Johnny Manziel Declares for NFL Draft, Says He’s ‘Ready to Become a Professional’

Johnny ManzielIt’s official: Johnny Manziel is headed for the pros.

The Texas A&M quarterback announced Wednesday that he will enter the 2014 NFL draft, ending one of the most illustrious careers in Aggies history.

“After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014┬áNFL draft,” Manziel told CBS Sports. “The decision was such a tough one for me because of how much I wanted to go back and be with all those guys that I love playing with, and to work with Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and Coach [Jake Spavital] and be part of a program that’s continuing to grow. But I felt like this is what’s best for me now.

“I feel very relieved. It’s a weight off my shoulders. I’m ready to become a professional and dedicate myself to making my dream a reality of becoming the best quarterback I can be.”

Manziel’s decision to leave College Station with two years of eligibility remaining comes as no surprise, as many experts consider the 21-year-old to be the No. 3 quarterback in the 2014 draft class behind Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and a surefire top-10 pick.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner improved his numbers in nearly every category in 2013, completing 69.9 percent of his passes for 4114 yards and 37 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. Those stats earned Manziel another trip to New York City as a Heisman finalist — he lost out to Florida State’s Jameis Winston — and the signal caller ended his career with one of the most impressive performances of the bowl season, amassing 455 total yards and five touchdowns in a stunning 52-48 victory over Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

After his announcement, Manziel penned a letter to Texas A&M students thanking them for their support and promising that he will always be an Aggie at heart.

The Houston Texans (first overall pick), Jacksonville Jaguars (third), Cleveland Browns (fourth), Oakland Raiders (fifth) and Minnesota Vikings (eighth) all have holes to fill at the quarterback position.

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