Breaking news! It’s official. On Wed., Jan. 8, Texas Aggie quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel announced that he would be entering the NFL draft. The announcement came first at 11:02 am in a tweet from NFL.com senior analyst, Gil Brandt:
To be clear, Manziel has officially submitted declaration papers to #NFL for inclusing in 2014 draft, part of record 80 underclassmen.
Bleacher Report today also reported that ESPN’s SportsCenter confirmed Brandt’s report:
BREAKING: Johnny Manziel will enter the NFL draft. (via ESPN and #NFLNetwork).
Yesterday, ESPN writer Sam Khan, Jr. led the way to prepare for today’s announcement as he shared that “Multiple sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell on Tuesday that Manziel has chosen Select Sports Group out of Houston to be his contract agency and LRMR, the firm run by LeBron James’ business partner Maverick Carter, to do his marketing, though it is unclear if he has signed with either firm.”
There’s differing speculation as to whether or not rapper Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency might not also be in the running. “On Jan. 4, College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread cited a New York Post Page Six story that Johnny Manziel might also be considering the rapper’s firm: “The celebrities Manziel reportedly joined behind the velvet stanchion of Jay Z’s VIP area at the Story nightclub in Miami.” The “source” continued that “Jay Z left just as Manziel arrived and they didn’t interact.” Yet, those stories built on speculation are only for entertainment in the interim while waiting for the actual announcement. Imagine the impact of Manziel on Texas Aggie football and recruiting when Manziel can be in Atlanta one night, Miami another, and then out to California for the BCS Championship Game in the Rose Bowl a few days later. What a whirlwind.
As Khan also noted, the deadline for underclassmen declaring for the draft is Jan. 15, today’s decision is made a week early and comes six days after Aggie teammate Mike Evans announced his intention to declare for the NFL draft on Jan. 2, as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Campus Union blog. One of Manziel’s favorite receivers, Evans is the redshirt sophomore who “led the nation with 17 catches of 30 or more yards and he had a 287-yard game” against SEC rival Auburn, the No. 2 team in the country. Yesterday, sports agent Deryk Gilmore of the Priority Sports agency tweeted “Excited to have @MikeEvans13_ inot the @Priority Sports family. Representing the top WR in the #NFLDraft #Aggies.”
Skip Bayless said that the Houston Texans should absolutely take Johnny Manziel as their overall No. 1 pick to turn the team around. Others such as Marcellus Wiley disagree, but that’s the beauty of the excitement and media surrounding the person who is arguably college football’s most exciting and buzzworthy player.
Johnny doesn’t care what you say about him, but apparently people do care about what he has to say. As of today, Manziel has 709,609 followers on his Twitter account, and he actually remained Tweet-less, or social-media silent, most of the fall 2013 season as he focused on his on-the-turf actions speaking for him. So far, Johnny has not made any announcement on his own Twitter account.
In the two weeks following the Aggies comeback victory over Duke, Manziel has been using Twitter to send shout-outs to several of his favorite players on other college teams, to wish LeBron James a happy birthday and send congratulations to “his Heisman brother,” Jameis Winston on the FSU victory over Auburn, which Manziel attended in person. Today College Spun also reports that Manziel was also featured on Instagram eating a giant pizza with rapper Wale. And so the media circus and bright lights on celebrities officially switch "on" again. As the famous Budweiser tag line says, "Here we go!"
The numbers that Manziel has pulled in, playing just two seasons at Texas A&M after a redshirt freshman year include “7,820 passing yards, 63 touchdowns, 2,169 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns.” Those speak volumes about the potential of the 21-year-old young Aggie being ready to enter the NFL draft and a career as a professional quarterback. He leaves Texas A&M with many records expected to stand for years to come, and a 2013 Heisman Trophy, after Aggies waited 55 years to return to the glory days they have longed for for more than half a century.
Good luck and best wishes to Johnny Manziel in his future professional career. Gig ‘em!