Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has already won a Heisman Trophy and still has three years of NCAA eligibility, but his coaches are just grateful that he’ll get a second season as the Aggies’ starter this year, and they’re not expecting him to hang around long enough to start for three seasons, let alone four.
Clarence McKinney, the offensive coordinator at A&M, told a group of Aggies boosters that Manziel, who redshirted in 2011, may forego his final two seasons of college football and enter next year’s NFL draft, when he’ll be eligible for the first time. McKinney said A&M is recruiting quarterbacks with the expectations that it will need a new starter in 2014.
“With the uncertainty of Johnny’s situation because of the way the NFL is going — his stock is rising,” McKinney said, via the San Antonio Express-News.
It wasn’t long ago that people would have looked at the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Manziel, who makes as many plays with his feet as he does with his arm, and said he’s not a great fit for NFL offenses and isn’t a lock to be an NFL starter at any point, let alone a high first-round pick after just two seasons as a college starter. But the success of smaller, more mobile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, and the success that NFL offenses have had incorporating many of the same concepts that Manziel thrives in at Texas A&M, have caused a shift in the way people look at quarterback prospects.
So while Manziel isn’t quite the sure-thing top-pick that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is, he’s another college star who may just be counting the days until he’s eligible for the NFL draft.