Johnny Football is heading to the NFL.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday following two spectacular seasons in which he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and helped the Aggies make a splash in their first two years in the Southeastern Conference.
"After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft," Manziel said in a letter posted online by the university. "The decision was not an easy one, but we all felt this was the right time to make the next step toward a professional career."
Some NFL Draft analysts have Manziel ranked as high as the third overall pick in mock drafts.
In a style befitting his record-setting career, Manziel led the Aggies to a 52-48 come-from-behind win over Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve in his final college game. Texas A&M trailed 38-17 at halftime before Manziel guided them to the victory by finishing with 382 yards passing with four TD tosses and 73 yards rushing and another score.
"In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen," A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best."
Louisville to re-hire Petrino
A member of the Louisville board of trustees says Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino has accepted an offer to be the Cardinals’ next head football coach.
Jonathan Blue told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that it’s a "done deal." Blue says the University of Louisville Athletic Association will meet Thursday morning and barring any unforeseen issues is expected to approve athletic director Tom Jurich’s recommendation to have Petrino replace Charlie Strong, who accepted the Texas job over the weekend.
Petrino, 52, returns to the school he led to a 41-9 record from 2003-06 as a first-time head coach. He has an 83-30 career record as a college head coach, including an 8-4 mark last season with the Hilltoppers, his first position since his April 2012 firing by Arkansas amid scandal.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.