When Johnny Manziel left Texas A&M, it was with a bevy of awards and potential that had him destined for NFL success. He was a ‘can’t miss’ kind of quarterback that had as much intrigue as any first round player could have.
His college accolades are legendary in Texas:
- FCF People’s Champion (2022)
- Heisman Trophy (2012)
- Davey O’Brien Award (2012)
- Manning Award (2012)
- Associated Press Player of the Year (2012)
- Sporting News Player of the Year (2012)
- SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2012)
- Consensus All-American (2012)
- 2× First-team All-SEC (2012, 2013)
- Mr. Texas Football (2010)
Johnny Football was recruited out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback, and would debut for the Aggies as a redshirt freshman. In Kevin Sumlin’s Air Raid offense, he broke numerous NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records, which included becoming the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Manziel would also receive offers to play at Baylor, Colorado State, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Oregon, Rice, Stanford, Tulsa, and Wyoming.
Curiously, Manziel originally committed to play for the Oregon Ducks of the PAC-12. He would later change his mind, and instead committed to A&M.
Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Despite some success, he struggled with consistency and his tenure was overshadowed by off-field controversies.
He would be released by the Browns at the end of the 2015 season. Following further controversies during the 2016 offseason, Manziel would not be signed by another NFL team.
Johnny Manziel is the ultimate cautionary tale. His rise was meteoric, as was his fall from grace. While the potential for greatness seemed always within reach, ‘Johnny Football’ would prove his own worst enemy.
His professional career would end in 2019 with the Memphis Express of the Alliance Of American Football.
Manziel was ‘can’t miss tv’ when he had the ball in his hands. Capable of big plays, and disastrous turnovers, you never wanted to miss what could happen. Yet, if you watched enough, the end result was all too predictable.