- If you haven't already heard (unlikely as it may be), South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. For a defensive end who is 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, that's darn impressive.
- Someone not so impressed with Clowney? Auburn's Dee Ford. He said he's better than Clowney, who plays "like a blind dog in a meat market." Ford later clarified his comments and expanded on them but stood behind them and stuck to his original assessment.
- Missouri's Michael Sam has been focus of much attention since announcing he is gay and on Monday got the chance to perform for scouts at the NFL combine. The on-field results Monday weren't quite what he hoped and are what one draft analyst called "concerning."
- Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson has had a strong showing at the combine, and also gives some insight into the 2014 Kentucky Wildcats here.
- Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief helped his draft stock by running a fast 40 time, 4.40 seconds.
- Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews also opened some eyes with his 40 time of 4.46.
- Looking for spring football? Here's a glance at what's ahead for Missouri's secondary.
- Texas A&M had two defensive starters -- defensive tackle Isaiah Golden and linebacker Darian Claiborne -- arrested over the weekend and it puts a cloud over spring football, which starts this week for the Aggies.
Last fall featured a collection of some of the most productive SEC players who ever lined up under center -- led by 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, 2013 Heisman runner-up AJ McCarron and the league's all-time leading passer Aaron Murray. Throw in South Carolina's Connor Shaw, LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Missouri's James Franklin and Vanderbilt's Austyn Carta-Samuels, and you have veterans who posted eye-popping numbers or who helped their teams ascend to rarely-seen heights in their respective programs' histories.
That has to help the league's defensive coaching staffs feel a bit more confident despite the thrashings their units absorbed over the last year or two, but I've got some bad news for them. Their problems are far from solved.
The last couple of seasons only continued a trend toward more explosive offense and away from the suffocating defense that was the SEC's trademark for many years. Just a few seasons ago, nearly every SEC defense ranked among the nation's top half in terms of yards allowed. That's no longer the case, as about half of the league's defenses trended toward the bottom in 2013 -- with Arkansas (76th), Missouri (81st), Tennessee (83rd), Auburn (86th), Kentucky (91st) and Texas A&M (109th) all ranking 75th or worse nationally in total defense.
Getting rid of some great quarterbacks will certainly help improve those numbers, but this is no longer the smashmouth, pound-the-run league that it once was. It's not as simple to defend what today's offenses throw at you as it was during the I-formation days of yore, and several SEC defenses have a long way to go before anyone would consider them competent at containing such attacks.
You have Gus Malzahn's ground-based spread at Auburn, which led the nation with 328.3 rushing yards per game and nearly carried the Tigers to a BCS crown. There's Missouri's version that featured one of the league's top rushing attacks and some dangerous (and huge) weapons at wideout. Kevin Sumlin's spread at Texas A&M obviously benefited from having Manziel as the triggerman, but the Aggies are still going to post big numbers even without Johnny Football.
And you've still got versatile offensive schemes such as those at Ole Miss, South Carolina and Georgia -- all of which will start senior quarterbacks -- that will almost certainly continue to produce on the ground and through the air. Wild cards LSU, Florida and Mississippi State also have the potential to be impressive on offense depending on how their quarterbacks and young skill players develop.
Add it all up and it still looks like 2014 will still be a promising year for SEC offenses, even if it might not match the production from a period that featured some of the league's best quarterback talent in at least a generation.
That said, the league will still have its share of defensive stalwarts, and that group might even grow a bit larger this fall.
Alabama's defense is always one of the best, and a talented Florida team should take a step forward after injuries crippled it a season ago. South Carolina, LSU and Mississippi State all look to be impressive, while Georgia returns most of its starters and scored points in convincing Jeremy Pruitt to defect from Florida State to become its new defensive coordinator.
Those groups should be fine. If the league is to recover some of its defensive reputation, however, it will be a matter of the league's worst defenses suddenly getting their acts together -- and that will be a tall order since some of them were truly awful last season.
So to answer the original question, will SEC defenses improve this season? Sure, but don't expect a defensive renaissance to occur anytime soon. As long as the league features this many innovative offensive minds and explosive playmakers, the days where most SEC teams dominated the national defensive rankings are not coming back.
Texas A&M will have roughly the next six weeks to get better on the field during spring football practice.
But the Aggies will also utilize this time to ensure they continue to improve their talent level in future years. Where the 2014 recruiting class left off, the 2015 recruiting class has picked up. Spring practice is a time to improve the current team, but it's also an important time for the future of the Aggies.
And if the last month is any indication, the Aggies will continue their positive recruiting momentum in the coming weeks.
Texas A&M is coming off a successful junior day on Sunday, its second in the 2015 cycle. The event drew several elite visitors, including ESPN Junior 300 prospects DaMarkus Lodge, Derrick Dillon, Xavier Lewis and Holton Hill. The Aggies landed a commitment from three-star prospect Deshawn Capers-Smith on Sunday and extended offers to several prospects, including Dillon, offensive tackle Keaton Sutherland, and 2017 wunderkind and LSU commit Dylan Moses.
With eight commitments in the 2015 class, seven of which are ESPN 300 prospects, the Aggies are having a strong showing on the recruiting trail.
When spring practice begins on Friday, Texas A&M is hoping to build buzz off of something it did last year. The Aggies' spring debut will be accompanied by Texas disc jockey DJ Double R, who performed live at the Aggies' "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage last April.
That night the Aggies hosted dozens of recruits, several of which they would eventually land commitments from. Among those who eventually committed to Texas A&M were 2014 ESPN 300 linebacker Otaro Alaka, 2015 ESPN Junior 300 running back Rodney Anderson Jr., 2014 ESPN 300 defensive end Myles Garrett, 2014 defensive end Jarrett Johnson and 2014 ESPN 300 safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, though Sumner-Gardner eventually decommitted and signed with Boise State.
The effect of having a live DJ spinning tunes from the Aggies' equipment truck created a buzzworthy atmosphere at Kyle Field that had recruits talking and certainly helped their efforts in landing some big-name recruits. If that buzz can be created again, it would be a positive for head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff.
The Aggies could land their next 2015 commitment in the near future. Texas offensive line commitment Connor Lanfear visited Texas A&M for the Aggies' first junior day in January and will make a return visit on Friday for the Aggies' first spring practice. Though he recently attended Texas' junior day, Texas A&M appears in good position of possibly flipping Lanfear's commitment to the maroon and white with his affinity for the SEC, noting that A&M's league membership is a "large pull" for him. He even said his high school classmates at Buda (Texas) Hays Consolidated are asking quite a bit about the Aggies.
“I’ve got a lot of pressure from everyone all over the school," the three-star offensive tackle said. "They’re pressuring me a little bit. 'That maroon looks pretty good on you,’ stuff like that. Everyone is talking about it at Hays, that's the talk right now: 'Where are you going?'"
As spring football progresses, the Aggies will have numerous opportunities to host recruits for unofficial visits. Don't be surprised to see them capitalize on some of those chances to continue to build what is shaping up to be a strong 2015 recruiting class.
Bryan police say the 19-year-old Golden was arrested Saturday night at an apartment complex. Details of the misdemeanor arrest were not immediately available.
School spokesman Alan Cannon told The Eagle of Bryan-College Station he wasn't aware of the arrest but says it's school policy to immediately suspend a student-athlete after an arrest pending further investigation.
Golden is from Carthage in Northeast Texas. He started six of the 11 games he played last season. Conviction on a charge of possession of two ounces or less of marijuana could get Golden up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne also was arrested and charged with a noise violation, The Eagle reported.
Claiborne was also arrested in December on a possession charge and A&M suspended him for the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He was fined $300 and released.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
- AJ McCarron threw the ball well, Kevin Norwood ran better than expected and Cyrus Kouandjio failed to impress while also leaving with medical concerns. Alabama sent the most representatives to the combine and, as always, there were mixed returns from the top stars.
- Auburn sent a small contingent of players to the combine, but they made an impression. Tre Mason put up a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and Dee Ford made waves by declaring he's better than Jadeveon Clowney.
- Bret Bielema said in a released statement that his remarks on a recently deceased Cal football player, as it relates to the hurry-up no-huddle debate, were "unintentionally hurtful."
- Mark Richt went all of 2013 without a recruiting coordinator on staff. In speaking with the AJC, Richt explained why now is the right time for the Bulldogs to bring back someone for the coveted position.
- Former LSU wideout Jarvis Landry didn't do himself any favors when he clocked the slowest 40-yard dash time of any receiver at the combine. Given his highlight reel tape in college and the chance to improve his time at LSU's pro day, Landry might not be in too deep a hole, though.
- Former South Carolina cornerback Vic Hampton can't figure out why the NFL is sleeping on his quarterback, Connor Shaw. Asked why people are doubting Shaw's ability to translate to the pros, Hampton shot back, "Why?" and then explained that Shaw was "the toughest quarterback in the SEC" and a "winner."
- With spring football right around the corner, David Morrison ranked the size of each SEC program's rebuilding job for this coming season.
- Johnny Manziel's throwing coach George Whitfield has a bit of advice for NFL franchises concerning his client: "Don't lose sight of what and who he is. The dude's a world-beater."
- Student attendance has become a concern for Florida. Losing, obviously, could have contributed to the empty seats inside The Swamp, but that doesn't mean the Gators administration isn't looking into it.
- The plans for a stadium expansion at Ole Miss could come into view soon as the school has hired an architect to devise a plan that should culminate in a face lift and more seats at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
- Anyone who watched Missouri last season knew that Henry Josey could fly. The former Tigers' running back proved it at the NFL combine, running the third-best time in the 40-yard dash at 4.43 seconds, greatly helping himself in the process.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M says Kyle Field will have the largest video screen in college football for the 2014 season.
A&M officials say the LED video display will be 47 feet high and 163 feet wide and is the first in college sports to have 1080 resolution (1,080 is the number of lines that create the image).
The display, made by Daktronics, will be installed in the south end zone. Two smaller displays also will be installed, one in each corner at the north end of the stadium. Those will be 36 feet by 54 feet.
The last portion of the video upgrade will be five ribbon displays placed around the seating areas of the stadium, ranging from 160 to 510 feet long.
There have been a ton of questions concerning Clowney, including his work ethic, focus and what motivates him. But he's easily the most explosive defender in this draft, and his 40 time will likely ensure his going in the top five.
Clowney did 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press on Sunday, which wasn't a big number. But with his long arms, that's not a huge concern.
Here's a look at how some of the other SEC players have fared so far at the combine:
Auburn DE Dee Ford: Ford made big news with something he said. He took a swipe at Clowney, saying the Gamecocks' defensive end "played like a blind dog in a meat market." Ford, who had 10.5 sacks last season, didn't work out Monday because of unspecified medical reasons. ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold reported that Ford was dealing with a lower back issue.
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel: Electing not to throw at the combine, Manziel measured in at 5-11 3/4, but has huge hands for a guy his size (9 7/8 inches). Manziel's official 40 time was 4.68.
Auburn OT Greg Robinson: His official 40 time was a 4.92, which is staggering for a 6-5, 332-pound offensive tackle. He also did 32 reps on the bench press. Robinson obviously made the right call in coming out early because he's going to be the first or second tackle taken.
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews: Measuring 6-3 and weighing 212 pounds, Matthews put to rest any questions about his speed and turned in a 4.46 in the 40.
Ole Miss WR Donte Moncrief: Moncrief helped himself with a 4.4 40-yard dash time, as did South Carolina's Bruce Ellington with a 4.45.
Below are some other 40 times of SEC players (official times):
- LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. -- 4.43
- Missouri RB Henry Josey -- 4.43
- Mississippi State RB LaDarius Perkins -- 4.46
- Missouri WR L'Damian Washington -- 4.46
- Alabama WR Kevin Norwood -- 4.48
- Auburn RB Tre Mason -- 4.5
- Texas A&M WR Mike Evans -- 4.53
- Florida TE Trey Burton -- 4.62
- LSU RB Jeremy Hill -- 4.66
- South Carolina QB Connor Shaw -- 4.66
- LSU WR Jarvis Landry -- 4.77
- Georgia TE Arthur Lynch -- 4.82
- LSU OL Trai Turner -- 4.93
- Alabama QB AJ McCarron -- 4.94
- Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews -- 5.07
- Vanderbilt OT Wesley Johnson -- 5.11
- Tennessee OG Zach Fulton -- 5.16
- Arkansas C Travis Swanson -- 5.28
- Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson -- 5.3
- Tennessee OT Ja'Wuan James -- 5.34
- Mississippi State OG Gabe Jackson -- 5.51
- Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio -- 5.59
Spring football is right around the corner and with it comes new faces, fresh starts and, of course, plenty of questions surrounding some of the nation's top programs.
From who will take over for Johnny Football at Texas A&M to whether Art Briles and Co. can continue their winning ways at Baylor, there's a lot of intrigue heading into the 2014 campaign.
While many of these questions will not be fully answered until the fall, here are five of the biggest ones across the college football landscape as we head into the spring.
1. Who takes over for Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans at Texas A&M?
There may be no bigger shoes in the country to fill in 2014 than the ones Johnny Football will leave behind in College Station. The 2012 Heisman winner was not only a great player, but his on- and off-field antics made him one of the faces of college football over the last couple of years.
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We’re counting down the five most pressing questions facing the SEC this spring, in no particular order of importance. First, how do you replace all the veteran quarterbacks the league enjoyed in 2013?
When spring camps open over the next few weeks -- the first being Texas A&M on Friday -- that question will begin to be answered. With each snap and each team meeting, leaders will emerge. Some staffs will look for a winner heading into the summer so they can avoid a quarterback controversy come fall, while others will have to sweat it out through the offseason.
Texas A&M: Surprises will undoubtedly occur, as we saw only a few years ago when a scrappy freshman from Kerrville, Texas, beat out the presumptive favorite to land the starting job at Texas A&M. The Aggies stumbled upon Manziel, and Jameill Showers was quickly forgotten. Kenny Hill and Matt Joeckel are this year’s frontrunners, but they’ll have competition in another freshman nipping at their heels in Kyle Allen. The Arizona native is more of a pure passer than a running quarterback, but he has the tools to sling the ball around in Kevin Sumlin’s offense.
South Carolina: Steve Spurrier didn’t mince words when he saidDylan Thompson is “without question going to be our quarterback.” He even asked, “Why open it up when he’s the only one who’s played?” Thompson, a rising senior, doesn’t have the athleticism to break containment quite like Shaw, but Thompson can still move the chains with his feet when necessary. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound South Carolina native doesn’t lack for arm strength and might even have more pure throwing ability than Shaw. But where Thompson must match Shaw is intangibles. There wasn’t a more dynamic leader in the SEC than Shaw last year, and the Gamecocks will miss that kind of will power under center in 2014. While the starting job is Thompson’s to lose, don’t sleep on redshirt freshman Connor Mitch. The former four-star recruit could push Thompson this spring.
Missouri: The race to replace Franklin comes down to one quarterback and one quarterback alone: Maty Mauk. The rising redshirt sophomore showed last season that he can control the offense, starting four games in which he averaged 227.5 yards, 2.5 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions per game. More importantly, he won three of the four games with the only loss coming in double overtime against South Carolina. He’ll learn from that experience and take over a team that will be moving on from the loss of big-time playmakers Henry Josey, L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas. Having the ultra-talented Dorial Green-Beckham back will help, but an arrest on drug charges in January has clouded his future.
Georgia: Despite what wasn’t a great performance to end last season -- 21-of-39 for 320 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Nebraska -- Hutson Mason is still the overwhelming favorite to replace Murray. Why? Because Mark Richt and the coaching staff have essentially been grooming Mason to take over for years now, redshirting him in 2012 so he would have a year left to play in 2014. Mason was once a three-star quarterback who put up huge numbers running the spread at Lassiter High School in nearby Marietta, and with Todd Gurley behind him, he won’t be asked to do too much his first year starting. While he might be a year away, don’t write off Faton Bauta just yet. The 6-3, 216-pound redshirt sophomore has impressed the staff with his work ethic and could find his way into some playing time.
Alabama: Oddly enough, the quarterback many presume will take over for McCarron won’t actually arrive until the summer. Jacob Coker, the heralded transfer from Florida State, will be a little late finishing his degree in Tallahassee, which leaves a big opportunity for the rest of Alabama’s quarterbacks to make a first impression. New offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will instead have his focus on Blake Sims, Alec Morris, Parker McLeod and Cooper Bateman this spring. Sims, who best fits the mold of a run-first quarterback, has a lot of work ahead of him to prove he can play from the pocket. Morris, meanwhile, didn’t get much time as a redshirt freshman last season and needs to improve his decision-making from the last time we saw him at A-Day. Bateman and McLeod are relative unknowns after redshirting last season, but Bateman, a four-star recruit, does come with a lofty pedigree. The wild card is David Cornwell, the four-star recruit who enrolled in January and will benefit from the fresh start all of the quarterbacks will get under Kiffin.
Those who have paid close attention to Kevin Sumlin's history with quarterbacks know one thing is certain when it comes to picking a new starter: Patience is required.
Since Sumlin's head coaching career began in 2008, he has overseen two preseason starting quarterback competitions. One constant existed in both: The starter wasn't picked until midway through fall training camp.
We can attempt to glean clues from spring football practice, which the Aggies begin on Friday, but if you think the heir apparent to Manziel will lay claim to the quarterback throne in April once Texas A&M wraps up spring drills, you'll be disappointed.
This quarterback race will be a marathon, not a sprint.
Senior Matt Joeckel, sophomore Kenny Hill and true freshman Kyle Allen will take the field in the coming weeks, battling it out for the right to succeed A&M's second Heisman Trophy winner.
As they rotate repetitions with the first-team offense and showcase their skills during practices and scrimmages, it will be easy to make assumptions based on their performances. Player X leads, Player Y needs to improve in these areas, etc.
But if the last battle Sumlin and his staff oversaw was any indication, it's unwise to base entire opinions on spring football. Many believed that Jameill Showers led Manziel in the race to become the starting quarterback in 2012 based on their respective spring performances. While that might have even been true, it didn't mean it was Showers' job. As we all know now, Manziel made enough improvement over the summer that when training camp arrived in August, he earned the confidence of the offensive coaching staff and was ultimately tabbed the starter roughly two weeks before the Aggies opened the season. Showers became the backup, and Manziel went on to make history.
Sumlin even seemed to take pleasure in letting the media know that "I didn't name a starter [after spring]; y'all did."
Spavital has even said, flatly, that the timeline for announcing a starter will be the same as it has been in Sumlin's recent history.
"We're not going to announce until the fall, a week and a half, two weeks before the game," Spavital told ESPN.com earlier this month.
All three quarterbacks will get a fair shot. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, which have been documented well. Joeckel brings size and experience, Hill brings a dual-threat ability and history of competing in an up-tempo, spread-style attack, and Allen brings the physical tools coaches look for in a quarterback as well as leadership qualities, even though he's the youngest and greenest of the group.
It will be a long spring and summer as Aggies wait for the competition to play out. The result, no matter what it is, will be full of intrigue.
- As usual, Johnny Manziel is at the center of the football universe. His height and hand size were all the talk after Friday's measurements at the NFL scouting combine. Manziel reached out to Tom Brady last week for advice on handling the combine spotlight. Brett Favre weighed in and said Johnny Football reminds him of "a young Brett Favre." Count San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh among those in the NFL who are similarly impressed with Manziel.
- Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is optimistic the the pace of play rule will pass. Many detractors, including Georgia coach Mark Richt, have demanded hard evidence that the rule is necessary. Bielema on Thursday cited the recent death of Cal's Ted Agu during a training run as such evidence. Of course, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier weighed in, calling it the "[Nick] Saban Rule." Spurrier said on Thursday that the rule "looks like it's dead now, hopefully."
- LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers plans to graduate, transfer and play for a new team this fall.
- Alabama has a school-record 12 players invited to the NFL scouting combine. Quarterback AJ McCarron is among those who will participate in full workouts.
- After having 11 players at the combine a year ago, Georgia will be represented by just one -- TE Arthur Lynch -- this weekend. QB Aaron Murray, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL less than three months ago, will be there just to chat.
- Florida's medical and strength staff is helping its many injured players making strides in their return to full health.
- Mississippi State and Ole Miss have a total of three prospects at the NFL combine.
- Relaxed, focused Missouri tailback Henry Josey is among the players at the NFL combine.
With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at which programs compiled the nation's best overall position classes in 2014. For the full top position classes series, click here.
The Florida Gators had a major need at quarterback in the Class of 2014, and Will Muschamp and staff more than filled it, signing two of the nation’s top signal-callers. Third-ranked dual-threat prospect Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day School) is already on campus and preparing for spring practice, while No. 7 dual-threat prospect Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) was a huge signing-day flip from Florida State. Both prospects are great athletes who are accustomed to operating up-tempo offenses. This should also help newly hired offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who will install a similar scheme in Gainesville.
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Texas A&M has several areas where it needs improvement or will have to replace an outgoing veteran who was productive and reliable. Spring practice is a place where those things can be accomplished.
But for all the new faces and position battles that will ensue, there's one that Aggies will watch the closest: quarterback.
The battle will include three primary candidates: senior Matt Joeckel, sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen.
Joeckel and Hill battled for the backup quarterback job -- and the right to start a game -- last fall while Manziel was under investigation by the NCAA for allegations that he profited from signing autographs. When Manziel was suspended for the first half of the season opener against Rice, Joeckel got the starting nod. He was solid, completing 14-of-19 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown in two quarters of play. For the season, Joeckel, the twin brother of former A&M left tackle and current Jacksonville Jaguar Luke Joeckel, was 22-of-37 for 293 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in four games of action.
At 6-foot-4 and 234 pounds, Joeckel doesn't feature the mobility of a dual-threat quarterback, but he's an accurate passer. He has also been in Texas A&M's offense longer than any other quarterback on the roster.
"He's the most experienced out of all of them in terms of running this offense," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital said. "I was pleased with how he handled himself."
Hill, a Southlake (Texas) Carroll product, also received playing time during the 2013 season, even though he didn't get to appear against Rice. In five games, he was 16-of-22 passing for 183 yards and a touchdown and showed well in his college debut, which came in the second half of a blowout win over Sam Houston State.
Hill, a 6-1, 215-pound dual-threat quarterback, has a lot of experience in spread, uptempo offenses and has made positive strides in practices throughout last fall.
"Bowl preparation was good for him," Spavital said. "When Johnny was gone at awards shows it gave him a chance to run with the [first team] and get used to them. He has come a long way."
Allen comes in with plenty of credentials for a high school prospect. He was the No. 1 pocket passer in the country and has good size at 6-3 and 200 pounds. Spavital said he was impressed with how Allen handled himself publicly, his intelligence and his physical gifts.
"His playmaking ability, he has a very strong arm, a quick release," Spavital said. "He has a hell of an arm."
All eyes are on the quarterback anyways, but when these three begin competing, Aggies everywhere will be paying attention.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Johnny Manziel should be long gone by the time the Dallas Cowboys pick 16th in the first round in May, but the team will meet with the Texas A&M quarterback during the NFL scouting combine.
Manziel is among the Cowboys' 60 official interviews in Indianapolis and will meet with the team's coaches and scouts Friday night, according to a source.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said earlier in the offseason that the Cowboys will not use an early pick on a quarterback, in part because of their commitment to Tony Romo, who signed a six-year, $106 million extension last year, however, that will not stop the Cowboys from doing their due diligence on draft prospects.
At the combine on Friday, Manziel measured just one-quarter of an inch short of 6 feet. He came in at 5-11¾ at 207 pounds with 9 7/8-inch hands.
In 2011, the Cowboys met with Cam Newton, who was the first pick in the draft by the Carolina Panthers. They had the No. 9 pick in the draft that year and took Tyron Smith.
Manziel attended a few Cowboys games at AT&T Stadium the past two years and spoke with coach Jason Garrett after one game.
"He's a great football player and someone I admire a great deal," Garrett said Thursday. "If you're a fan of football and you watch Texas A&M play, he's something else. He's done an amazing job in a short period of time during his career for that program. He's really fun to watch.
Recruit Comparison: Murray to Allen
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35