get the unit back on track. The Heisman Trophy winner's speech worked. Manziel threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in less than three quarters to lead No. 12 Texas A&M to a lopsided 57-7 win over UTEP.
The Aggies trailed by five points early before scoring 55 straight to cruise to the victory against the overmatched Miners, losers of six straight. ''He just made a great leadership speech,'' receiver Travis Labhart said. ''Told us to get back to doing what we do.'' Manziel threw touchdown passes of 44, 15, 17 and 26 yards and had TD runs of 10 and 49 yards before putting on his baseball cap with 7:39 left in the third quarter. - College Football Performance Awards/Texas A&M football
11/03/2013 - Johnny Manziel threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in less than three quarters to lead No. 12 Texas A&M to a lopsided 57-7 win over UTEP on Saturday night. The Aggies trailed by five points early before scoring 55 straight to cruise to the victory against the overmatched Miners, losers of six straight. Manziel threw touchdown passes of 44, 15, 17 and 26 yards and had TD runs of 10 and 49 yards before putting on his baseball cap with 7:39 left in the third quarter.
The Miners were done in by four turnovers, including two interceptions by A&M's Howard Matthews. UTEP's Blaire Sullivan was making his first start with Jameill Showers, a transfer from A&M, out with a shoulder injury. Sullivan threw for 71 yards with three interceptions. The Aggies finished with 564 total yards for their eighth straight game with at least 500 yards. Manziel had with 273 yards passing and 67 yards rushing. Two of his touchdown passes went to former walk-on Travis Labhart, who had four receptions for 83 yards. - AP Sports
10/28/2013 - Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin didn't know if Johnny Manziel would be able to play Saturday against Vanderbilt until pregame warm-ups. "Johnny Football" didn't have any of those doubts. Manziel threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters, and No. 14 Texas A&M bounced back with a 56-24 victory over Vanderbilt.
Manziel showed no signs that the right shoulder he injured last week was bothering him. He threw three TDs in the first quarter to help A&M (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) build a 28-point lead. He tacked on another score before sitting down with 6 minutes left in the third quarter and the Aggies leading 42-17. - AP Sports
10/26/2013 - Drama has followed Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel throughout the season. Saturday's plotline involved whether the Texas A&M quarterback would even be able to play against Vanderbilt after sustaining a shoulder injury a week earlier. Manziel, with a terrific first quarter, gave the 16th-ranked Aggies a big enough lead that couldn't be squandered later in the game. Despite five turnovers, four fumbles and an interception, A&M coasted to a 56-24 victory over the Commodores in front of 86,584 fans at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M upped its record to 6-2 and 3-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Vanderbilt, which knocked off Georgia a week ago for its first league victory, dropped to 4-4 and 1-4. The Commodores, playing with their second-string quarterback, failed to take advantage of what has been a porous Aggie defense. Manziel's pre-game status was described as "hopeful" by coach Kevin Sumlin. Manziel's right arm was immobilized in a sling earlier in the week. Sumlin offered no other details about the quarterback's injury, and Manziel continued his media blackout.
He showed no signs of injury, especially early in the game, as A&M built a 28-0 lead during the first 17 minutes. Manziel was 10-of-10 for 70 yards on the Aggies opening series. It was the seventh straight game that A&M has scored a touchdown on the opening possession. Manziel threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter -- an eight-yarder to Derel Walker, a seven-yarder to LaQuvionte Gonzalez and a 43-yarder to Mike Evans. - The Sports Xchange
10/26/2013 - Johnny Manziel threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters, and No. 14 Texas A&M bounced back with a 56-24 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Manziel showed no signs that the right shoulder he injured last week was bothering him. He threw three TDs in the first quarter to help A&M (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) build a 28-point lead. He tacked on another score before sitting down with 6 minutes left in the third quarter and the Aggies leading 42-17.
The Aggies rebounded from last week's upset loss to Auburn despite playing a messy game where they had five turnovers. Freshman Patton Robinette had a tough time in his first start filling in for the injured Austyn Carta-Samuels for Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4). He threw two interceptions - one was returned for a score - and was sacked five times. Mike Evans and Derel Walker had two touchdown receptions apiece for A&M. - AP Sports
10/22/2013 - Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel out of sling, will play vs. Vanderbilt...Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is expected to play Saturday against Vanderbilt, a source told CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman. Aggies wide receiver Mike Evans told reporters that Manziel was in a sling during Monday's practice, calling into doubt his availability for Saturday's game at home against the Commodores. However, Feldman reports that Manziel is "fine to play" and is now out of the sling -- which, according to senior wide receiver Travis Labhart, was a restrictive measure used to prevent Manziel from throwing.
Manziel sustained a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter of Texas A&M's 45-41 loss to Auburn. Matt Joeckel finished the drive for the Aggies, which ended in a field goal. Manziel returned to the game and finished with 454 yards passing and four touchdowns. But Auburn's defensive line proved too much in the final moments of the fourth quarter. The Tigers kept Manziel contained and did not allow him to replicate the game-winning drive he led at Ole Miss the week before. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
10/21/2013 - WEEK 8 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for 454 yards and four TDs and ran for a fifth score in the Aggies' loss to Auburn. - AP Sports
10/15/2013 - WEEK 7 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for 346 yards, ran for two touchdowns, and set up Josh Lambo's 33-yard field goal as time expired in the No. 9 Aggies' 41-38 win at Mississippi. - AP Sports
10/15/2013 - Johnny Manziel, who has the most "Don't worry, I got this" vibe of any player in college football, rallied Texas A&M on the road in Oxford thanks largely to his 346 yards passing and 124 yards rushing. Manziel's ability to extend plays -- and drives -- is uncanny. The Rebels got A&M into third-and-long situations nine times Saturday night. Manziel turned them into six first downs. That's about twice as many times as most offenses could even hope for. It was Manziel's fourth career 300-yard passing/100-yard rushing game. That's the most in NCAA FBS history. What's even more impressive is the guy's done that in only 19 career games. Speaking of Manziel, he shredded Alabama for 562 total yards and 42 points. In Bama's five other games, the Tide has allowed 26 points and 1,041 yards. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
10/14/2013 - WEEK 7 SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M ... Led Texas A&M to a come from behind victory over Ole Miss on the road, throwing for 346 yards on 31-of-39 passing with one interception. He also ran for 113 net yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns...Manziel posted the fourth 300 pass/100 rush game of his career against the Rebels with 346 passing yards and 113 rushing yards. It is the most by any player in FBS history.
Eclipsed the 7,000-yard barrier in total offense in his 19th career game, which is the fastest in NCAA FBS history by a four-year player...Manziel accounted for 459 total yards against the Rebels (346 passing, 113 rushing). He has eclipsed the 300-yard plateau in total offense in 16-of-19 career games. It was the ninth 400-yard offensive output of his career...Manziel passed for 346 yards, which marked the seventh 300-yard passing game of his career. - SEC football
10/13/2013 - Johnny Manziel threw for 346 yards, ran for two touchdowns and No. 9 Texas A&M rallied to beat Mississippi 41-38 on Saturday night. Texas A&M's Josh Lambo made a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give the Aggies (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) the win. They trailed 38-31 midway through the fourth quarter, but Manziel engineered a 75-yard drive, ending with his 6-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 38 with 3:07 left. After A&M's defense held, Manziel led the Aggies on one final drive that led to the game-winning field goal. He had runs of 12 and 13 yards on the winning drive.
Ole Miss (3-3, 1-3) was down 21-10 in the third quarter, but rallied thanks to two unlikely touchdown passes by backup quarterback Barry Brunetti. Johnny Football made his usual array of spectacular plays, but also a few costly mistakes, including an interception in the end zone during the third quarter and a fumble early in the fourth. In the end, he was victorious. He completed 31 of 39 passes. Travis Labhart caught eight passes for 97 yards. Trey Williams rushed for 50 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Ole Miss' Bo Wallace completed 22 of 36 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns. Laquon Treadwell caught eight passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. - AP Sports
10/01/2013 - WEEK 5 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, accounted for 320 yards of total offense and threw two TD passes to Mike Evans as the No. 10 Aggies A&M pulled away for a 45-33 win over Arkansas. - AP Sports
09/28/2013 - Johnny Manziel made Texas A&M feel right at home in Fayetteville. Manziel accounted for 320 yards of total offense and threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans as No. 10 Texas A&M pulled away for a 45-33 win over Arkansas on Saturday night. Manziel, who totaled 557 yards of offense in a win over the Razorbacks last season, was 23-of-30 passing for 261 yards and he rushed for 59 yards for the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference).
Trey Williams had 83 yards rushing to lead Texas A&M, which finished with 262 yards rushing on 44 carries. Deshazor Everett had a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown. The win was the Aggies' ninth straight on the road. - AP Sports
09/22/2013 - Mayweather bets, wins $200,000 on Manziel, A&M ... Floyd Mayweather Jr. enjoyed another big payday on Saturday and he has Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to thank. Mayweather bet $220,000 to win $200,000 on the Aggies to cover a 17-1/2 point, first-half spread against Sothern Methodist, multiple outlets reported on Sunday.
Behind Manziel's three first-half touchdowns, two via air and one on the ground, the Aggies held a 32-6 halftime lead. And that was plenty for Mayweather to cash in. Mayweather tweeted a picture of his betting ticket and said: Congratulations @JManziel2 for putting on a fantastic show. He may not be able to make money off himself but I can. - The Sports Xchange
09/21/2013 - Johnny Manziel accounted for 346 yards with three touchdowns in just more than a half to help No. 10 Texas A&M cruise to a 42-13 win over SMU on Saturday night. Texas A&M (3-1) was up 32-6 at halftime, and Manziel led the Aggies to a touchdown on their first drive of the third quarter before the Heisman Trophy-winner went to the bench. It was a nice bounce-back game for Texas A&M after falling to top-ranked Alabama 49-42 last week.
Manziel had 244 yards passing with a touchdown and ran for 102 yards and two more scores. Deshazor Everett returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown and Ben Malena ran for 71 yards and two scores. He got things going for A&M with a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw for 310 yards and a touchdown with an interception for SMU (1-2). - AP Sports
09/16/2013 - As good as McCarron is-the guy doesn't make many mistakes-it's hard to make the case for him as a Heisman frontrunner when he wasn't the best quarterback on the field Saturday. Johnny Manziel showed the country that he has made significant strides and is a lot better than he was in his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2012. All of the talk about how Nick Saban and Alabama had months of getting ready to contain Manziel looked overblown and downright silly. As one college coach texted me Saturday night: "The guru part of the game is way overrated."
Manziel shredded Saban's defense for 562 yards of total offense and sparked the Aggies to 628 yards--the most Alabama has ever surrendered in 119 years of football. He did throw two INTs. The first, came on a miscommunication with a freshman wideout in the end zone. The second was on a deflected pass. Regardless, I don't know how anyone can honestly have watched what he did Saturday and not be wowed.
I realize there's always a tendency to overreact to the moment, but look at these numbers in his two games against Saban and Alabama, which is the gold standard of the sport right now: 52-71 (73 percent) for 717 passing yards; seven TD passes, two INTs; 190 yards rushing and maybe most impressively he's led his offense to converting on a jaw-dropping 62 percent (16-26) on third downs. Last season in every game aside from the one where it faced Manziel, the Tide limited opponents to under 29 percent on third down conversions. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
09/16/2013 - WEEK 3 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for a career-best 464 yards and five TDs in the Aggies' 49-42 loss to Alabama. - AP Sports
09/16/2013 - Stat of the Day: Johnny Manziel all by himself has accounted for 21 percent of the offensive yardage Alabama has allowed in its last 16 games (907 yards of 4,340). Obviously, Manziel isn't doing that all alone. He has a terrific O-line and a young, dynamic group of skill guys led by huge Mike Evans, but seeing just how much damage the 6-0, 201-pound QB continues to do off-script against Alabama is staggering.
"There's a reason he won the Heisman," Bama safety Vinnie Sunseri told reporters after the game. "He's an unbelievable player, I don't care what he does off the field. He has great receivers and everything. We knew it was going to go back and forth and we just had to try to slow him down."
The game, which many of my media colleagues agreed, looked more like an old Big 12 game than an SEC showdown, showed the DNA of college football in 2013. It's an offensive game, where teams don't seem to lose but rather just run out of time. "You took 10 years off my life," Saban told Sumlin after the game. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
09/16/2013 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "This isn't the end of our season. This wasn't the Super Bowl. This wasn't the last game of the season. Alabama lost a game last year and still went on to win a national championship. They lost to LSU the year before and still went on to win a national championship. Our season isn't over. Anything could happen." -- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, after the loss to Alabama. - The Sports Xchange
09/16/2013 - SEPT 16 CBSSPORTS.COM NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel...Consider this honor somewhat shared with Aggies wide receiver Mike Evans, who added 7 catches for 279 yards in a dominant performance against the Tide secondary, but the Aggies aren't pushing the No. 1 team to the brink without Johnny Football under center. Manziel's 562 total yards (career-best 464 passing, 98 rushing) is the second-most in SEC history, and he did it against one of the most well-respected defenses in all of college football.
Manziel made two significant mistakes along the way, but his offensive performance was tops in the country. Once again, Manziel drove the Tide defense crazy by extending plays with his schoolyard style and connecting with receivers (like Evans) down the field. His performance was so impressive, Dennis Dodd said the Heisman Trophy winner is set to make a run for two in a row. - CBSSports.com
09/16/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reeled in his fourth national honor of the day after being named Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week Monday for his record-setting performance against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson last Saturday.
Manziel, a sophomore from Kerrville, Texas, was the 2012 winner of the Davey O'Brien Award, which is presented to the nation's top collegiate quarterback. He directed the Aggies to 42 points and 628 total yards in A&M's 49-42 loss to the top-ranked Crimson Tide. It was the most points scored against the Tide during the Nick Saban era, and it was the most yards ever allowed by Alabama in program history.
Manziel finished the game with a school-record 464 passing yards, breaking his own A&M record of 453 set against Arkansas last year. He generated 562 total yards (464 passing and 98 rushing), which is the second-highest total in school and Southeastern Conference history behind Manziel's 576-yard effort against Louisiana Tech last year. - Texas A&M football
09/15/2013 - Alabama-Texas A&M scores big TV rating...CBS announced that Saturday's Alabama-Texas A&M game drew the highest television rating for an afternoon regular-season college football game for the network since 1990. Top ranked and defending national champion Alabama outslugged Texas A&M 49-42 to score a 9.0 overnight rating and 21 share. CBS reported that it was the highest-rated since a 10.1 for Miami-Notre Dame on Oct. 20, 1990.
Last year's first SEC game on CBS between Alabama and Arkansas got a 3.0 rating and 7 share. The rating for Saturday's game peaked from 7 p.m.-7:15 p.m. ET as Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel was rallying his team in a fourth-quarter comeback. - The Sports Xchange
09/14/2013 - Scouting the Texas A&M running game: Alabama has to worry about a committee of Aggie running backs and, of course, Manziel, who burned the Crimson Tide for 92 yards in 2012. Manziel, who sat out the first half of the season-opener, started to get untracked running the ball against Sam Houston State when he ran for 36 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts. - The Sports Xchange
09/14/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Johnny Manziel will be the focal point of his own camera during the CBS broadcast of the Alabama-Texas A&M game. On Tuesday, Manziel was also the focus of the most pointed answer given by Sumlin. When asked about "bottling" Manziel's emotions, Sumlin stopped the reported and corrected the question. "He plays with great emotion and intensity and it's my job to have that emotion and intensity moving in a positive direction," Sumlin said. "Because when that happens, great things happen. I think he does a really good job of that for the most part every week. I think the emotion and intensity he plays with is part of his game." - The Sports Xchange
09/14/2013 - Aggies prep for biggest game of the year...It's not surprising that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin would put his team in the underdog role going into this week's SEC opener against top-ranked Alabama. That's what football coaches do, especially when their teams are facing the No. 1 team in the nation. But Sumlin managed the feat with deference and without putting down his own squad. The Aggies coach simply said Nick Saban has the Crimson Tide in the place where Texas A&M would like to be.
(Saban) talks about the process all the time and how Alabama goes about doing things," Sumlin said. "It's hard to argue that right now they're not the standard in college football. We're in year two and for this to be a game of this magnitude in our second year in this league tells you that we're on the right track and we've got to continue to keep climbing." That, of course, makes no mention of the fact that Sumlin and his Aggies defeated Alabama at Alabama in year one.
Sumlin's Tuesday press conference included all of the questions the Aggie coach would be expected to answer. Along the way, he bristled at the idea of "bottling" Johnny Manziel's emotions and outlined the hypocrisy of CBS employing a "Johnny Football Cam" during Saturday's game and in the end stated that managing the football team, which he views as his only job, hasn't changed that much. - The Sports Xchange
09/14/2013 - Aggies prep for biggest game of the year...Sumlin maintained that the attention focused on No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Texas A&M is good for his university. Texas A&M's famed 12th man is hyped about the game and Sumlin likes it. "I want them to be as excited as they've ever been," Sumlin said. "I want this place to be as loud as it's ever been Saturday afternoon."
Internally, though, Sumlin said his players' approach is business as usual. And he likes that too. "As an organization we've got to remain consistent," Sumlin said "Top organizations are consistent in their approach. We're just getting started at this thing."
Sumlin learned about an hour before the press conference that CBS plans to have a camera trained on Manziel throughout its broadcast. Without saying he wouldn't allow it, Sumlin had specific criticism of the idea. "Everything we try to do is about team," Sumlin said. "It's about building our team, building our program and not being an individual. Saturday afternoon you're going to have two football teams on the field. I don't understand why there has to be one guy singled out to put a camera on the whole time. All the criticism about individualism on a football team, I don't think that this helps enhance a team concept one bit." - The Sports Xchange
09/09/2013 - Johnny Football and the rest of No. 7 Texas A&M's offense look as if they're ready for next week's rematch with top-ranked Alabama. The defense might be a different story. Johnny Manziel threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in less than three quarters in Texas A&M's 65-28 win over Sam Houston State.
The Heisman Trophy winner played about a quarter more than he did last week when he sat out the first half serving a suspension for what the school called an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs. Manziel started and even got to speak to the media after the game. That didn't happen last week, either, when he also got a late benching for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was the first time Manziel spoke to the media since SEC media day. He said the support of the Aggies made this difficult period easier to deal with. - AP Sports
09/09/2013 - WEEK 2 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for 426 yards and three TDs and ran for another score in less than three quarters to give the No. 7 Aggies a 65-28 win over Sam Houston State. - AP Sports
09/09/2013 - Saturday's rematch between Texas A&M and Alabama is undoubtedly the most anticipated game of the early 2013 season. Millions of fans across the country will tune in to see Johnny Manziel's rematch against the two-time defending champion Crimson Tide. The SEC on CBS broadcast will even feature a "Johnny Cam," CBS Sports coordinating producer Craig Silver told SI.com. "No matter where he is and no matter what part of the game it is, we will have a shot of it," Silver explained. "If he is anywhere in sight of that camera, we will catch it."
In what many will consider encouraging news, Silver also said that the broadcast team does not plan to spend significant time discussuing Manziel's off-field actions or the allegations that he accepted money for signing autographs. "By the time we get to kickoff, this thing will have been talked about ad nauseam throughout the sports world," Silver said. "We are not judge and jury. It is not our place, especially within the body of the broadcast, to state whether he should or should not be playing, should have been suspended or should not have been suspended. The way I approach it is how has all this stuff affected him as a football player and affected his team." - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
09/07/2013 - Johnny Manziel threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in less than three quarters to give No. 7 Texas A&M to a 65-28 win over Sam Houston State on Saturday night. The Heisman Trophy-winner played about a quarter more than he did last week when he sat out the first half serving a suspension for what the school called an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
Texas A&M's suspension-depleted defense was burned for several big plays by the Bearkats (1-1), the FCS runner-up the last two seasons, in the final tuneup before next week's rematch with top-ranked Alabama. Sam Houston's Timothy Flanders had 170 yards rushing with two scores and added a TD reception. Texas A&M's Mike Evans had a career-high 155 yards receiving, Tra Carson ran for 51 with two touchdowns and Ben Malena had 68 yards rushing and a score. - AP Sports
09/06/2013 - Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin yanked QB Johnny Manziel, who was suspended the first half, late in the game when Manziel was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after apparent taunting Rice players following a touchdown pass. Sumlin looked obviously displeased and was asked what he said to Manziel afterward. "I didn't say anything to him," Sumlin said. "Do you think you should have? Nope. I think at this point we talk about a lot of different things, not specifically what's going to happen during a game. "We had another young man, a freshman, who was thrown out of the game. I don't know what happened, but we've got to grow and mature as a team, and individual acts like that hurt your football team." - The Sports Xchange
09/02/2013 - After sitting out the first half serving a suspension based on an "inadvertent violation" of NCAA rules, Manziel energized a suspension-depleted Aggies team almost immediately. He found Mike Evans in the end zone for a 23-yard pass on A&M's second drive. Just before that play, Manziel got into it with a Rice defender, appearing to mimic signing an autograph. After the game, the backlash ensued in light of Manziel's antics. "Lead with your actions and not your sign language. He should learn a lesson from this," college football analyst Jesse Palmer said.
On Twitter, Rice player Nick Elder came to Manziel's defense, claiming he was the one who had an exchange with Manziel. "@espn I was the one who johnny was talking too. He said 'what's up nick, nice hit.' True story." Afterward, Manziel retweeted Elder, but later deleted the retweet. - Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
09/01/2013 - WEEK 1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL, JOHNNY RESERVE: Johnny Manziel's day began late because of the NCAA and ended early because of his mouth. In between he looked like Johnny Football at his best. After serving his first-half suspension, the Heisman Trophy winner threw three TD passes, scrambled for 19 yards - and, well, acted up - while No. 7 Texas A&M rolled over Rice, 52-31. Manziel was sitting out because of what the school called an ''inadvertent'' violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
His first touchdown came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M's second drive of the half. But just before that, Manziel got into it with a Rice defender, appearing to mimic signing an autograph while getting up from a tackle. Coach Kevin Sumlin said he didn't see that exchange, but would have ''done something about it'' if he did. Manziel ended his day by getting yanked following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pointing at the scoreboard after a TD pass in the fourth quarter. - AP Sports
08/31/2013 - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel served his suspension for No. 7 Texas A&M in the first half on Saturday against Rice. In the second half he hit the ground running - and apparently running his mouth, too - as he threw three touchdown passes and scrambled for 19 yards and the Aggies wrapped up a lopsided 52-31 win over the Owls. He was suspended until halftime for what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
His first touchdown of the season came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M's next drive. Manziel scrambled for eight yards on third-and-7 on the play before the score and appeared to mimic a signing motion while talking to a Rice defender after getting up from the tackle. He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a touchdown throw in the fourth quarter when he was jawing with the defense again and then pointed at the scoreboard. He was replaced by Matt Joeckel on A&M's last drive.
Joeckel started at quarterback for A&M and threw for 190 yards and a touchdown to help the Aggies lead 28-21 at halftime. Manziel came in on Texas A&M's first offensive play of the second half and the Aggies capped his first drive with a 44-yard field goal. Manziel was being investigated for allegedly accepting money for autographs from memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension. - AP Sports
08/31/2013 - Texas A&M, with its defense depleted and its Heisman Trophy winner sitting the bench for a half, mostly survived its season opener against Rice on Saturday, winning, 52-31. Johnny Manziel made his first appearance of the season early in the third quarter after sitting out the first half, his punishment for signing autographs for sports memorabilia dealers in the offseason. Manziel has been accused of accepting thousands of dollars, but the NCAA announced last week they could find no proof of money exchanging hands.
Manziel led the Aggies to 24 second-half points, throwing three touchdown passes, two to Mike Evans, and rushing for 19 yards on three carries. He also was sacked twice and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after completing a nine-yard scoring pass to Evans. Earlier in the game, cameras caught Manziel air-signing an autograph to a Rice defender. The Aggies were without six defensive starters, all of whom were disciplined for off-the-field issues. Three of the suspensions were announced moments before game time. - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - Q: What does Manziel need to prove to scouts on the field to become a potential first-round prospect? Brugler: It's fun to watch him run around, elude defenders and eventually pick up chunks of yards on the ground, but scouts already know what he's capable of athletically. What Manziel needs to do in 2013 as a redshirt sophomore is prove that he has what it takes between the ears to be a NFL quarterback. The Texas A&M offense will almost always encourage Manziel to escape the tackle box if the opportunity is there, but can he consistently work through his progressions and find open targets from inside the pocket? Johnny Football spent a lot of time working with quarterback guru George Whitfield during the offseason, we'll see this fall if that translates to better anticipation and execution from the pocket. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: In your opinion, does Manziel have the "it" factor as a future NFL Pro Bowl QB, or is he a dazzling college athlete who will struggle with the transition? Rang: Like Garcia, Manziel possesses the physical traits to carry over his collegiate success into the NFL. Further, Manziel's possibilities are enhanced by the increased willingness of today's NFL teams to gamble on dual-threat passers. He possesses the "it" factor. The greater concern is whether he possesses the maturity and dedication to capitalize on "it." - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Deion Sanders, NFL Network analyst, via Twitter..."Can we investigate the investigators? @DezBryant got suspended a season 4 lying about a dinner that wasnt a violation & Manziel gets a half. Congrats Johnny you're a smart man. You signed alot of stuff but you didnt sign the prenup so u got Half!!!!! Truth - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - Q: Who would be his best NFL comparison, past or present? Brugler: The obvious comparison is Doug Flutie, and it's obvious because it makes sense. Flutie, who also won the Heisman Trophy while in college, was five-foot-nothing in pads but was able to be successful with his fleet-of-foot athleticism to scramble, escape pressure and find the open receiver. Manziel is a modern version of Flutie at the college ranks, but will he be able to achieve more prolonged success in the NFL?
Flutie, who spent a good chunk of his prime playing in the Canadian Football League, had his best years in the NFL during a three-year stint with the Buffalo Bills (1998-2000). But even then, his stats weren't overly impressive, setting career-bests in 1998 with 20 passing touchdowns and only 57.1 percent completions. Can Manziel do better at the next level? Time will tell. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com..."(The punishment) was another reminder it's not necessarily what is alleged about some of these slimy violations, it's what the NCAA can prove. Judging by Wednesday's weak-sauce suspension, it wasn't much. It did prove that Johnny Skates has one hell of a legal team.
The Manziel family's El Paso lawyer who proudly declares on his website he is "privileged to defend citizens accused of murder" convinced some very powerful people in Indianapolis that his client didn't get away with exactly that -- collegiately speaking. The only thing that kept Johnny Footloose from taking the first snap of the season was an "inadvertent violation"? Johnny Penmanship should have known that the thousands of autographs he signed would be used for profit? Well, yeah, but when did that become a violation much less an inadvertent one? - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - Q: When you break down film of Manziel, what sticks out most about his skill set? Brugler: Based on film study, his best qualities are his natural instincts and ability to improvise mid-action, using both his arm and legs, to move the chains and extend drives. He isn't a "special" athlete like RG3, but he's very slippery with excellent athletic awareness, displaying unique 360-degree vision and feel to always know what's going on around him.
His size/arm strength are the biggest question marks for me. Yes, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees have found success as shorter passers, but they are the exception, not the rule, and both have more arm talent than Johnny Football, who is still a work in progress as a passer, physically and mentally. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: What separates Teddy Bridgewater and Tajh Boyd, NFLDraftScout.com's top two quarterbacks for the '14 draft, as prospects right now compared to Manziel? Brugler: Bridgewater enters the season as the clear-cut top NFL quarterback prospect, and if he continues to develop throughout the 2013 season, he's the favorite to be the top quarterback drafted next May, possibly even as the No. 1 overall pick. Boyd is also in that first-round discussion, showing top 10 potential at times last year. Both are much more NFL-ready and have more traditional skill sets for the quarterback position compared to Manziel.
Bridgewater has very good field vision as a passer and recognition skills to pick apart defenses, showing the toughness and smarts that teams will love. Boyd has all the arm strength needed for the position with the athleticism and eye use to manipulate the pocket and change his throwing platform on the move. In short, Bridgewater and Boyd are both much more proven using their arms, which ultimately is what NFL teams want in a first-round quarterback. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: Which NFL offenses would Manziel be a good fit in, and why? Rang: Should the read-option continue to be successful in the NFL, there are few quarterbacks who have ever been better suited for it. This play, however, is far from an entire offense. Manziel has the mobility and accuracy to intrigue in a traditional West Coast Offense, but the intricate timing of this scheme is one of its most critical and under-appreciated requirements.
Manziel flashes the awareness on quick timing routes in A&M's offense to make this work. Among Manziel's trademark qualities, however, is his unpredictability. Taking this way from him could pose a significant barrier to his long-term success in this offense or any other. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - TOP TEXAS A&M PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 4. QB Johnny Manziel (6-0, 208, 4.45)*...It might seem hard to believe now, but only a year ago a considerable portion of Texas A&M fans were concerned as to who might replace Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. With arguably the greatest debut in the history of college football, however, Manziel erased any doubts as to the future of the program, breaking the SEC record with 5,116 total yards and accounting for 43 touchdowns en route to becoming the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
History says a fully trophy closet is just as likely to lead to an inflated ego as to success in the NFL, however, which is one of the many reasons that Manziel enters his redshirt sophomore campaign as one of the more polarizing prospects in the country.
Manziel is an extraordinary athlete, which makes him an intriguing prospect for any team cognizant of the way the NFL appears to be shifting towards dual-threat quarterbacks. Shorter and possessing less-than-ideal arm strength, however, he is not the elite prospect than his highlight clips might lead you to believe. And that isn't even taking into account his numerous off-field concerns, including the signature flap that will keep him sidelined for the first half of A&M's opener Saturday against Rice. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: What separates Teddy Bridgewater and Tajh Boyd, NFLDraftScout.com's top two quarterbacks for the '14 draft, as prospects right now compared to Manziel? Rang: Size and arm strength, for starters. Bridgewater (6-3) is significantly taller and Boyd is 6-1 and possesses a much stouter, more powerful frame at 6-1, 225 pounds. Both have shown more consistent velocity and are asked to make more NFL-caliber throws to be successful in their respective offenses. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: What does Manziel need to prove to scouts on the field to become a potential first-round prospect? Rang: First and foremost, Manziel needs to prove that the unique traits that led to the Heisman Trophy a year ago -- vision, athleticism, accuracy on the move -- are just as impressive a year after SEC opponents have had a chance to adjust to him, as well as head coach Kevin Sumlin's offense. A second year of handling the punishment of 625 touches (201 of which were rushing attempts) and a stronger build will also help convince scouts that he's tough enough to handle the jump to the NFL. Finally, for Manziel to quiet critics of his arm strength, he'll need more attempts (and completions) of deep passes that require torque, not touch. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: Who would be his best NFL comparison, past or present? Rang: Based on similarities in size, overall athleticism and an accurate but limited arm, the best comparison I've come across for Manziel is former Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia. Of course, as an undrafted free agent out of San Jose State, Garcia had a tougher path into the NFL than Manziel. It remains to be seen if the reigning Heisman trophy winner possesses the grit that helped the 6-1, 205-pound Garcia reach four Pro Bowls over his 12-year NFL career. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Manziel family thanks Texas A&M in statement...The Manziel family wants Texas A&M to know that it's grateful for everything the school has done for Johnny Manziel during the recent NCAA investigation. If you don't believe me you can just read the statement the family released to AggieSports.com that says exactly that. "The Manziel family thanks Texas A&M University for its significant efforts on behalf of their son, and stands united with Texas A&M," read the statement. "The Manziel family sends a special thank you to their attorneys, Jim Darnell, Brad Beckworth and Jeff Angelovich, for their tireless determination on behalf of Johnny. We are looking forward to seeing Johnny back on the field against Rice." Oh, and the attorneys. You have to thank the attorneys.
On Wednesday the NCAA investigation into Manziel after allegations he accepted money for signing autographs came to an end and the only punishment Manziel received was being forced to sit out the first half of a game that Texas A&M shouldn't have any problem winning. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
08/29/2013 - Q: When you break down film of Manziel, what sticks out most about his skill set? Rang: Manziel's extraordinary athleticism deserves top billing. He's very elusive; possessing excellent vision, balance, lateral agility and acceleration. When in the pocket, he shows good accuracy in short to intermediate routes that every NFL offense uses (stop-fade, crossers, posts), often leading his receivers into extra yardage. He has enough zip for these throws and possesses impressive touch. When on the move, Manziel's accuracy drops slightly, but remains very effective.
In terms of the NFL, a potentially critical flaw for Manziel is that he currently possesses just average arm strength. This could potentially improve with greater muscle development. Manziel sports a compact, athletic build on his listed 6-1, 210-pound frame, but he's far from bulked up, especially in his arms. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: NFLDraftScout.com currently has Manziel rated as a second-round prospect and the No. 6 QB potentially eligible for next spring's draft. Where do you ultimately think he'll be selected? Brugler: While it's much too early to feel confident predicting the round Manziel will be selected, if he can match (or exceed) his production and impact from a year ago, Johnny Football probably won't get out of the top 50 picks (not that I agree, but that's the reality).
He's a hair under 6-feet with a narrow body type and only average arm strength, but he is able to be successful due to his athleticism, natural instincts and foot quickness to create on the move. Manziel's best quality is a trait that's tough to quantify: his improvisational skills to keep plays alive and find a way to extend drives. Call it being a "backyard quarterback," but I call it "doing whatever works," and that's all the NFL is concerned about, especially these days with more and more teams keeping open minds to different styles of quarterbacks. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Analyzing Johnny: Manziel polarizing NFL scouts, too...Q: NFLDraftScout.com currently has Manziel rated as a second-round prospect and the No. 6 QB potentially eligible for next spring's draft. Where do you ultimately think he'll be selected? Rang: Manziel's unique talent and box-office appeal will be enough to justify some conversation among NFL decision-makers as early as the first round. That is, of course, if he's able to prove just as dominant in a second season of SEC football. Barring anything other than a return to glory in 2013, however, and Manziel could be in for a rude awakening in the NFL Draft, as most teams are looking for a more traditional passer (and leader) at the quarterback position. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - Q: Which NFL offenses would Manziel be a good fit in, and why? Brugler: In my opinion, there isn't one NFL offense that stands out as an ideal fit for Manziel, but the best fit for him at the next level will be with the team that embraces his strengths and molds the offense around him, not vice-versa. These days more and more offensive coordinators are keeping an open mind and experimenting with the different skill sets at quarterback that the college game is producing. And Manziel's best fit in the NFL will be with an organization that is open to tweaking the offense to fit around Johnny Football and his abilities. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Gregg Doyel, CBSSports.com..."They're scared. That's what's going on here. Texas A&M and the NCAA are scared to tell Johnny Manziel that they don't believe him -- they're scared of what would happen next -- so both decided the safest course of action would be to look the other way, pretend someone as self-centered as Johnny Manziel signed all that stuff for memorabilia dealers for no gain at all, and get on with the lucrative business of the 2013 college football season. - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - Q: In your opinion, does Manziel have the "it" factor as a future NFL Pro Bowl QB, or is he a dazzling college athlete who will struggle with the transition? Brugler: Right now, based on one season of play, he's more of a dazzling college athlete than future NFL Pro Bowler. He has some exciting athletic traits that will give him a shot and might even entice a team into using a first-round pick on him. But at the end of the day, the quarterback position isn't about athleticism, it's about being a consistent and reliable passer, something Manziel still needs to prove.
With only average arm strength, streaky ball placement and undeveloped anticipation, Johnny Football still has a lot of room to grow before I'd feel comfortable tabbing him as my future starter at the pro level. That doesn't mean he can't improve and develop, but right now, he's more of an exciting -- and polarizing -- college athlete than established passer. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle..."Manziel has become a symbol for the inanity and hypocrisy of NCAA rules. Sure, if institutions profit off his likeness, it is logical that he also could profit. But logic doesn't play any part in college football or the NCAA. Terrelle Pryor, now the Raiders' quarterback, was suspended five games for reportedly selling memorabilia. Pryor, banned from all contact with Ohio State, withdrew from school and entered the 2011 supplemental draft. Would it have helped if Pryor's nickname was "Terrelle Football" and he was a Heisman-winning white player at a Texas school? Just asking. - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News..."A half-game suspension makes a whole lot of sense to me. And I say that without the customary sense of sarcasm. ... Now logic tells any of us that if he sat there signing one item after another, he didn't do it for his enjoyment. But without cashed checks, there's no sense in punishing this victimless crime. The college football world has real problems. The entire business is out of whack. What Manziel may or may not have done in a Miami hotel room last January is so inconsequential in the big picture that we shouldn't spend another five minutes wringing our hands over it. - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports..."Think of it this way: Johnny Manziel was destined to miss half the Rice game no matter what. If there had been no NCAA slap with a wet noodle Wednesday, Johnny Football likely would have sat out the second half of the game, as Texas A&M piled up points on the overmatched Owls. Instead he will miss the first half, in yet another ruling that leaves everyone shaking their heads and smirking at the silliness of college sports crime and punishment. - The Sports Xchange
08/29/2013 - JUST SAYIN': REACTION TO MANZIEL SUSPENSION: Christine Brennan, USA Today Sports...Manziel must behave much better in his sophomore year than he did this past offseason or autograph signings might well be the least of his problems. He needs to immediately stop being a distraction to his coaches and teammates. It's a sign of serious trouble when the school of a Heisman-winning quarterback decides it has to muzzle its officials and coaches, forbidding them to discuss him, as A&M did earlier this week. A school is supposed to be proud of its Heisman winner, not burdened by him. - The Sports Xchange
08/28/2013 - Johnny Manziel suspended for first half of Rice game...Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be suspended for the first half of Texas A&M's opener against Rice on Saturday. CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman confirmed the original report from TexAgs.com. While the school is yet to confirm the suspension, this likely marks the end of the NCAA's investigation into Manziel and his allegedly accepting payment for autographs. Manziel spent over five hours meeting with NCAA investigators on Sunday and denied the allegations that he ever took money for signing autographs. The NCAA's inquiry was focused on Manziel's financial records.
Odds are the Manziel suspension is a result of a violation of NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124, which reads as follows: Title:126.96.36.199 - Use of a Student-Athlete's Name or Picture Without Knowledge or Permission. If a student-athlete's name or picture appears on commercial items (e.g., T-shirts, sweatshirts, serving trays, playing cards, posters) or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete's knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the institution acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics. Such steps are not required in cases in which a student-athlete's photograph is sold by an individual or agency (e.g., private photographer, news agency) for private use. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
08/28/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2013: QB Johnny Manziel burst onto the scene with a vengeance in his redshirt freshman season, setting an NCAA freshman record and an SEC mark with 5,116 total yards. He led the country in yards per game and in total offense. Oh, and Johnny Football also has three more years of eligibility remaining. The main concern here is how he handles the increased expectations coming in 2013 he's not sneaking up on anyone this time around. - The Sports Xchange
08/28/2013 - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will sit out the first half of Texas A&M's opener on Saturday against Rice as part of an agreement with the NCAA and the school in the investigation to determine whether the quarterback received money for signing autographs, according to reports. The school has yet to announce the suspension that likely would bring an end to the NCAA's probe into potential rules violations by the redshirt sophomore quarterback. Investigators met with Manziel for nearly six hours on Sunday and he denied accepting payment from memorabilia dealers for his signatures.
The suspension could be for a secondary violation of a bylaw that prohibits use of a student-athlete's name or picture without knowledge or permission. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had refused to discuss the situation specifically but did say Wednesday that "Johnny's handled it very well. Everything around football, he's been extremely sharp and focused." With Manziel out for the first half of the opener, the Aggies are likely to start junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill at quarterback. - The Sports Xchange
08/27/2013 - GRADING CBSSPORTS.COM'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM AS NFL PROSPECTS: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (6-1, 200, Soph.)...Say what you will about his off-field exploits, Johnny Football is aptly nicknamed because his elusiveness and accuracy in the pocket and on the move makes him as dynamic as any quarterback in recent college football history, perhaps ever. If he is as dominant in a second season of SEC competition, it isn't hard to imagine some QB-needy NFL team investing a high pick in Manziel, regardless of the distractions he might bring with him. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/27/2013 - MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: QB Johnny Manziel -- If you can, forget all the controversy he created after winning the Heisman Trophy. Focus on how good he was last year, when he accounted for more than 5,000 total yards -- while playing in the SEC. Focus on how he took what was supposed to be a mediocre team to 11 wins, a top 10 finish and a win at Nick Saban's Alabama. Then drink in these words from ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who said Manziel will be an ever better thrower this year. And remember that if Manziel gets good news from the NCAA, he'll probably terrorize opposing defenses this fall. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think that's all a learning experience, a growing experience, because, quite frankly, it's something that nobody's ever been through at that age." -- Coach Kevin Sumlin on Manziel's attention-grabbing offseason since winning the Heisman Trophy. - The Sports Xchange
08/27/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel isn't going away. Unfortunately for the Aggies and Manziel, neither is the NCAA. Grilled for six hours on Sunday by investigators from college sports' governing body, Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, is listed atop the depth chart for Saturday's season opener against visiting Rice. However, the school has until the noon kickoff time to make a decision on whether he sits or plays. Reports indicate Manziel is taking all the snaps with the first team this week in practice, although coach Kevin Sumlin dutifully did not go into that issue in Tuesday's press conference. "We're not discussing that," he said of Manziel. "I thought we went over that right from the beginning."
Sumlin was referring to a mandate issued Monday by A&M athletic director Eric Hyman that says coaches and players could not discuss the "starting quarterback." An A&M official read Hyman's statement twice during Tuesday's press conference. Meanwhile, Sumlin said the competition between backup quarterbacks Kenny Hill, a freshman out of Southlake Carroll, and Matt Joeckel, a junior from Arlington, is ongoing and that he has often made game-time decisions before about starters. "A lot of the things going on internally are different than the perception that's outside," Sumlin said. "I'm very, very pleased with how our players and coaches have handled it, and more than anything else they're looking forward to playing football." Also, although it is difficult to gauge what it is worth, A&M system chancellor John Sharp says he knows Manziel is innocent. - The Sports Xchange
08/27/2013 - QB Johnny Manziel is the 12th player to return and seek a second Heisman Trophy. If he does it, he'll join Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1974-75) as the only two-time winners in the trophy's history. The list of those who haven't won a second one after returning include legends like Roger Staubach, Billy Sims and Tim Tebow. - The Sports Xchange
08/27/2013 - Report: NCAA questions Manziel at length...NCAA investigators questioned Texas AM quarterback Johnny Manziel on Sunday regarding allegations that he accepted payments for autographs, ESPN.com reported Monday. A source told ESPN.com that NCAA officials met with Manziel for nearly six hours on the Texas A&M campus. It was unclear whether the NCAA will have additional meetings with Manziel, a redshirt sophomore who won the Heisman Trophy last season. Earlier this month, ESPN had reported that multiple autograph dealers said Manziel accepted payments to sign more than 4,000 items including footballs and photographs. ESPN.com was told on Saturday night that things "seemed to be OK" regarding Manziel's playing status and that it was "business as usual, or as close as possible" going into the team's first game week.
On Monday, Manziel was listed as the starter on Texas A&M's game notes, and he is scheduled to start Saturday's opener against Rice. Manziel has continued to practice with the team, despite questions about whether A&M would allow him to play if the investigations have not been resolved, according to the Dallas Morning News. On Monday night, Aggie athletic director Eric Hyman instructed anyone associated with the football program not to discuss the status of the Aggies' "starting quarterback." "The focus of our coaches and student-athletes is solely on preparing for Rice this Saturday, and in the best interests of Texas A&M and the 100-plus student-athletes on the team, I have instructed Coach (Kevin) Sumlin, his staff and our student-athletes to refrain from commenting on or answering questions regarding the status of our starting quarterback, Johnny Manziel," the statement read.
The Manziels' attorney, Jim Darnell, was asked if he had been told that Manziel would start on Saturday. Darnell said that he could not answer the question, nor would he comment on the status of the investigation. - The Sports Xchange
08/26/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M,... Became the first-ever freshman and the second Aggie to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy, college football's top individual honor, by more than 150 first-place votes after a record-setting season ... named College Player of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News ... receiving the Davey O'Brien Award and the Manning Award ... completed 295 of his 434 passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions ... rushed 201 times for 1,410 net yards (7.0 yards per carry) with 21 rushing touchdowns ... broke the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense (2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn previously held the record of 4,327), which was the 10th best single season effort in NCAA history. - Texas A&M football
08/26/2013 - Texas A&M has no plans to bench quarterback Johnny Manziel for their season opener on Aug. 31 against Rice. Despite an NCAA investigation into Manziel's eligibility related to autograph signings, a high-ranking Texas A&M official told an industry source that the school is confident that the Heisman Trophy winner will be cleared of any wrongdoing, according to CBSSports.com. The NCAA is trying to find out if Manziel was paid for signing autographs. As the investigation is ongoing, Manziel has practiced as usual. Texas A&M compliance director David Batson would not comment on Manziel's status. When asked if Manziel has interviewed by the NCAA, senior associate athletic director of external affairs Jason Cook said: "Texas A&M will not address such questions regarding specific student-athletes." However, chancellor Jon Sharp told KBTX-TV Friday that he supports Manziel. "I know he's innocent," Sharp said.
Manziel's attorney, Jim Darnell, told CBSSports.com Friday that the family is "tired of all of this" but the quarterback has been "playing football and doing what he's supposed to do." Darnell also said that Nate Fitch, Manziel's friend/personal assistant, who reportedly attended some of Manziel's signings, has hired an attorney. However, Fitch and the autograph brokers who reportedly worked with Manziel are not required to cooperate with the NCAA. Manziel is required to meet with the NCAA if requested. Texas A&M could be penalized if the NCAA proves that Manziel accepted money. Texas A&M is also bracing for Sept. 14 when the Aggies take on Alabama. - The Sports Xchange
08/23/2013 - Texas A&M chancellor on Manziel: 'I know he's innocent'...Johnny Manziel is not speaking to the media while Texas A&M and the NCAA investigate whether the Heisman Trophy winner took money for autographs, but Texas A&M's chancellor has stepped forward to claim Johnny Football's innocence. System chancellor John Sharp spoke to KBTX in College Station after an event at Kyle Field on Thursday, explaining that he "has seen things other folks can't see" and believes that the allegations "did not happen." "I know he's innocent," Sharp told KBTX. "I know that he didn't do what they accused him of doing."
In total, ESPN's Outside the Lines is reporting that Manziel took part in six signings for three brokers in less than a month. The NCAA is investigating whether any violations took place, as the brokers have requested anonymity with ESPN or refused to speak to the NCAA on the issue. The first report regarding Johnny Manziel's alleged autograph deals ran Aug. 4, just before the Aggies media day in College Station. Manziel has not spoken to the media since then, following the NCAA's guidelines of not commenting on ongoing investigations. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
08/22/2013 - Southeastern Conference coaches apparently don't think Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is the league's best quarterback. The coaches rated the Texas A&M quarterback as the preseason second-team selection on the teams released by the league on Thursday. Georgia's Aaron Murray was the first-team choice while Alabama's AJ McCarron received third-team honors. Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman last season, but allegations that he received payment for autographs could threaten his eligibility.
Manziel's lawyer has said he believes the quarterback will play in Texas A&M's season opener against Rice on Aug. 31 even if an NCAA investigation isn't finished, but that decision could ultimately be the Aggies'. The cloud over his eligibility might have had something to do with Manziel's downgrade. He was the first-team pick by league media before those allegations surfaced. - AP Sports
08/14/2013 - SEC'S 10 MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS IN 2013: 1. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel...There are no mulligans for Manziel, but he understands returning to the field is the shortest path to restoring his reputation as a game breaker. Forget all the controversy he created after winning the Heisman Trophy. Focus on how good he was last year, when he accounted for more than 5,000 total yards -- while playing in the SEC. Focus on how he took what was supposed to be a mediocre team to 11 wins, a top 10 finish and a win at Nick Saban's Alabama. Then drink in these words from ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who said Manziel will be an ever better thrower this year. And remember that if Manziel gets good news from the NCAA, there's every reason to believe he'll go back to being Johnny Football in September. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
08/14/2013 - 2013 MANNING AWARD WATCH LIST: Johnny Manziel So. TEXAS A&M 90.5,...Manziel seeks to become first repeat Manning winner...Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, won the 2012 Manning Award after a record-breaking freshman campaign. In addition to the Manning Award, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award and was named The Associated Press College Player of the Year. While helping lead the Aggies to an 11-2 record and final No. 5 national ranking, Manziel generated a Southeastern Conference and NCAA freshman record 5,116 yards, passing for 3,706 yards and rushing for 1,410 yards. Manziel led the nation in total QBR last season with a 90.5 rating, just ahead of Oregon's Marcus Mariota (87.3), Clemson's Tajh Boyd (82.2) and Alabama's A.J. McCarron (81.1). - Texas A&M football
08/13/2013 - Florida-based autograph dealer Kevin Freistat organized two additional autograph signings in which Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel signed memoribilia, including one after the BCS National Championship in January and another later that month in Houston. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" reported the two new signings. Sources told the program Manziel has signed at a total of six sessions with brokers. A former NCAA official said Monday that Manziel should not be eligible to play until the investigation over whether he accepted money for signing autographs is completed. Jim Darnell, the attorney hired by Manziel, said he remains confident the redshirt sophomore will be on the field. He wouldn't disclose in a radio interview with ESPN whether Manziel has met with the NCAA or investigators.
When asked whether Manziel signed thousands of autographs for free, Darnell said "I can't get into that." He did say the truth will come out and Manziel will survive any investigation based on facts. "There is no question Johnny signed autographs -- he signed a lot of autographs over the year," Darnell said. "I haven't seen anything yet that shows that he got paid."
An NCAA review might grow in scope after ESPN reported Tuesday that the Heisman Trophy winner appeared at even more signing events than had been first reported. Manziel is estimated to have signed his name more than 4,400 times in less than a month at a total of six signing sessions. "Outside The Lines" previously reported that Manziel accepted thousands of dollars for signing memorabilia earlier this year and that he had agreed to a "five-figure flat fee" with Drew Tieman, an autograph broker, for signing memorabilia at the site of the 2013 BCS Championship Game. Witnesses say they saw Manziel autograph products in January but did not see money exchange hands. - The Sports Xchange
08/12/2013 - A former NCAA official said Monday that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel should not be eligible to play if there is any doubt that he accepted money for signing autographs. Former NCAA enforcement director Mark Jones told the San Antonio Express-News that last year's Heisman Trophy winner should be benched while the NCAA continues its investigation. "No one wants to play an athlete who's later determined to be ineligible, especially such a high-profile player," Jones said. "You don't want to risk having to vacate those games later on."
Florida attorney Michael Buckner, who focuses on NCAA investigations, agreed. "A&M will not play Johnny Manziel if there's any question that he could be ineligible," Buckner also told the Express-News. Last week, Manziel's attorney, Jim Darnell, said that Manziel is cooperating with the investigation and should start when the Aggies open the season Aug. 31 against Rice. The NCAA is investigating allegations that Manziel was paid for signing autographs before the BCS national championships game in south Florida last January. Thus far, Manziel has not commented on the allegations. - The Sports Xchange
08/09/2013 - One of the most popular proposals for paying college athletes involves giving players a share of the revenue from jersey sales. After all, the athletic department must be making millions off all those jerseys you see people wearing on game day, right? And the only explanation for a fan wearing a No. 2 Texas A&M jersey is because they want to wear Johnny Manziel's number, right? What if I told you Texas A&M made just $59,690 on jersey sales for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013?
That's correct. The Texas A&M athletic department received just $59,690 for jersey sales last year, Heisman Trophy winner and all. That number isn't just football, either. It includes basketball, baseball, cycling and all other jersey sales. Collegiate Licensing Company handles the licensing for Texas A&M and does not break jersey revenue down by sport or by number in its schools reports. That means we don't know how much revenue was generated from football jerseys or the No. 2 worn by Heisman Trophy winner Manziel. The bottom line is that athletic departments aren't getting rich off jersey sales. Texas A&M receives just 10 percent of the wholesale price for jerseys under its contract with adidas. - Kristi Dosh, ESPN.com
08/08/2013 - Johnny Manziel's family has hired an El Paso, Texas, attorney with experience in NCAA matters as the Heisman Trophy winner reportedly faces an investigation into whether he was paid to sign autographs. The Manziel family said in a statement Thursday that Jim Darnell would be representing the Texas A&M quarterback. ESPN has reported that Manziel is being examined for allegedly signing autographs for money before last January's BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Such a deal would compromise Manziel's status as an amateur.
The Manziels also say that, in compliance with NCAA regulations, Johnny Manziel and no other member of the family will comment publicly about the investigation. Darnell says he has no prior relationship with the Manziels. He says he has worked on numerous NCAA cases, most notably representing Baylor when its basketball program was sanctioned in the early 2000s and former Southern California basketball coach Tim Floyd. - AP Sports
08/08/2013 - An attorney hired by Johnny Manziel's family with experience in NCAA legal matters expects the Heisman Trophy winner to be on the field this season for Texas A&M. Jim Darnell will represent Manziel as the NCAA investigates allegations that the redshirt sophomore quarterback was paid for signing autographs before the BCS hational championships game in south Florida in January. An East Coast autograph broker told ESPN this week that Manziel was paid $7,500 for his signature on the memorabilia. "I can't say much other than we're working through the process," Darnell told USA Today. "He's cooperating with the investigation. We think when all this comes out on the other end, he'll be the starting quarterback for the Aggies against Rice" when the season opens Aug. 31.
Darnell said the family hired him several weeks ago. His experience in NCAA cases includes representing the Baylor basketball program and USC basketball coach Tim Floyd. Texas A&M also has retained a law firm to represent the university, USA Today confirmed this week. The Manziels issued a statement saying they would comply with NCAA rules by not commenting during the investigation. Darnell isn't sure how long the process will last. "A lot of that is out of my hands," he said. "That will be up to the NCAA." - The Sports Xchange
08/06/2013 - An East Coast autograph broker told ESPN on Tuesday that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was paid $7,500 for signing autographs in January. The broker claimed that Manziel signed about 300 mini- and full-sized helmets on Jan. 11-12 at the Walter Camp Football Foundation event. The broker played two cell phone videos for ESPN showing the quarterback signing white Texas A&M helmets and footballs laid out on a hotel room bed, but does not show him accepting any money. The broker said the room was at The Omni hotel in New Haven, Conn.
ESPN claimed that the broker and his partner wanted money to release the videos for ESPN to use, but ESPN declined to pay. The broker eventually allowed ESPN's Joe Schad to view the videos and decided not to sell them. The 9-minute-long videos were initially shot as proof to authenticate the company PSA/DNA, according to the broker. ESPN reported that Manziel, who was not told he was being recorded on the videos, was heard saying that if the broker told anyone about the signing, he would not work with him again. Manziel also reportedly said that if asked, he would say that he was approached by various autograph seekers.
ESPN also heard Manziel on the videos decline accepting money when asked by another broker to sign with special inscriptions because he had done that before and it led to questions. Even though the broker claimed that Manziel accepted money three times in the videos, ESPN reported that he did not. He said that Manziel wanted money to buy new rims for a vehicle. - The Sports Xchange
08/05/2013 - A prominent autograph broker on eBay claims that Johnny Manziel's friend and personal assistant, Nate Fitch, told him that Manziel would no longer sign autographs for him without compensation, according to ESPN. The broker said the Texas A&M quarterback signed about 50 items for him at the team's hotel Nov. 9. He also said Manziel then signed about 200 more items days later, but did not pay Manziel for either session. The broker also claimed Fitch said he could provide other college football players to sign autographs, but would have to be compensated.
The broker showed ESPN a photo of Manziel signing autographs in what he claims was Manziel's hotel room. ESPN reported Sunday the NCAA began an investigation as to whether Manziel received payment for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia in January. Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin said Monday that Manziel will remain the Aggies' quarterback while the university conducts its due diligence into the situation.
"The last 24 hours, with the news about Johnny, the university is doing its due diligence to find out the facts," Sumlin said, per USA Today. "We're gonna practice and go ahead as normal and be able to adjust to the facts." Sources told ESPN that Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy last season as a redshirt freshman, agreed to sign memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure fee while in Miami to attend the BCS National Championship game. - The Sports Xchange
08/05/2013 - The NCAA has begun an investigation as to whether Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel received payment for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia in January, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported Sunday. Sources told ESPN that Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy last season as a redshirt freshman, agreed to sign memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure fee while in Miami to attend the BCS National Championship game.
The sources witnessed the signing but saw no money change hands. Three sources said Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at the request of an autograph broker named Drew Tieman. According to the report's sources, Tieman had a meeting with Manziel on Jan. 6. The next day, Manziel and personal assistant Nathan Fitch visited Tieman's residence and signed hundreds of items with a number of people in the room. After the BCS title game, Monziel signed hundreds of additional autographs.
James Garland, the NCAA's assistant director of enforcement, contacted Tieman in June and wanted to discuss items signed by Manziel that appeared for sale on eBay. If the NCAA investigation finds that Manziel has violated NCAA rules by accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service, he could be ruled ineligible. Jason Cook, Texas A&M's senior associate athletics director for external affairs, said in a statement, "It is Texas A&M's longstanding practice not to respond to such questions concerning specific student-athletes."
However, in March, Texas A&M's compliance director, David Batson told ESPN, "Johnny has indicated on numerous occasions and, once again earlier today, that he has never (and to his knowledge, his parents, other relatives and friends have ever) been compensated through cash or other benefits or promises of deferred compensation for providing his autograph." - The Sports Xchange
08/04/2013 - While the world seems to be investigating the personal life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, it's being reported that the NCAA is investigating the Heisman Trophy winner for an entirely different reason. According to a report from ESPN, the NCAA is looking into whether or not Manziel received compensation signed photos and memorabilia. ESPN's Outside the Lines reports that, according to two sources, Manziel agreed to a five-figure fee to sign hundreds of pieces of memorabilia while in Miami for the BCS National Championship Game in January.
Three sources said Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at the request of an autograph broker named Drew Tieman. Two sources, who are aware of the signing arrangement, told "Outside the Lines" that Tieman approached Manziel on Jan. 6 when he landed at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to attend the game between Alabama and Notre Dame the next day.
After that meeting, three sources said, Manziel, accompanied by his friend and personal assistant Nathan Fitch, visited Tieman's residence and signed hundreds of items in the main room of the apartment despite the fact that there were many people in the room. Before Manziel left South Florida, after taking in the title game, he signed hundreds of autographs more, one source said. The report goes on to say that NCAA assistant director of enforcement, James Garland, contacted Tieman in June to talk about Manziel-signed items that had shown up on eBay. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
07/30/2013 - Johnny Manziel enjoys the limelight - or so it would seem. Since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the Texas A&M quarterback has been scrutinized for everything from choice seats at NBA playoff games to reportedly getting thrown out of a fraternity party last week. And his father is concerned all the media attention is equating to mounting pressure that will culminate in a bad situation. "Yeah, it could come unraveled," Paul Manziel told Wright Thompson in an interview with ESPN the Magazine. "And when it does, it's gonna be bad. Real bad," Paul Manziel said. "It's one night away from the phone ringing, and he's in jail. And you know what he's gonna say? 'It's better than all the pressure I've been under. This is better than that.'"
Manziel's father went on to say his son drinks to cope with stress and that he has anger issues. After his arrest in 2012 on a misdemeanor assault charge, Johnny's parents and Aggies football coach Pat Sumlin mandated he visit an alcohol counselor. "I don't know where the anger comes from," said Paul Manziel, who added he doesn't like to even play golf with his son because of it. "I don't think he knows. If it comes from his drinking, or if he's mad at himself for not being a better person when he fails, when he fails God and his mom and me. If it makes him angry that he's got demons in him. You can only speculate because you can't go in there."
Manziel told the magazine that he views it as his duty to provide his son guidance because, "The school sure the hell isn't gonna do it," and suggested Johnny will leave for the 2014 NFL Draft after just his redshirt sophomore season because the family is growing weary of NCAA investigations. "It's starting to get under our skin," Paul says. "They're so selfish." - The Sports Xchange
07/29/2013 - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is making more off-the-field news. The Texas A&M quarterback was asked to leave a fraternity party at a bar near the rival University of Texas in Austin on Friday night, according to multiple reports. SB Nation's Burnt Orange Nation website said Manziel was dealt with quickly and harshly soon after he arrived.
A short video on YouTube shows Manziel avoiding a thrown beer can and partygoers using an expletive while telling him to leave an outdoor patio. Manziel is seen departing the scene in a soaked golf shirt. The following day, Manziel was reportedly spotted again in Austin at another fraternity party wearing a Tim Tebow New York Jets jersey.
The redshirt sophomore's exploits have attracted plenty of attention since he won the Heisman in December. The latest headline involved Manziel leaving the Manning Passing Camp in Louisiana earlier this month after saying he overslept, The 20-year-old also recently reached a plea agreement on a misdemeanor assault charge from a 2012 arrest after allegedly shoving a graduate assistant coach. - The Sports Xchange
07/25/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (119)...Became the first-ever freshman and the second Aggie to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy, college football's top individual honor, by more than 150 first-place votes after a record-setting season ... completed 295 of his 434 passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions ... rushed 201 times for 1,410 net yards (7.0 yards per carry) with 21 rushing touchdowns ... broke the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense (2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn previously held the record of 4,327), which was the 10th best single season effort in NCAA history. - Texas A&M football
07/20/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP WATCH LIST: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Manziel re-wrote the NCAA, SEC and Texas A&M record book in 2012 as he became the first SEC player in surpass the 5,000-yard barrier in total offense in a season. His 5,116 total yards were an NCAA freshman record and ranked No. 9 in NCAA FBS history. He had three games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in his first season, which had never been done any FBS player in a career. He was the fourth quarterback to pass for 20-plus touchdowns and rush for 20-plus touchdowns in a season, and he was the fifth player to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 3,000 in a season. - Texas A&M football
07/18/2013 - Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is steering clear of the Johnny Manziel questions. McCarron fielded plenty of them Thursday at Southeastern Conference media day, where his Texas A&M counterpart faced the spotlight a day earlier. McCarron and Manziel were roommates at the Manning Passing Academy, where Manziel left early and blamed missing activities on oversleeping. Asked if he bought that explanation, McCarron said: ''I can't answer on Johnny Manziel's part. My name's AJ.'' ''Everything that has to do with him, he's his own man,'' the Alabama quarterback said. ''I'm not going to speak on another man's business. That's how I was raised - if it doesn't have anything to do with you, don't speak of it. ''I know how I handle myself in public, how I carry myself in front of people. That's what I'm worried about, trying to be the best player and best person off the field that I can be for my family and the university.''
For his part, Manziel said McCarron didn't wake him up for the event but he took responsibility. ''I'm definitely not going to pin it on him,'' Manziel said. ''It's my fault - 115, 120 percent.'' LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger said the Manning camp can be hard to manage for a young player like Manziel. ''It's tough. There's social events at night that they have and there's definitely temptation to do something foolish,'' Mettenberger said. ''He's still a 20-year-old kid. He's been put into a huge spotlight and limelight and it's tough to handle. Hopefully he'll learn from this and just become a better person.'' - AP Sports
07/18/2013 - 2013 DAVEY O'BRIEN WATCH LIST: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Manziel re-wrote the NCAA, SEC and Texas A&M record book in 2012 as he became the first SEC player in surpass the 5,000-yard barrier in total offense in a season. His 5,116 total yards were an NCAA freshman record and ranked No. 9 in NCAA FBS history. He had three games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in his first season, which had never been done any FBS player in a career. He was the fourth quarterback to pass for 20-plus touchdowns and rush for 20-plus touchdowns in a season, and he was the fifth player to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 3,000 in a season. - Texas A&M football
07/18/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's remarkable first season earned him Best Male College Athlete honors on Wednesday at the ESPYs at the Nokia Theatre. The ESPY award capped a record-setting 2012 freshman season that saw him also win the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Award and the Manning Award, as well as Associated Press College Player of the Year honors and consensus All-America honors. Manziel spent the first half of Wednesday addressing the 1,000-plus media members at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala., before jetting to Los Angeles for the ESPYs.
Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, was a finalist for the College Athlete of the Year award along with basketball player Trey Burke of Michigan, hockey player Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State and wrestler Kyle Dake of Cornell. "It's humbling to receive this honor when I look around and see all the other remarkable athletes here at the ESPYs," Manziel said. "I wouldn't have received this award without the help of my family, my teammates, my coaches and Texas A&M University." - Texas A&M football
07/17/2013 - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is feeling like a rock star these days. At least that is what he compared himself with on Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala. "The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago," Manziel said. "I guess I feel like Justin Beiber or something. I never thought it would really be that way."
The Texas A&M quarterback, accompanied by school officials, had cameras in his face as he arrived for interview sessions with the media. One of the first questions he dealt with was the reason for leaving the Manning Passing Camp last weekend. Manziel said he overslept for a meeting after his cellphone battery died. Camp officials reported that he was ill.
Since he became the first freshman to win the Heisman, he has faced public scrutiny for everything from his comments on social media, his vacations and his online classes to avoid fellow students. And on Monday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from an altercation last summer. Manziel, a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore, expressed his regret to A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for bringing negative attention to the program. - The Sports Xchange
07/17/2013 - Since he became the first freshman to win the Heisman, he has faced public scrutiny for everything from his comments on social media, his vacations and his online classes to avoid fellow students. And on Monday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from an altercation last summer. "I feel like, to be honest, I haven't done anything criminal this offseason," he said. "I haven't done anything like that. I've made my mistakes. I'm still growing up. I'm still learning from that.
"At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to make mistakes and the big thing for me is to learn from them and not make the same one twice." Manziel, a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore, expressed his regret to A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for bringing negative attention to the program. "I told him I felt like the deal really got blown out of proportion, and I'm sorry for that, for the way it was spun and the way it was taken out of context," Manziel said. "I never meant to make A&M look bad, or especially him. Me and coach Sumlin have such a special relationship and I never would have wanted to upset him." - The Sports Xchange
07/17/2013 - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is feeling like a rock star these days. At least that is what he compared himself with on Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala. "The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago," Manziel said. "I guess I feel like Justin Beiber or something. I never thought it would really be that way." The Texas A&M quarterback, accompanied by school officials, had cameras in his face as he arrrived for interview sessions with the media.
One of the first questions he dealt with the reason for leaving the Manning Passing Camp last weekend. Manziel said he overslept for a meeting after his cellphone battery died. Camp officials reported that he was ill. Pressed on whether he was hung over, Manziel responded, "Absolutely not," but he stopped short of saying whether or not he drank alcohol. However, a photo appeared on Twitter with Manziel and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron at a bar near Nichols State University. Manziel did say he was sorry. "There's no excuse for it. Absolutely my fault," Manziel said. - The Sports Xchange
07/16/2013 - 2013 PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Became the first-ever freshman and the second Aggie to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy, college football's top individual honor, by more than 150 first-place votes after a record-setting season ... named College Player of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News ... receiving the Davey O'Brien Award and the Manning Award ... completed 295 of his 434 passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions ... rushed 201 times for 1,410 net yards (7.0 yards per carry) with 21 rushing touchdowns ... broke the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense (2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn previously held the record of 4,327), which was the 10th best single season effort in NCAA history. - Texas A&M football
07/16/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will have plenty of questions to answer on Wednesday when the Heisman Trophy winner speaks at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Manziel already apologized to the Texas A&M coaching staff and "is being advised to be honest about what led to his much-discussed departure" from the Manning Passing Academy. After missing assigned meetings and practice sessions, Manziel left his post as a coach/counselor one day ahead of schedule.
Around 1,200 media members are expected to be in attendance as the SEC kicks off the 2013 preseason with their annual three-day media event. After a wild 12 months that included winning both the Texas A&M starting job and the Heisman Trophy, every camera and recorder will be focused on Johnny Football when the quarterback takes the podium.
According to ESPN, coaches and public relations specialists are working with Manziel to prepare for the off-the-wall nature of SEC Media Days. After all, this is the same event in which Tim Tebow's virginity was a topic of conversation. It should be noted that Schad's report also included a description of Manziel's ride home from the Manning Passing Academy. While it was reported that the Aggies quarterback was "very upset" while being driven home by his mother, Manziel's sister took issue with the report on Twitter. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
07/16/2013 - 2013 MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M ...Completed 295 of his 434 passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions ... rushed 201 times for 1,410 net yards (7.0 yards per carry) with 21 rushing touchdowns ... broke the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense (2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn previously held the record of 4,327), which was the 10th best single season effort in NCAA history. - Texas A&M football
07/15/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge from his 2012 arrest in College Station, the Eagle of Bryan-College Station reported. Manziel was initially charged with three misdemeanors after fighting with another man in June of 2012. He was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of the fake ID and failure to identify himself to police. Manziel pleaded guilty to the failure to identify charge.
He agreed to pay the maximum $2,000 fine, $232 in court costs and spend two days in jail. However, the judge ruled that Manziel already served the jail time when he was arrested. "He took responsibility for his actions that night and is ready to put what happened that night behind him," said Manziel's attorney, Cam Reynolds. Manziel and a friend were walking home on June 29, 2012 when the friend said a racial slur to a 47-year-old man.
The man confronted the Manziel's friend and a fight ensued, according to a police report. Manziel was initially suspended for the 2012 season following the arrest and he planned to transfer to another school. However, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin helped overturn the suspension and Manziel went on to win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman. - The Sports Xchange
07/15/2013 - Johnny Manziel's offseason of endless headlines continued Monday as the Heisman Trophy winner pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge stemming from his 2012 arrest in College Station, the Eagle of Bryan-College Station reported. Manziel had originally been charged with three misdemeanors after College Station police found him and another man fighting on the street between 2-3 a.m. on June 29, 2012. After producing a fake ID and lying about his age, Manziel was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of the fake ID and failure to identify himself to police.
Manziel pleaded guilty on Monday to the failure to identify charge, reaching an agreement that would see him pay the maximum $2,000 fine, pay $232 in court costs and spend two days in jail. The judge ruled that Manziel had already served the jail time, however, when he was jailed following the arrest. The other charges were dismissed as part of the agreement. "He took responsibility for his actions that night and is ready to put what happened that night behind him," Manziel's attorney, Cam Reynolds, told the Eagle.
According to statements given to police, Manziel and a friend were walking home on June 29, 2012 when the friend directed a racial slur at a 47-year-old man. The man confronted the friend, and the incident escalated until Manziel and the man exchanged punches. As a result of his ensuing arrest, Manziel was initially suspended for the entire 2012 season and planned a transfer. But a letter from new Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin helped overturn the suspension, paving the way for Manziel's historic Heisman-winning campaign as a freshman. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
07/14/2013 - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was excused from the 2013 Manning Passing Academy because of an apparent illness, ESPN reported Sunday. Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, was serving the camp as a college coach/counselor. He missed assigned meetings and practice sessions because of the illness, camp officials said. Some earlier internet reports stated that Manziel was sent home by Archie Manning because of "partying" but camp officials said those reports were not accurate. The camp was at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
"Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach," camp officials said in a statement said. "After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone's best interest for him to go home a day early." Manziel also attended the academy twice while he was in high school. "I enjoyed meeting Johnny," Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said. "I can remember a 20-year-old Eli (Manning) missing a meeting and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best and I want him to come back as a counselor next year."
ESPN could not reach Manziel for comment. He reportedly apologized to camp officials for not being able to complete his obligation. The camp, in its 18th year, began Thursday and finished Sunday morning. Manziel was sent home Saturday afternoon after he missed the morning session. - The Sports Xchange
06/25/2013 - Amid reports that Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel faced a season-long suspension in 2012 as the result of a June 29, 2012 arrest, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin told NewsOK.com. that he helped get the penalty dismissed because Manziel was conforming to school-imposed punishments. Multiple media outlets reported last week that Manziel was banned for his role in a bar fight last summer when he was discovered with a fake ID. As a result, the then-freshman decided to transfer.
Sumlin wrote a letter on Manziel's behalf. "A lot has been said about discipline, but he went through all that, which is a little bit more than people think," Sumlin said, according to NewsOK.com. "That's not a public deal, it's just what I ask him to do. He did all those things and his parents were involved in all of that. So for him to go through that, then go through camp and those types of things and earn the job, that's what's brought him to where he is now." The penalty was overturned by the dean of student life, and Manziel led the Aggies to an 11-2 season. - The Sports Xchange
06/19/2013 - Johnny Manziel's tweets about leaving College Station have been overanalyzed all week, but according to the Dallas Morning News it was not the first time Manziel considered leaving Texas A&M. After redshirting in 2011, Manziel was arrested for an incident in College Station's Northgate bar district last summer. Coach Kevin Sumlin later said that the soon-to-be Heisman winning quarterback was disciplined internally.
The Dallas Morning News, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reported that Manziel was initially suspended for the entirety of the 2012 season. If the ruling had been upheld on appeal, the source told the paper, Manziel "would have felt it was necessary to transfer." Manziel called the offseason incident "one of the biggest mistakes of my life" when he finally met with the media for the first time in November (Sumlin prohibits freshmen from media availability during the regular season).
If the report is true, Texas A&M is fortunate the appeal process did not lead to Manziel's departure. At the time, Manziel was expected to be the backup quarterback to Jameill Showers. No one knew that he would become "Johnny Football," leading the Aggies to an 11-2 finish and a Cotton Bowl win during the first season of SEC play. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
06/16/2013 - Johnny Manziel, who swore off using Twitter in March because he said it was too distracting, brought more negative attention on himself with a late-night tweet that was captured by followers and sent to Deadspin.com. "Bull---- like tonight is a reason why I can't wait to leave college station...whenever it may be," the tweet attributed to Manziel read at 1:38 a.m. Sunday before being deleted.
What prompted the posting is unknown, but he also wrote, "Don't ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes" The tweets led to a flurry of responses from followers, and comes less than three months after Manziel had closed his Twitter account. "I kind of just shut it all off," the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said, according to ESPN.com on March 27. "With how the media has been with me for a while, I just shut everything off. I said I was done with it for however long. It's fun to have, but it can get to be distracting at points."
Manziel's off-the-field adventures are well-documented since he rose to prominence last season as a redshirt freshman. Much has been made of his decision to take all of his classes online this spring because of the attention his new-found fame brought when he was campus. He also has been seen at the NBA Finals, on vacation during break in Mexico, attending Mardi Gras and has even appeared in a country music video. In March, it was reported that Manziel shoved a graduate assistant coach after throwing an interception during a spring scrimmage. - The Sports Xchange
05/21/2013 - 2013 FREAKS LIST: THE 20 CRAZIEST ATHLETES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 6. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB: The guy who became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy has shown he's quite the all-around athlete as he continues his whirlwind bucket list offseason. Just in the past month, Manziel's broken 80 at Pebble Beach and homered in BP in a major league ballpark when he visited the San Diego Padres. Friends say the 6-footer is also capable of throwing down some eye-catching dunks on the basketball court as well. Oh yeah, and he also can do stuff like this too.
The real reason why he cracks the Top 10 on the Freaks List is for something else, though. At first glance, Manziel looks rather ordinary at 6-0, 210, but coaches say in addition to his preternatural wheels, the Aggies star has huge hands, which are a big plus for any QB, especially a shorter one. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said Manziel's oversized mitts remind him of another play-making 6-foot QB on a team he coached back in his Purdue days -- Drew Brees, who apparently has thumbs the size of croissants.
"Having those big hands not only helps tote the ball in traffic, but he can basically go all through his motion and still pull the ball back," noted George Whitfield, a private QB coach who helps train Manziel. Whitfield also has worked with some huge NFL quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. All three of those QBs have size 14 shoes. Manziel wears 15s. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
05/04/2013 - NFL DRAFT: 'WAIT-TIL-NEXT-YEAR' DRAFT OVER; HERE ARE 21 TO WATCH IN 2014: Underclassmen...4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: A redshirt sophomore, Johnny Football could strike at just the right time. Scouts need to see consistent accuracy, but his workout numbers and another season with double-digit victories against SEC competition catapult him into talk of the No. 1 pick. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
04/08/2013 - Johnny Manziel may have had a different nickname if football hadn't worked out for him. The Heisman Trophy winner known as Johnny Football threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday night's game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Manziel said he talked to Texas A&M baseball coaches last summer about joining the team. That was before the longtime Rangers fan beat out Jameill Showers for the starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman with the Aggies along to way to a record-breaking season last fall. Texas A&M had its first 11-win season since 1998. Manziel set an SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense. ''Things in my life have worked out pretty well. I'm pretty blessed. I wouldn't trade it for anything.'' Manziel said.
Before Manziel became a football star at Texas A&M, he was a middle infielder in high school who looked up to former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He didn't play baseball his senior season so he could graduate early and focus on football. ''I do miss (baseball),'' Manziel said. ''I would love to play. But I chose a different path. Football became center stage in my life when I always thought I would play baseball.'' Manziel is a lifelong Rangers fan and said he was just as nervous throwing the first pitch Sunday night as he was in New York for the Heisman ceremony. Rangers CEO and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan spent time chatting with Manziel in the Texas dugout before the game. - AP Sports
Eight head coaches and eight general managers were present, including Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O'Brien, who hold the rights to the No. 1 overall pick. Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles still seems to be the favorite to be the top pick if Houston stays put, but the in-state product Manziel will be considered. O'Brien spent a good amount of time talking with Manziel's family and will meet privately with the former Heisman Trophy winner and local product who has publicly dared the Texans to pass on him. If not Houston, Jacksonville (third overall pick) and Cleveland (fourth) are two other possibilities. Browns general manager Ray Farmer was not at Manziel's workout, but by no means does that make him less of a possibility for Cleveland. Does this elevate Manziel's draft stock? Doubtful. But it was a positive step for him as the draft process winds down. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com