Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Dr. Saturday

Confirmed: Johnny Manziel becomes the fifth Heisman-winning quarterback to declare early for NFL Draft

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

View photo

.

(USA Today Sports Images)

UPDATE (3:50 pm ET)

Manziel confirmed the news that he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman.

"After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft," Manziel said. "The decision was such a tough one for me because of how much I wanted to go back be with all those guys that I love playing with, and to work with Coach (Kevin) Sumlin and Coach (Jake Spavital) Spav and be part of a program that's continuing to grow. But I felt like this is what's best for me now.

"I feel very relieved. It's a weight off my shoulders. I'm ready to become a professional and dedicate myself to making my dream a reality of becoming the best quarterback I can be."

- - -

Johnny Manziel will leave Texas A&M after his redshirt sophomore season and head for the NFL.

To be clear, Manziel has officially submitted declaration papers to #NFL for inclusing in 2014 draft, part of record 80 underclassmen.

— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 8, 2014

Manziel won the Heisman as a redshirt freshman quarterback in 2012 when Texas A&M went 11-2, beat Alabama on the road and won the Cotton Bowl. This season, A&M finished 9-4 while Manziel battled injuries and the team's defensive performance declined significantly.

In 2013, Manziel threw for more yards but ran for fewer than he did in 2012, and his performance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl -- the final game of his college career -- was a perfect example of why he came to be one of the most talked-about players in college football.

In A&M's 52-48 victory over Duke, Manziel threw for 382 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 73 and a score. And on one of those touchdown passes, he even hurdled a lineman.

And yes, his off-field travails were also a big reason he became simply known as "Johnny Football." Manziel became an instant celebrity in southeastern Texas and drew attention for his friendship with Drake, trips to Cowboys games and Oklahoma casinos and of course, the women he was dating.

We also can't forget the autograph allegations that dominated August but resulted in a half-game suspension after Manziel was cleared by the NCAA. They provided some great trash talking material.

The first freshman quarterback to win the Heisman is also just the fifth Heisman winning quarterback to leave school early for the NFL Draft, following Andre Ware, Sam Bradford Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. On Wednesday a report surfaced that Manziel had chosen an agent.

Ware won as a junior at Houston in 1989 and was selected by the Detroit Lions with the seventh overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. However, he didn't play in the NFL again after he was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995.

Bradford won as a redshirt sophomore in 2008 and left Oklahoma after he injured his shoulder in the 2009 season opener. He was the first overall pick of the St. Louis Rams.

Newton transferred to Auburn for the 2010 season from Blinn College and won the Heisman and National Championship in his junior season. He was the first overall pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2011 and the Panthers host the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs on Sunday.

The Washington Redskins traded up to the second pick of the 2012 draft to select Griffin, who left Baylor after winning the Heisman in his redshirt junior season.

Will Manziel be drafted as high as those four quarterbacks? He's a likely first round pick and could be a top 10 selection, especially if he does well in pre-draft workouts.

Selfishly, we would have loved for Manziel to return for another season. He's the most entertaining player both on and off the field in college football. But his decision makes complete sense, especially if he's going to be selected in the neighborhood of the four quarterbacks who left early before him.

- - - - - - -

Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (1885)