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Johnny Manziel’s height: Why Texas A&M’s vertical measurement doesn’t count

Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The media feeding frenzy at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis was absurd, abominable, and unbelievable on Fri. Feb. 21, when every major news market reported breaking news: “Johnny Manziel stands 5’11.75” inches tall.” Breaking news. Really?

Who all has weighed in, so far, on the issue of height?

NFL.com, Johnny Manziel comes up short of 6 feet at NFL combine, but Chase Goodbread also said he “was also the most creative quarterback” he’d ever seen and a “new wave of quarterback,” but that wasn’t the headline.

Yahoo Canada Sports Blog, “Johnny Manziel measures a little under 6 feet at NFL scouting combine,” but Anwar Richardson’s story also noted, “Manziel’s height may turn into a hot topic, but the accurate measurement will probably not affect any team interested in him.”

Sports Illustrated, Johnny Manziel misses 6-foot mark at NFL scouting combine, but Chris Burke’s story also note that Johnny has big hands:

Like (Russell) Wilson, Manziel did measure well in hand size, another important attribute for QBs — the larger the hand, the less the perceived risk of fumbling or mishandling snaps. Wilson hit at 10 1/4-inch in that category at the combine; Manziel was at 9 7/8 on Friday, better than Bridgewater or Bortles (9 1/4 and 9 3/8, respectively).

And the headlines keep up that tone of condemnation for a 0.25" differential for standing under 6 feet tall, but somewhere in the middle of these stories, Manziel’s playing skills seen in the past two years at Texas A&M keep on showing why, apparently, America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, is impressed enough to want to speak with him.

On Feb. 21, 2014, ESPN’s Todd Archer wrote “Manziel is among the Cowboys’ 60 official interviews in Indianapolis and will meet (met with) with the team’s coaches and scouts Friday night.”

How big Manziel’s hands are and how tall Johnny stands may be the breaking news to come out of the NFL combine today. But for Texas Aggie football fans, the most important news actually has something to do with last year’s news, when he won the Heisman Trophy as a (redshirt) freshman, when he had not even been considered the starter before his first year of playing for Texas A&M.

When all the hype clears, Manziel will be drafted by an NFL team and have a solid pro career. And wherever he plays, the Aggie fans will follow, watch, buy season tickets and make the pro team a veritable fortune through buying his team jerseys the way they made local t-shirt manufacturers (and Texas A&M) a bigtime mint by marketing the “#2” maroon jersey.

So, forget the height hype, move along and wait for the combine pocket passing reports. There you’ll find a big story. Manziel’s confidence and (sometimes cocky) attitude is all he needs to see above the crowd of linebackers charging at him, and find his receivers. Apparently he’s tall enough to win a Heisman Trophy, so onto the big show, the NFL draft. Stand tall, Manziel, and just keep throwing.