Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin clarified his remarks from last week about when quarterback Johnny Manziel would decide whether to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft, saying his words were misconstrued.
Last week, Sumlin was quoted on an ESPN radio show indicating Manziel's decision would be made by the time the team played in its bowl game. Now he says he doesn't know when the decision will come. Ultimately, the difference between what Sumlin meant and how he was interpreted should only be a week or two, at most.
Nevertheless, the Aggies' second-year coach wanted the record set straight.
"I must have stopped short or confused somebody," Sumlin said, according to transcription of his Tuesday news conference at texags.com. "I never said he'd make a decision."
Manziel, considered among the top quarterback prospects who could be available for the 2014 NFL Draft, is a third-year sophomore, and thus eligible to leave school for the NFL, provided he declares formally by the NFL's Jan. 15 deadline. Sumlin said the procedure is the same for all the team's underclassmen with NFL potential.
"Whether you're a redshirt sophomore or a junior, after the game on Sunday we will file with the NFL to make sure and get what they think," Sumlin said. "That's just proper procedure. The guys who want us to go through that, want us to ask, we did that last year. ... Over the course of time between now and the bowl game, because of the time that's there, we'll gather as much information as we can for those players and their families."
Sumlin said the timing of the decision is up to the players and their familiies, noting that defensive end Damontre Moore made the decision to leave Texas A&M early last year before most. Others wait until closer to deadline.
"We left the Cotton Bowl with me shaking Luke (Joeckel's) hand and saying we'd talk in the next 48 hours. Everybody's different," he said.