College football notebook: Manziel still mulls NFL draft decision

McClatchy news servicesJanuary 7, 2014 

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, center, smiles from the sideline during the NCAA BCS national championship game.


Johnny Manziel has long been expected to forego his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2014 NFL draft, but the Texas A&M quarterback told ESPN he is still undecided about whether to return to the Aggies for next season.

Manziel intends to meet with his family this week before making a final decision. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for this year’s draft.

Manziel was in Pasadena, Calif., for Monday night’s BCS title game between Auburn and Florida State.

“I want to make the right decision that’s best for me and my family,” Manziel told ESPN.

Manziel is currently the No. 8-rated overall player eligible this year, according to ratings. He is likely to be a top-10 selection should he elect to leave school, but the quarterback class received a strong boost with juniors Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles announcing they will forego their final years of eligibility.

Whenever he elects to enter the NFL, Manziel will certainly be one of the most polarizing prospects. While it only takes one team with a top-10 selection to fall in love with Manziel, there are many others who will have concerns about his arm strength, ability to translate his game to the NFL and Manziel’s lengthy history of off-field distractions.

Manziel led Texas A&M to a dramatic comeback victory against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve in what most expected to be his swan song with the Aggies.


UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley officially announced at a news conference he would return for his junior season and forego the NFL draft.

Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is returning as well, he announced in a statement Monday. He set the Pac-12’s single-season record for passing yards with 4,662.

Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, says he will stay at Oregon for his senior season.


A few notable players around the nation made official their decisions to bolt for the NFL:

 • Florida linebacker Ronald Powell.

 • Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

 • Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk.

 • UAB running back Darrin Reaves.

 • UCF running back Storm Johnson.

 • Notre Dame defensive end Sephon Tuitt.


Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston highlighted the freshman All-America team released by the Football Writers Association of America. It also included UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, a graduate of Bellevue High School. … Former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino was named offensive coordinator at Iowa State, the school announced Monday. … Charlie Strong was introduced as the new head coach of Texas in a press conference in Austin. … BCS executive director Bill Hancock says the selection committee for the College Football Playoff to debut next year will try to avoid rematches, but not at the expense of the integrity of the seedings. … The BCS bowls’ television viewership was up 15 percent from last year. … Former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow debuted Monday as an ESPN analyst.

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