Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was compared to Joe Montana by an NFL scout. With Manziel's decision for the 2014 NFL draft expected near the Dec. 31 Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Duke, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin refused to speculate about the Heisman winner's future before then.
Manziel doesn't have the prototypical body size of an NFL quarterback, but his athleticism is expected to make him one of the first three signal callers off the board in April.
He improved on last season's Heisman-winning numbers and looked more fundamentally sound this year. He became a Heisman finalist again after completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, along with eight touchdowns on the ground.
Manziel's performance this season is drawing him comparisons to Montana, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback with four Super Bowl wins to his name.
"He reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Montana," one scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Fluid, and even though he's off-balance he can get the ball out. He's a smaller guy but he has big hands for a little guy. He's fun to watch."
Another scout spoke with The Journal Sentinel and compared Manziel to Frank Tarkenton, a quarterback known for his ability to scramble.
While many anticipate Dec. 31 will be Manziel's last collegiate game, Sumlin is unwilling to speculate whether Manziel will declare for the 2014 draft.
"I'm not going to reflect on that until it is his last game," Sumlin said, via USA Today Sports. "All I can tell you is what he's done for the university up to this point (is) well-documented. His numbers speak for themselves. He is without a doubt the most exciting player in America."
If this is Manziel's final season in college, he will leave behind an impressive legacy at College Station. In two seasons, Manziel completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 7,438 yards, 59 touchdowns and just 22 interceptions; he also rushed for 2,096 yards and 29 touchdowns.
In November, Sumlin indicated to ESPN that Manziel's decision could come between the regular season finale against Missouri and the Dec. 31 bowl game.