football

Two-sport star has tough choice

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Johnny Manziel will likely face a tough choice at the end of the summer when he tries to narrow things down and make a final decision on where he wants to play quarterback. Then again, Manziel could face a far tougher decision when he's forced to figure out what sport he wants to play at the next level.
The rising dual-threat quarterback prospect from Kerrville (Texas) Tivy is also a standout middle infielder for the Antlers, and he's picked up a number of quality offers for each sport. He nabbed up a new one on Tuesday - for both sports.
"I picked up an offer from Stanford yesterday," he said. "I was very shocked but very pumped at the same time. It definitely caught me off-guard, but I was very excited."
Manziel thought the Cardinal coaches were just calling to finally get in touch with him and declare their interest, but instead they complimented him on his highlight tape and offered him a full-ride in football and baseball.
"I've never been to California, but I'm not one of those guys who really has a problem with getting away from home," he said. "I love Texas, but I definitely want to check out California and see how it is up there."
Manziel also recently picked up a football offer from UTSA, the new Larry Coker-led program that's set to join the FCS in 2011. The 6-foot-1, 193-pound passer also has football offers from Baylor, Tulsa and Wyoming.
More impressively, though, he also has an offer play baseball at Texas, who's currently the No. 2 team in the nation.
Having offers from two top-25 baseball programs isn't making Manziel's decision any easier, but he may be closing in on a decision between which sport he wants to play at the next level.
"I am kind of on the fence about it right now," he said. "I love football season whenever it's here, and whenever baseball season's here, I love baseball. It's always been like that the past few years.
"But I think football has worked its way into being the thing I love year-round," Manziel said. "It's looking like I'm leaning towards playing football in college … but you never really know how things will turn out. Maybe I'll even getting drafted (into the MLB) if I have a good year next year."
Manziel has stepped up this year following the graduation of star shortstop Logan Vick, who's currently playing for Baylor, and the Antlers have moved onto the second round of their state tournament.
"This year, I had to step up a little more," he said. "Our shortstop last year (Logan Vick) ended up going to Baylor and graduated last year, so I had to take some of his load from last year and step up a little bit. We're doing pretty good."
Oklahoma and Texas A&M have continued to recruit Manziel as a baseball player, but he said more and more schools are starting see him as a two-sport prospect.
While being able to play both would be a bonus, Manziel said it wouldn't be the deciding factor for him at the end of his recruiting process.
"It's definitely something that wouldn't hurt," he said. "If I can play both and it would work out, that's a great thing - but I'm not going to make my decision solely off that, I don't think."
In addition to offering him for football, Baylor has shown interest in Manziel as an infielder. He said their reliance on a spread run attack makes the Bears an appealing option.
"I'd like to consider myself a player a lot like Robert Griffin - I like to run the ball and make plays. With their offense, that fits me really well."
Coaches from Kansas recently came to Tivy and told Manziel they'd begin recruiting him heavily, and he's also received interest from Oregon, Iowa, LSU, Texas Tech and Iowa State.
One school that's stuck with Manziel early and often, though, is Tulsa. He's developed a solid relationship with Golden Hurricanes co-offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
Manziel did name TCU as his favorite a month ago, but their contact with him has dwindled in recent weeks and he currently has no top school.
"I'm really just seeing what all's out there and not picking any favorites right now," he said.
He's currently in the process of going through all of his letters and working to nail down his camp schedule for the summer, but his summer baseball plans may limit his options.
"I really want to get to the out-of-state ones," he said. "I want to go see Oregon and Stanford, and I want to see Tulsa as well and maybe Iowa State, LSU and some other places."
Manziel threw for 2,782 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, but he also picked up 1,529 yards on the ground and scored 33 rushing touchdowns. He's worked over the off season to become a more balanced threat.
"I've really tried to step up my throwing abilities through this past year and in the offseason, and I've really seen some improvement in throwing the ball," he said. "I can definitely run, so I'm really trying to put it all together."
Manziel is aiming to make a final decision either midway through the summer or right before his senior season.
"I really don't want my recruiting to get in the way of my team, so I'd like to make a decision before the season," he said. "But if I don't feel ready or I haven't found the right place, I may wait until after my senior year to see what pops up after that."
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