Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel hasn't been able to avoid the spotlight since his Heisman-winning season ended. Whether it be partying or his situation with his online classes there has been drama around every turn for Manziel, thus spawning his short-lived Twitter hiatus. Late Saturday night, he added fuel to the media's fire by sending out a tweet stating, “I [Manziel] couldn't wait to leave college station”. He soon took the tweet down and sent a refute to the controversy, posting, “Don't ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes.”
The rumors about him leaving the Aggies after the 2013 season aren't going to end after a tweet, though. There has been speculation for months that Manziel, although a sophomore, could possibly enter the 2014 NFL Draft, forgoing his final two years of eligibility at Texas A&M.
When news broke in February that Manziel was taking all four of his classes online for spring semester, it was evident that he would only go on campus for football activities until he started school again in the fall.
In March, he sat down with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit he had quotable lines like, “If an opportunity comes to go to the NFL, you have to look at that,” and “it's been a dream as a kid to be able to have an opportunity to even be talked about being able to play in the NFL.” By May, he was throwing out the first pitch for a San Diego Padres game, while visiting quarterback guru George Whitfield in Southern California. Manziel's actions and words have let those in the college football and NFL draft community know that he's been thinking about expanding past College Station, way before he ever even thought about announcing it to the world on Saturday.
Optimum Scouting's own Eric Galko had this to say about the redshirt sophomore as an NFL prospect “After just one season of college football, Manziel carries a late Top 100 grade for us at Optimum Scouting if he were to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft. As a true passer, he’s worth a developmental grade as a 5th-6th round pick, and his skill set as a runner gives a good enough fall back option to bump him into the late 3rd round discussion.
“Thanks to his lack of adequate height and likely need for offenses to scheme for him if he does hope to play in the NFL, his “ceiling” in terms of a draft grade is likely in the 2nd round area if he makes all the necessary strides, and even then he would be a surprise to be a long-term NFL starter. His style of play, lack of size, shiftiness as a runner and ability to make plays based on hustle, grit, and a natural confidence and composure to his game reminds an awful lot of Doug Flutie during his NFL tenure."
While he might be a project quarterback at this point as an NFL prospect, he might benefit more by going to the NFL as soon as possible and developing with NFL coaches and coordinators in systems that are more vertical, rather than developing in Kevin Sumlin's spread-offense. Manziel's the sports first Heisman-winning freshman, the only reason he'd stay at Texas A&M is to build his legacy, but he's already proven that he'd like to spend as least amount of time as possible on campus at College Station.