Manziel switches to A&M

By Travis Stewart/Texas Football — A&M lucks out in Manziel lottery.

This past weekend, an Oregon team that relies on speed, athleticism and decision-making at QB rang up another ungodly offensive sum en route to a blowout win and what could be an NCAA record-setting season. 

Texas A&M nearly lost to a Florida International team that many fans don’t even realize is an FBS squad.

So, clearly, choosing the latter over the former — as a high school quarterback — takes a pretty darn compelling argument. Or some major, major confidence.

Apparently, Kerrville Tivy QB Johnny Manziel (pronounced man-ZELL, not man-ZEAL, as I’m now told) has both — he has officially switched his pledge from Oregon to A&M. The compelling argument? Oregon, despite its celebration of the quarterback position under Chip Kelly, might as well be on other side of the world. Conversely, A&M is just a short drive away from Manziel’s home in Kerrville. Manziel made no bones about his family’s desire to see him play regularly. And while one school may be a national top five one — Oregon — and the other a possible top five in conference — A&M — driving more than a full day vs. driving between the end of the work day and dinner is a chasm that Oregon couldn’t quite build a bridge for.

So we’ve more or less answered that question: Manziel loves the proximity and he loved the coaches, atmosphere and the like. All well and good. But the Xs and Os of this conversation intrigue, as well. After all, Manziel was going to play QB at Oregon, no question. He’ll be listed at the same in College Station. But when he arrives on campus, how does that effect the roster?

Jerrod Johnson will have graduated by the time Manziel arrives next year. If Manziel redshirts — and there will be fan pressure to do the exact opposite — Ryan Tannehill, currently a junior, will have graduated, too. But remember — A&M signed three quarterbacks last season. Clay Honeycutt, of Dickinson, has already been moved to defensive back. So that’s one out of the way. But that still leaves Jameill Showers (Killeen Shoemaker) and Matt Joeckel (Arlington), plus transfer Luke Woodley, who signed with Louisville out of Highland Park back in February. In a way, all three knew they would have to compete to win the starting job.

But I bet they weren’t expecting to compete against 1,432 passing yards, 611 rushing yards and 25 total TDs … in just four games. Against two 5A teams and a top five 4A one. Yeah. I know. Those number are like, an entire season for even elite high school QBs. Manziel’s presence ups the ante, assuming he doesn’t have the chips to just flat-out cover the whole table.

And this is assuming he’ll play QB in College Station, too. His stated desire to stick at the position means he wouldn’t have made the switch unless A&M gave him assurances that he would. After all, as David Flores has reported, the Longhorns were actually Manziel’s first choice. But they wanted him at wide receiver, where he played part-time his sophomore year. 

And in a story about decision-making, well, I guess we’ll found out whether UT made a good call on that, too.