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Johnny Manziel says draft grade could return him to TAMU

David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Johnny Manziel said he'd probably return to Texas A&M if he is told he's not a first-round prospect.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said Friday he would probably return to TAMU next year if his draft evaluation returned feedback that projected him outside the first round.

Manziel was asked on "The Dan Patrick Show" what he would do if his draft projection isn't first-round favorable. Manziel paused before answering, then said: "I don't know what I would do. It would be a decision I would have to make with my family, and see what was best for me. It would probably mean returning to A&M another year. ... I still have a big choice ahead either way."

Manziel confirmed in another radio interview that he will apply for draft feedback from the NFL, something high-profile underclassmen do to help them decide whether or not to leave college early. Typically, that feedback is returned in the first week of January, which for Manziel figures to be soon after the Aggies play Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Years Eve.

His lack of size (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) is the primary on-field concern NFL scouts have mentioned about Manziel, along with his ability to stay healthy in a league that can shorten the careers of running quarterbacks. Many, however, have projected the third-year sophomore as a first-rounder, and he is expected to turn pro early before the NFL's Jan. 15 deadline for declaring underclassmen.

Manziel also touched on the NCAA's policies preventing student-athletes from being paid beyond the cost of tuition.

"It's hard to pick and choose and be fair with it. I'm sure somewhere down the road, something will be implemented. But for now, it's a tricky situation. You have schools like Alabama that make so much money off their football program, off their athletics program, then you have smaller schools that don't. ... But I do feel that down the road, something will be changed."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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