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Johnny Manziel welcomes Jameis Winston to the Heisman family

Jameis Winston Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel shared this cool picture on his Instagram account Sunday of him posing with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. His caption was awesome:

“Welcome to the family #heisman”

Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last season, and Winston won the Heisman this season. The two quarterbacks also are the only players to win the trophy as freshmen.

Another cool aspect is that as a past Heisman winner, Manziel got to vote this year. He actually voted Winston first, Boston College’s Andre Williams second, and himself third. Manziel finished fifth in the voting behind Winston, A.J. McCarron, Jordan Lynch and Williams.

Photo: Instagram/Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel did not vote himself first or second for Heisman Trophy

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel has a vote in the Heisman Trophy balloting because he is a past winner, but he is not using any favoritism. Manziel told reporters that he did not vote himself first or second on this year’s ballot.

Manziel was in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the college football awards show on Thursday when he was asked about his Heisman ballot. He kept part of it a secret, but he did reveal that he voted two others ahead of him.

“I’m going to follow the Heisman Trust on that one and keep it quiet,” Manziel told the media. “I did not vote for myself in first or second place.”

Manziel is one of six players invited to attend the ceremony in New York City on Saturday. The others are quarterbacks Jameis Winston (Florida State), A.J. McCarron (Alabama), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), and running backs Tre Mason (Auburn) and Andre Williams (Boston College). Winston is the extreme favorite to win the award — especially after he was not charged in the sexual assault investigation. My guess is Johnny Football voted for Winston and McCarron ahead of himself.

Winston is an understandable choice, and McCarron would be, too. A.J. threw for 334 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions in Alabama’s thrilling 49-42 win over Texas A&M in September. Plus, Manziel may have fallen into the trap of giving McCarron a life achievement vote for all the success the Bama QB has enjoyed.

Manziel was banged up in a few games and lost his last two games of the season, but he still threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while rushing for 686 yards and 8 touchdowns. He still was quite likely the best offensive player in college football for the second year in a row even if he won’t repeat as a Heisman Trophy winner like Archie Griffin.

Johnny Manziel thinks he is ready for NFL draft

Johnny ManzielFor the past several months, the expectation has been that Johnny Manziel would enter the NFL draft after the college football season. As a redshirt sophomore, he will be eligible to go pro. To nobody’s surprise, that’s exactly what it sounds like he will do.

Manziel admitted to reporters this week that the draft has been on his mind and that he feels ready for the next level.

“I feel like I’m playing, for the most part, at a really high level of football,” Manziel told reporters gathered in Orlando, Fla., for the Home Depot College Football Awards news conferences, via the Houston Chronicle. “I’m putting the ball where I want it to be, and I’m throwing it with a lot of velocity. … In my mind, I think I’m (ready).”

I think he is ready too. The feeling was that after winning the Heisman Trophy, Manziel had already outgrown college. He spent the offseason partying, vacationing, and mixing with celebrities. He even enrolled in online courses because he would be mobbed whenever he went on campus at College Station.

Surprisingly, after the autograph controversy blew over, Manziel became relatively quiet and controversy-free. That seemed to be a sign that he was maturing somewhat.

Talent-wise, Manziel has what few others do. He has tremendous instincts, excellent speed and a good arm. I think he is going to do wonderfully in the NFL. Obviously the way he handles himself is a concern because he does not seem to behave like your standard franchise quarterback, but I think I would trust him as my QB. How can you not want someone as good as him leading your offense?

Johnny Manziel will make NFL draft announcement before bowl game

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel will announce whether he plans to enter the 2014 NFL draft prior to Texas A&M’s bowl game, Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin said on Friday.

Sumlin told ESPN Radio’s “SVP & Russillo” that he hasn’t talked with Manziel about the quarterback’s plans, but he does have a timeline in mind.

“We haven’t had that conversation,” Sumlin told the hosts. “My job is to get him all the facts that we can get him. We’ll have that discussion after the Missouri game, certainly during the bowl preparation. I’m sure the announcement will be made at that time.”

A&M’s last regular-season game is next Nov. 30 at Missouri. Their first possible bowl game would be Dec. 30, though it’s likely they would play later than that.

It’s been expected since the offseason that Manziel would leave for the NFL after the season. His celebrity status made college life difficult, and Manziel struggled with NCAA rules when he allegedly was paid to sign autographs. Keep in mind though, that Manziel’s friends hinted that the quarterback might return to school. Of course, they could have just been messing with fans.

Though he has only played two college seasons, Manziel is draft-eligible because he redshirted his first season and has now been in college for three years. His size and character has given many teams reasons to be concerned, but we have little doubt the Heisman Trophy winner will be a first-round pick when he chooses to leave.

Drew Brees: Johnny Manziel can ‘absolutely’ be a starting quarterback in NFL

Johnny ManzielNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees knows plenty about having the odds stacked against him. Despite standing at just 6-feet tall, Brees is one of the best passers in the NFL. Other Elite quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are nearly six inches taller than Brees, but the former Purdue star lights up the scoreboard just the same.

In that sense, Johnny Manziel and Brees have something in common. Manziel is 6-foot-1 and many scouts have questioned whether or not he can become an effective quarterback at the next level. During an interview with FOXSports.com on Wednesday, Brees was asked if he believes Manziel can be a starter in the NFL.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Brees said. “It’s hard for a young quarterback to come in this league and have success immediately. That’s more the exception than the rule. What those three rookie quarterbacks were able to accomplish last season — [Robert Griffin III], Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson — was pretty phenomenal. That’s not easy to do at all.”

Most people felt Brees was too small and would have too many passes batted down because of it. Nearly 50,000 career passing yards, 349 touchdowns and a Super Bowl MVP award later, and Brees has silenced each and every one of his critics. The 34-year-old believes Manziel can do the same because of his playmaking ability.

“He is a heck of a player,” Brees said. “He’s fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays. He’s got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all.”

Manziel has a legitimate shot at winning another Heisman Trophy this season, as he has proven he can make elite throws in addition to scrambling. However, question marks surrounding his NFL potential have as much — or more — to do with his maturity level as they do his physical makeup. Brees alluded to that.

“You have to instill confidence in the guy’s you’re playing with so they’ll follow you and play for you so you can get the best out of them,” he said. “It’s all about leadership.”

It’s the extracurricular stuff that makes Manziel “undraftable” to some NFL teams. It’s also that stuff that could make him a steal in April if he can overcome his physical limits the way Brees did.

Did friends hint Johnny Manziel will return to college next season?

Johnny ManzielIt’s been a foregone conclusion since the offseason that Johnny Manziel would leave for the NFL after the college football season. Manziel was so good as a redshirt freshman last season, and had grown so much in popularity, that it seemed like college was no longer a good fit for him. Even Texas A&M officials seemed to indicate over the offseason that they really couldn’t handle him any longer and that he’s outgrown them. But all the offseason craziness involving Manziel — and the autograph scandal — quieted down over the past month and, at 8-2, A&M hasn’t enjoyed the dream season they were perhaps envisioning. Does that mean Manziel has some unfinished business at the collegiate level?

Two of Manziel’s closest friends sent tweets over the weekend that were either jokes intended to mislead Aggies fans, or an indication that Manziel is thinking of returning to school for his junior season.

Here’s what Manziel’s close friend and business manager Nate Fitch said in an ambiguous tweet on Saturday:

And then there was this from Steven Brant, who is another close friend/roommate of the quarterback:

On Saturday, Manziel acted like he had just played his last home game at Kyle Field. After the win over Mississippi State, he went into the stands to sing the “Aggie War Hymn” with fans:

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Little kid dresses as Johnny Manziel in his Scooby Doo costume for Halloween

Little-kid-Johnny-Manziel-Scooby-Doo

Johnny Manziel is popular enough that he could easily be his own Halloween costume. The problem with dressing as a football player for Halloween is that it can be expensive and/or unidentifiable. Here, we have a fantastic solution.

Last year, Manziel dominated the Halloween scene by dressing as Scooby Doo and having girls flock all over him. As Clay Travis pointed out, Manziel chose to wear the same costume again this year. So what did the parents of the child you see above do? They dressed their son up as Johnny Manziel — as Scooby Doo — for Halloween. Genius.

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