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Merril Hoge responds to viral video of his Johnny Manziel comments

Johnny Manziel at a basketball game

Mar 4, 2017; College Station, TX, USA; Former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel watches a game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Merril Hoge went viral over the weekend after a clip of him making some prophetic comments about Johnny Manziel resurfaced, and the former ESPN analyst has responded to all the hype.

Hoge appeared on “First Take” back in 2014 and shared his feelings on Manziel, who was an extremely talented — but troubled — prospect coming out of Texas A&M at the time. Manziel had countless off-field red flags, but most people felt he was worth the risk.

Hoge did not. The former NFL running back said Manziel had “so many major flaws” that Hoge would not take him anywhere in the first three rounds. Stephen A. Smith was dumfounded by Hoge’s take. Skip Bayless then told Hoge that Hoge has “never, ever been more wrong in your assessment of a football player than you just were about Johnny Manziel.” The discussion resurfaced last week and went viral:

Almost a decade later, Hoge looks like Nostradamus. Manziel, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns, was a total bust. He lasted just two seasons in the NFL.

Hoge took to Twitter to weigh in on the clip of his spot-on assessment. He said it is a reminder of how important it is to watch tape on prospects.

“This is why watching tape is vital to evaluating players and their ability to transition to the NFL. No STAT can EVER tell you about a college players ability to play in the NFL and no award or championship they won means they can play in the NFL,” Hoge wrote.

The off-field drama is what really derailed Manziel’s career, and even he has been open about that. Hoge seemed to be referring more to Manziel’s game, which he obviously felt was not going to translate well to the NFL. We will never really know if that was the case, but one thing is for certain — the Browns could have saved themselves a draft pick had they listened to Hoge.

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