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Johnny Chronicles: Manziel a WR? Almost happened at A&M


The week that was in the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. You didn't think national signing day would come and go without some sort of anecdotal contribution about Johnny Football, did you? According to this signing-day report from 2011 at, then-Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman suggested that Manziel might end up more suited to catching passes than throwing them. That's right. A quarterback who has found his way into the conversation as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft was viewed as, potentially, a wide receiver as recently as three years ago.

Manziel, by the way, was a just a three-star prospect, according to, coming out of Kerrville (Texas) Tivy High. Presumably, the NFL isn't the only place where smallish quarterbacks can sometimes be overlooked.

2. Nothing but thumbs up for Manziel for his efforts Tuesday to put a smile on the face of a pediatric cancer patient he has been showing support for since 2012. The fashion show fundraiser put Johnny Football on the catwalk looking sharp as could be, but the star on this night was 6-year-old Charlie Dina. If the Houston Texans, whose chief operating officer and general manager were in attendance, had any doubts about Manziel's face-of-franchise appeal, little else could have been more reassuring.

Two down

1. Manziel attended a Heat-Clippers game in Los Angeles this week, no doubt to cheer on friend LeBron James in a 116-112 Miami win Wednesday night. Three days earlier, he could have been at the Super Bowl in New York, but turned that down to stay in San Diego to continue training for the NFL Scouting Combine. It was a laudable decision for a prospect whose offseason exposure as a celebrity might be best kept understated before the draft. But a run to the Staples Center from San Diego provided a wiser getaway with less travel, less headache, and certainly less fanfare.

Manziel's window to hone his game before the combine only has a couple of weeks left -- quarterbacks work out Feb. 23. Whatever his private coach, George Whitfield, has been overseeing, it will be on full display as one of the main attractions of the annual event in Indianapolis.

2. Recording artist Drake and Manziel have a well-documented friendship, and this week, the rapper apparently gifted some impressive footwear to the potential No. 1 overall draft pick.

Cashing in

Turns out, making money off Johnny Manziel isn't as hard as the merchandise peddlers whom Manziel fought for the rights to the phrase "Johnny Football" might think. Just catch Manziel getting tossed out of a rival school's fraternity party, and ring the cash bell. The Texas student who blogged video of Manziel's ouster last summer, Curry Shoff, tweeted this Friday morning:

Ringing endorsement

Had the Houston Texans pulled the interim tag off of Wade Phillips and hired him, rather than Bill O'Brien, as head coach, Johnny Football might well be headed to Houston. That's what Phillips inferred on the radio this week when asked about the dynamic star, telling club ownership that he would have spent the Texans No. 1 draft pick on Manziel.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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