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Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel at 2014 Browns training camp.
No. 2     Cleveland Browns
Personal information
Date of birth: (1992-12-06) December 6, 1992
Place of birth: Tyler, Texas
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Kerrville (TX) Tivy
College: Texas A&M
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22
Debuted in 2014 for the Cleveland Browns
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2014
Pass yards 63
TD–INT 0–0
QB Rating 77.5
Rushing yards 13
Rushing TDs 1
Stats at
From left: Luke Joeckel (#76), Manziel (#2), Patrick Lewis (#61) in 2012.

Jonathan Paul Manziel (; born December 6, 1992), also known by his nickname "Johnny Football", is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL).

He was drafted by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was nationally recruited out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback.[1] In 2012, Manziel debuted for the Texas A&M Aggies as a redshirt freshman in Kevin Sumlin's Air Raid offense[2] during A&M's first season in the SEC. He broke numerous NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records, which include 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.[3] At the end of the regular season, he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy,[4] Manning Award,[5] and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.[6] Manziel capitalized on his redshirt freshman season by leading Texas A&M to a 41–13 victory over Oklahoma in the 2013 Cotton Bowl Classic.[7]

Manziel was given the nickname "Johnny Football" by fans and students at Texas A&M University before the start of the 2012 season.[8][9] The nickname is a registered trademark.[10]

He was also drafted 837th overall as a baseball player in the 28th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. Manziel was officially listed as a shortstop.[11]


  • Early life 1
  • High School career 2
  • College career 3
    • 2011 season 3.1
    • 2012 season 3.2
    • 2013 season 3.3
    • College statistics 3.4
  • Baseball 4
    • 2014 MLB Draft 4.1
  • Professional football career 5
    • 2014 NFL Draft 5.1
    • Cleveland Browns (2014–present) 5.2
  • Honors and accomplishments 6
    • College honors 6.1
      • Full-season awards 6.1.1
      • Weekly awards 6.1.2
      • NCAA records and notes 6.1.3
      • SEC records and notes 6.1.4
      • Texas A&M records and notes 6.1.5
  • Personal life 7
    • June 2012 arrest 7.1
    • 2013 offseason 7.2
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Manziel was born in Tyler, Texas on December 6, 1992, the son to Michelle (née Liberato) and Paul Manziel.[12] He has a younger sister who is in high school. Manziel's great-great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from what is now Lebanon.[13] His family became wealthy through the Texas petroleum industry.[14]

Manziel grew up playing a variety of sports, including basketball, baseball, golf, and football. At Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, he focused on baseball and football. However, it was in football that sportswriters, coaches, and parents said he "achieved folk hero status" and was compared to quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Michael Vick, and Drew Brees.[15]

High School career

At Tivy High School, he was coached by Mark Smith. Manziel played football all four years and began with the freshman team his first year. By the end of his first season, he played with the varsity team as a receiver. He began his sophomore year primarily as a receiver, but started the fourth game at quarterback. He shared that position for the remainder of the season, finishing with 1,164 yards passing, 806 rushing and 408 receiving for a combined 28 touchdowns. His junior year was his first as starting quarterback, and he completed that season with 2,903 passing yards, 1,544 rushing yards, 152 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns. That year, he was voted All-San Antonio Area Offensive Player of the Year as well as District 27-4A MVP.[15]

During Manziel's senior season, he compiled 228-of-347 (65.7%) passing for 3,609 yards with 45 TDs and 5 INTs. He also had 170 carries for 1,674 yards and 30 TDs. He had 1 TD reception and returned a kickoff for a touchdown for a combined 77 TDs. That year, he was honored as District 28-4A MVP (unanimous selection), Class 4A First Team All-State (AP), San Antonio Express-News Offensive Player of the Year (second year in a row), the Associated Press Sports Editors Texas Player of the Year, Sub-5A First Team All-Area (SA Express-News), No. 1 QB in Texas by Dave Campbell's Texas Football, DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region and Super-Prep All-Region.[16]

For Manziel's three years as a starter, he completed 520 of 819 passes (63.5%) for 7,626 yards and 76 touchdowns, rushed 531 times for 4,045 yards and 77 touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 582 yards and another five touchdowns. He was the only quarterback in America named as a Parade All-American his senior year, and he was also named The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Athlete of the Year in football.[17]

He was highly recruited out of high school; in addition to Texas A&M, he received offers from Baylor, Colorado State, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Oregon, Rice, Stanford, Tulsa, and Wyoming.[18] Although he grew up a Texas Longhorns fan, the University of Texas did not recruit him. Although it was rumored that Texas wanted Manziel at defensive back, Texas coach Mack Brown said the rumor was not true.[19] Though Manziel originally committed to play for Oregon, he later changed his commitment to the Aggies, thanks to the influence of then-quarterbacks coach Tom Rossley.[20][21]

Manziel was named to the NUC All World Game (started by David Schuman and National Underclassmen Combine) in 2010 where he rushed for over 100 yards and threw for over 200. It was the first time Manziel dominated on a national stage. He played in the game as a teammate with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Johnny Manziel
Kerrville, TX Tivy HS 5 ft 11.75 in (1.82 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 4.7 Feb 2, 2011 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 45 (QB); 31 (school)   Rivals: 97 (QB); 27 (school)  ESPN: 78 (QB)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "Texas A&M Football Commitments". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  • "2011 Texas A & M College Football Recruiting Commits". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  • "ESPN". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  • " Team Recruiting Rankings". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  • "2011 Team Ranking". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 

College career

Johnny Manziel in 2012 with Texas A&M

Manziel accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Texas A&M University, where he played for the Texas A&M Aggies football team from 2011 to 2013.

2011 season

Manziel was redshirted during the 2011 season and did not play in any games. He made the travel squad after enrolling with the college in January.[22]

2012 season

Against LSU - October 20, 2012

Texas A&M faced uncertainty at the quarterback position when Ryan Tannehill left for the National Football League after the 2011 season. Manziel performed well during Spring ball and fall practices and won the starting job over Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel before the season began.[23] His first game was supposed to be against Louisiana Tech in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 30, 2012, but the game was postponed until October 13 due to Hurricane Isaac hitting the Louisiana coast two days prior to game time.[24] Consequently, Manziel's college football debut was played as a redshirt freshman against the Florida Gators before a home crowd at Kyle Field.

Although Manziel began the season in relative obscurity, his play against Arkansas in which he broke Archie Manning's 43-year-old total offense record gained him some attention. Manziel produced 557 yards of total offense, breaking Manning's record of 540. Two games later, Manziel surpassed his own total offense record against #24 Louisiana Tech by achieving 576 yards of total offense, becoming the first player in SEC history to have two 500+ total offense games in one season. After Texas A&M's blowout of Auburn in game 8, in which Manziel accounted for 3 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns through only the first half plus one series in the second, Manziel began showing up in national Heisman Watch lists.

Manziel was launched into the national scene after he led Texas A&M to a 29–24 victory over #1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In that game, Manziel accounted for 345 of A&M's 418 yards of offense, including two passing touchdowns. In the following days, Manziel became the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy in most national watch lists and polls due to his performance during the game combined with other Heisman frontrunners faltering.

On November 24, during the game against the Missouri Tigers before a home crowd, Manziel left the game with an apparent knee injury late in the first quarter. He returned to the field for the next series of downs wearing a knee brace and finished the game with 439 yards of total offense, including 3 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns. During the game, he broke the single season record for offensive production in the SEC with 4600 yards, surpassing Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, notable recent Heisman Trophy winners. He also became the first freshman and only the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3000 and rush for 1000 yards in a season, reaching that mark two games earlier than any other player. He won the SEC Freshman of the Year Award and College Football Performance National Freshman of the Year Award.[25] Manziel won the Davey O'Brien Award on December 6 and the Heisman Trophy on December 8, making him the first freshman ever to win either award.[4]

2012 Heisman Trophy Finalist Voting[26]
Finalist First place votes
(3 pts. each)
Second place votes
(2 pts. each)
Third place votes
(1 pt. each)
Total points
Johnny Manziel 474 252 103 2,029
Manti Te'o 321 309 126 1,706
Collin Klein 60 197 320 894

2013 season

Texas A&M started the 2013 season with a No. 6 ranking in the Coaches Poll.[27] Prior to the season, some journalists argued that Manziel could suffer a sophomore slump,[28][29][30] while others felt that he will continue to have success.[31][32][33] Manziel's eligibility for the 2013 season was under question after reports surfaced that he had signed autographs for money in January 2013. On August 28, 2013, the NCAA reached an agreement with Texas A&M to suspend Manziel for the first half of the team's game against Rice (the first game of the season), after acknowledging that Manziel did not receive any money for the autographs.[34]

In the game against No. 1 Alabama, Manziel threw for a school record of 464 yards and 5 touchdowns in the 49–42 loss. His primary target during the game was Mike Evans, who compiled 7 receptions for a school record of 279 yards.[35] In the 51-41 win over Mississippi State, Manziel tied his career-high five touchdowns, while also throwing for 446 yards but with 3 interceptions.[36]

College statistics

Johnny Manziel's college statistics[37]
Year Team Pass Attempts Pass Completions Completion % Pass Yards Pass TDs INT Passer Rating Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush Avg Rush TDs
2012 Texas A&M 434 295 68.0% 3,706 26 9 155.3 201 1,410 7.0 21
2013 Texas A&M 429 300 69.9% 4,114 37 13 172.9 144 759 5.3 9
Total 863 595 68.9% 7,820 63 22 164.1 345 2,169 6.3 30


As a Texas Rangers fan growing up, Manziel was a middle infielder at Tivy High School before foregoing his baseball career in favor of football. He played baseball through his junior year, but he skipped out on his senior season so he could graduate early and focus on preparing for his freshman football season at Texas A&M. Manziel's passion for the game of baseball, however, did not diminish after high school. He briefly discussed the possibility of playing collegiate ball with Texas A&M's baseball coaches, but that never came to fruition once he won the starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman.[38]

2014 MLB Draft

In the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, Manziel was drafted in the 28th round (837th overall pick) by the San Diego Padres as a shortstop.[11][39][40][41]

Professional football career

2014 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
5 ft 1134 in 207 lb 3138 in 9 78 in 4.68 s 1.59 s 4.03 s 6.75 s 31.5 in 9 ft 5 in 32
All values from the NFL Combine [42]

On January 8, 2014, Manziel announced that he would forgo his junior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.[43] He was projected to be a first-round pick, and as of January 15, 2014, his draft stock was reported to be rising by a consensus of experts who had him pegged as a top-5 pick.[44] Manziel elected to throw during Texas A&M's Pro Day on March 27, 2014, instead of during the NFL Combine. During his pro day, Manziel completed 64 of 66 passes to six different receivers. His pro day performance was well received by sports journalists.[45][46][47][48]

Prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel became one of the most polarizing athletes in pre-draft history, with scouting opinions varying from "undraftable" to "rare competitor".[49] Former NFL head coach Barry Switzer took it to a personal level, criticizing Manziel, saying: "I don’t like his antics. I think he’s an arrogant little prick. I’ve said that and I’ll say it again."[50]

In January 2014, Manziel picked Houston, Texas-based Select Sports Group as his football agents; however, Manziel’s “executive management group” also includes Maverick Carter of LRMR Management Company, LLC, in partnership with Fenway Sports Management, as his marketing agent and manager related to all business activities and opportunities in the entertainment, media and merchandising industries, and Len Sanderson and Denise Michaels of Sanderson Strategies Group to coordinate all public strategy, communications, and media relations. Finally, Bradley Beckworth and Jeffrey Angelovich, partners at the law firm of Nix, Patterson & Roach, LLP, and personal lawyers for the Manziel family, will continue to oversee all business-related matters for Manziel and any Manziel-related company going forward. Manziel already has an exclusive memorabilia deal with Panini America and has signed an apparel deal with Nike that includes the creation of a line of clothing including a “Johnny Football” t-shirt. His deal with Nike is for multiple years and is expected to be one of the richest endorsement contracts signed by a rookie in this year’s class.[51]

Cleveland Browns (2014–present)

Manziel passing at 2014 Browns training camp.

Manziel was selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8, 2014.[52] On August 22, 2014, he was fined $12,000 by the NFL for a hand gesture (flipping the bird) that he made in a preseason loss to the Washington Redskins.[53] Fellow quarterback Brian Hoyer was named the starter over Manziel for the opening regular season game.[54]

Manziel made his regular season debut on September 14, 2014 against the New Orleans Saints, handing off twice to Isaiah Crowell and throwing an incomplete pass intended for Ray Agnew.[55] On November 30, 2014, Manziel entered the game against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter after an ineffective performance by starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. Manziel went 5 of 8 for 63 yards, and scored his first NFL touchdown on a 10-yard rush in the fourth quarter. The Browns lost 26–10.[56]

Honors and accomplishments

College honors

Full-season awards

Associated Press[59]
Football Writers Association of America[60]
Walter Camp Football Foundation[61]
Sporting News[62]
CBS Sports[64][65]
Sports Illustrated[66]

Weekly awards

  • 2-time Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week[61]
  • 3-time AT&T All-America Player of the Week[73]
  • 4-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week[74]
  • 9-time SEC Freshman of the Week[74]

NCAA records and notes

  • FBS freshman record: rushing yards by a quarterback, season (1,410)[5]
  • FBS freshman record: total offense, season (5,116)[5]
  • 10th-most (at the time) single-season total offensive yards in NCAA FBS history[75]
  • Most games with 300 or more passing yards and 100+ rushing yards, career (4)[5]
  • FBS record: First freshman (and fifth player ever) in FBS history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, season[5]
  • FBS record: Rushing yards by a quarterback in a bowl game (229 yards)[5]
  • Only the fourth player to have 20 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs, season[5]
  • Eclipsed the 7,000-yard barrier in total offense in his 19th career game, which is the fastest in NCAA FBS history by a four-year player[76]
  • Second freshman in FBS history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards[5]
  • First freshman to win the Heisman Trophy[5]
  • First freshman to win the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award[5]
  • First freshman to win the Manning Award[5]

SEC records and notes

  • Most yards total offense in a game (576, breaking Archie Manning's 1969 record of 540 yards)[77]
    • The first three places on the SEC total offense in a game
      • 576 yards
      • 562 yards against No. 1 Alabama
      • 557 yards two weeks before the 576 yards
  • Most yards total offense, season (5,116, breaking Cam Newton's 2010 record in two fewer games)
  • 2nd-most yards total offense, season (4,873)
  • Most yards total offense, game average (383.3, breaking Tim Couch's 1998 record, of 377.4 yards)
  • Highest yards per play average (50 plays minimum), game (10.71, against Arkansas on September 29, 2012, breaking Steve Tanneyhill's record of 10.0 yards)
  • First SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in one season
  • Second-most passing yards in a SEC single season, 4,114 passing yards[75]
  • Tied for third-most passing touchdowns in an SEC single season, 37 touchdowns[75]
  • Tied for second most rushing touchdowns in a single season[75]
  • Tied for 8th most scoring in a single season[75]
  • 8th most passing yards in a single season[75]

Texas A&M records and notes

  • Most total yards in a season with 5,116
  • Most yards passing yards in a game
    • The first three spots on the Texas A&M passing yards in a game
      • 464 yards against No. 1 Alabama on September 14, 2013
      • 454 yards against Auburn on October 19, 2013
      • 453 yards against Arkansas on September 29, 2012
  • Most yards total offense in a game (576, breaking Archie Manning's 1969 record of 540 yards)[77]
    • The first 3 spots on the Texas A&M total offense in a game
      • 576 yards
      • 562 yards against #1 Alabama
      • 557 yards two weeks before the 576 yards
  • In 10 games, Manziel had 4 of the top 10 games in total offense in Texas A&M history.
  • Logged 10 straight games with 300 or more total yards, 21 total games with 300+ yards.
  • Third Texas A&M quarterback to surpass 3,000 passing yards in a season.[78]
  • First Texas A&M quarterback to have multiple 3,000-yard seasons.[78]
  • Texas A&M career total touchdowns record with 94 touchdowns.[78]
  • Texas A&M career total yards record with 9,989 yards.[78]
  • Third Texas A&M quarterback to surpass 7,000 passing yards in a career.[78]
  • Most passing yards in a single season.[78]
  • Second Texas A&M quarterback to rush for 2,000 yards.[78]
  • The most rushing touchdowns in a single season.[78]
  • The most passing touchdowns in a single season.[78]
  • 2nd in career passing touchdowns.[78]
  • 2nd in career passing yards.[78]
  • Tied for 12th in career rushing touchdowns.[78]
  • 15th in career rushing yards.[78]

Personal life

Manziel is a Christian.[79][80][81] Manziel is a friend of rap artist Drake and in April 2014, Drake released a track entitled "Draft Day", which includes a shoutout to Manziel.[82] He is also a friend of NBA superstar Lebron James.[83]

June 2012 arrest

On June 29, 2012, before he was chosen as Texas A&M's starting quarterback and before his first college game, Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors—disorderly conduct, failure to identify, and possession of a fictitious driver's license. These charges stemmed from a late-night fight in College Station, Texas.[84] In July 2013, he pleaded guilty for failure to identify, and the other two charges were dismissed.[85]

Police reports state that Manziel was with a friend who directed a racial slur at a man on the street. The man then approached the two of them trying to get at the friend, but Manziel placed himself between the two men saying his friend didn't mean it and he was going to take him home. The man continued pushing against Manziel to reach the other, and eventually Manziel pushed back. At this point, the man swung at Manziel who then began fighting back. Shortly afterward, the bicycle patrol officers arrived. Manziel, who at the time was 19, presented a fake Louisiana driver’s license to police officers showing himself to be 21. Manziel was taken into custody and reportedly spent the night in jail.[86][87] After the incident, Manziel eventually regained the favor of his team and head coach Kevin Sumlin, and was named the starting quarterback.[88] Per Sumlin's policy of not allowing freshmen to give media interviews, Manziel was unable to speak to reporters about his arrest until the end of the 2012 regular season. When reporters asked about the incident during his first press conference on November 27, Manziel stated that he had learned from the mistake and "had to make a lot of changes in [his] life."[89][90]

2013 offseason

During the 2013 offseason, Manziel drew significant media attention over his behavior off the field.[91][92][93][94][95][96] Notable incidents include his early departure from the Manning Passing Academy after allegedly oversleeping,[97] tweeting that he "can't wait to leave College Station" after receiving a parking ticket,[98] and getting kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party.[99] An ESPN The Magazine article revealed his parents' concerns about his dealings with his newfound stardom.[100]

On August 4, 2013, ESPN reported that the NCAA was investigating whether Manziel accepted payments from autographs that he had signed in January 2013. The NCAA did not find any evidence that Manziel accepted money for the autographs, but reached an agreement with Texas A&M to suspend him for the first half of the season opener against Rice University, due to an "inadvertent violation" of NCAA rules.[34]


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External links

  • Cleveland Browns bio
  • Texas A&M profile
  • Texas A&M's Manziel for Heisman site
  • Johnny Manziel at the Heisman Trophy
  • ESPN profile
  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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