Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury thinks A&M’s Johnny Manziel will go to NFL after ’13

Frank Schwab
April 15, 2013

We all have a pretty good idea Johnny Manziel is headed to the NFL after this season. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has a chance to be a very high pick if he has another injury-free, productive season.

There's just something that doesn't feel quite right about another team's coach saying it.

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury fully endorsed Texas A&M's Manziel shipping off to the NFL after this season, in comments to the Austin American-Statesman.

Kingsbury, of course, was Texas A&M's offensive coordinator before taking the head coaching job at Texas Tech last December.

“I think with the emergence of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, guys who can run around and keep plays alive,” Kingsbury said to the American-Statesman. “If Johnny plays the way he plays, I expect him to go play at the next level. After one more year? Yes, sir.”

In the NFL, that would probably be called "tampering."

Not that Kingsbury has any nefarious reason for saying Manziel should go pro after this season. Texas Tech and Texas A&M don't play in the same conference anymore, and there aren't any non-conference games scheduled between the two over the next few years. And Kingsbury was predictably complimentary of Manziel ("He's pretty exceptional," he said), which makes sense considering Manziel's 2012 season played at least a part in Kingsbury getting a head coaching job at such a young age. Still, the people at College Station probably might not love the news of an old friend giving the thumbs up to their best player leaving after two seasons as their quarterback.

Then again, Manziel maybe going to the NFL for the 2014 draft isn't a secret. Back in March, Manziel told ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit that 2013 was "possibly" his last season with Texas A&M, and he'd evaluate the situation when the season is done.

No matter what, Manziel will be asked plenty about that decision between now and his bowl game, and Kingsbury will be far from the last person to offer an opinion about it.

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