Johnny Manziel: Hype Or Hero In The NFL?
The Legend That Is Johnny Football
When Johnny Manziel stepped on the field at Texas A & M as a red-shirt freshman no one knew what kind of college football player he would be. Although he had a legendary high school career there are always questions whether that ability will transfer to the next level.
Manziel quickly dispensed any doubt about his ability to perform at the college level as he led Texas A & M to a 10-2 regular season record in their first season in the highly competitive and Alabama-dominated Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Their 6-2 record in the western division of the conference tied them with LSU which was just one loss behind vaunted Alabama.
But if that wasn't enough one of their wins was an upset victory over Alabama, then believed to be pretty much invincible.
The Aggies then topped off their season by beating Oklahoma 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl.
Not bad for a red-shirt freshman and a first year head coach.
Manziel wasn't done though.
As a result of having such a standout season he was awarded the Heisman Trophy after being voted the best college football player in the nation thus sealing his "Johnny Football" mystique.
Manziel college highlights
Manziel at Texas A & M
The Legend Continues
After what can only be described as a phenomenal debut many were wondering what was next for Johnny Manziel. After all he had already been to the mountaintop of football in one year.
Would he do like Archie Griffin and win the Heisman twice? Would he opt to go to the NFL?
As legend has it, (I couldn't resist saying that) Manziel stayed for a second year at A & M and although his sophomore season was a slight drop off from his rookie year it was still praiseworthy. The Aggies posted a 8-4 record during the regular season which was good for third place in the western division of the SEC and they qualified for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl which they won against #22 Duke 52-48.
Although not as spectacular as his first season Johnny Manziel's followup campaign still garnered attention and left the football world wondering what was next for "Johnny Football".
Manziel at Browns training camp
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Manziel at the NFL draft
On To Bigger And Better Things
After his second football season at Texas A & M Johnny Manziel's college football legacy was all but sealed. There was only one thing left to do.....go pro.
With winning the Heisman and two successful football sessions behind him the next logical progression was to opt for the NFL.
Johnny Manziel was at the top of his game. Staying in college would only put him at risk of injury or lower his draft value so his fate was sealed.
Now Manziel finds himself facing the same questions that followed him from high school to college: Will his success at the college level translate to the NFL?
At A & M Manziel completed an average of 68% of his passes. In his first season he rushed for more than 1400 yards. That dropped off to about 750 yards in his second year.
During the 2012 campaign Manziel threw for 3700 yards. That increased slightly the next year to 4100. Although he is considered an adequate passer it is agreed among football analysts that his strong suit is his ability to run. But will he be able to run against NFL speed?
Without question the game at the NFL level is faster. Defensive corners are better and pass defenses are more sophisticated.
Johnny Manziel is a smart cookie and a fast learner which will no doubt help him to adjust to the NFL. But will that be enough to give him success?
We will see.
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