Report: Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans Headed To NFL
In the least-shocking news of the month, Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans will declare for the NFL draft following Tuesday's Chick-fil-A Bowl, NFL.com's Gil Brandt tweeted Monday:
No surprise but Manziel and Evans will be playing final college games tomorrow, multiple sources tell me. #TAMUvsDUKE
Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy and improved as a passer this season, earning another Top 5 Heisman finish in spite of his team's horrendous defense, a .500 conference record and a fourth-place finish in the SEC West.
Manziel, who endured a tumultuous and oft-criticized jet-setting offseason, was suspended for the first half of the season opener following an alleged sign-for-pay investigation that ultimately did not yield scrutiny from the NCAA. Apparently after receiving an on-campus parking ticket, at one point Manziel tweeted that he "can't wait to leave College Station," adding a curse word often abbreviated with two letters for good measure.
There's not much left to prove at the college football level for Johnny Football, who made the universal symbol for money in the second half of the opener against Rice after a big play. He has thrown for more than 7,400 passing yards and rushed for nearly 2,100 in two seasons, accounting for an eye-popping 88 touchdowns. He's only listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, and sometimes takes too many risks, but completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 9.6 yards per attempt this year.
Evans, at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, is one of the toughest covers in college football and often bailed out Manziel on jump balls. (Check out this video of Evans against Alabama this year, particularly the 2:58 mark.) Evans "only" caught 65 passes, a big reason why he lost the Biletnikoff Award to Oregon State's Brandin Cooks (128 catches). But Evans averaged more than 20 yards per catch and turned those 65 receptions into 12 touchdowns, and seems like a sure bet to go in the first two rounds of the draft with a chance to be picked in the Top 15.
Speculation about the duo, both redshirt sophomores, leaving College Station for the NFL led to rumors that Kevin Sumlin may look to leave Texas A&M after 2013, but instead he agreed to a new six-year contract at the end of November and appears committed to the Aggies.
It will be interesting to see how Texas A&M fares without Manziel and Evans, though the defense couldn't get worse than it was this year. But No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Alabama will be highly regarded entering next season, LSU has Top 15 talent and Ole Miss is stocked with a handful of young stars, and the SEC West without those two is a daunting thought for the Aggies.
Texas A&M will showcase the pair a final time Tuesday night in Atlanta (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) against Duke.