College Station, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Manziel has confirmed what virtually every football follower had been speculating for months: that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner will end his spectacular collegiate career and enter the upcoming NFL Draft.
NFL.com's Gil Brandt tweeted early Wednesday that Manziel had filed the necessary paperwork with the league to declare for the 2014 draft. The Texas A&M quarterback then acknowledged his intention to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility in a statement released by the Aggies' athletic department later in the day.
"After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft," said Manziel. The decision was not an easy one, but we all felt this was the right time to make the next step toward a professional career."
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and was fifth in the balloting this past season.
The Texas native threw for 3,706 yards with 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions while rushing for 1,410 yards with 21 scores during his incredible redshirt freshman season. He set an SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense and was the MVP of the 2013 Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.
Manziel was suspended for the first half of the 2013 season-opener against Rice for an inadvertent violation of NCAA rules regarding the signing of autographs.
In 13 games for the Aggies this past season, he threw for 4,114 yards with 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His rushing numbers declined somewhat from 2012 with 759 yards on the ground and just nine scores.
"In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen," said Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. "We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best."
The Aggies were 20-6 in Manziel's two seasons.