Johnny Pro Football: Manziel to enter draft

Updated: January 8, 2014, 4:21 PM ET


ESPN.com news services


Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft, forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility at Texas A&M, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner confirmed in a statement released through the school and a separate letter to Texas A&M fans on Wednesday.

Manziel’s letter appeared on TexAgs.com, which also posted it on Twitter:

Johnny’s farewell to Aggieland: pic.twitter.com/nYOk0hkc3P

— TexAgs.com (@TexAgs) January 8, 2014

Manziel filed the official paperwork to declare himself eligible for the draft on Wednesday.

Manziel’s decision was reported earlier Wednesday by NFL.com.

Widely projected as a first-round selection, Manziel is coming off his second productive season as the Aggies’ quarterback. He threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns while rushing for 2,169 yards and 30 more scores over his two-year career at Texas A&M.

Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman in 2012, when he set an SEC record for total offense by accounting for 5,116 yards.

This season, Manziel set a Texas A&M record for passing yards (4,114) and finished 11 yards shy of becoming the first sophomore to account for 10,000 career yards.

“In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen,” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statement. “We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best.”

Multiple sources told ESPN.com’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.

It is unclear, however, whether Manziel has signed with either firm. Once he signs with an agency, he will forfeit his remaining NCAA eligibility.

The Kerrville (Texas) Tivy High product is rated as the No. 14 player on Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board, and Scouts Inc. ranks him as the 22nd-best player. ESPN College Football and NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay projected Manziel to go fourth overall in his initial mock draft of the 2014 cycle.

Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, who spent 13 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his excitement about Manziel.

Would love to see Johnny Manziel in a @Vikings uniform. This guy is the real deal. He will be a big time player on Sundays. #NFL @jmanziel2

— Fran Tarkenton (@Fran_Tarkenton) January 8, 2014

Heard @MelKiperESPN on @sportscenter comparing @jmanziel to me. I agree- #Manziel is a football savant. Can’t teach what he does. #TAMU

— Fran Tarkenton (@Fran_Tarkenton) January 8, 2014

The Vikings, who could look to draft a quarterback in the early rounds, have the eighth overall pick.

ESPN.com’s Sam Khan contributed to this report.

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