'Johnny Football' Manziel: No Plans to Turn Pro
Johnny Manziel, the freshman sensation who won college football's Heisman Trophy over the weekend, told CNBC Monday that he's in no rush to turn pro but is interested in trademarking his nickname "Johnny Football."
The Texas A&M quarterback, who threw for 3,000 yards this year and was the first freshman ever to win the Heisman, said he's taking his sudden fame "in stride, making sure I enjoy the moment."
Despite his success in college, Manziel said he was in no rush to enter the NFL draft, whose rules state that potential draftees must be at least three years out of high school in order to qualify. The Aggies quarterback first becomes eligible in time for the 2014 draft, after completing next season as a "redshirt" sophomore.
"I definitely don't feel like I can make a jump from high school…to go to the NFL," he said. "I feel like that situation will all play itself out and work out the way it is supposed to."
Manziel partly credited his success to being able to play in the SEC, one of college football's most prestigious conferences.
"The Big Twelve has a great conference but Ii don't feel like it has the power that the SEC. does and think everybody that's involved in the SEC feels like it's the best conference in the country for a reason," Manziel said. "So it was good to get noticed a little bit more, and then to play some of the best teams in the country was even better."
Manziel did confirm reports that he was interested in patenting his "Johnny Football" label, although he hasn't been deeply immersed in the process. Texas A&M, as well as several family members, have discussed the idea, he added.
Still, Manziel would be amenable to the idea, he said, if for no other reason than to be "on the safe side just so nobody else would take something that has kind of came about with my success and run with it. I would be ashamed to see that happen."
The idea isn't entirely without precedent in the sports world.
In 2008, professional football's New England Patriots once tried to patent the term "19-0 The Perfect Season" – just before they were defeated in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants.