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Manziel wows elder Bush, others at pro day

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm •  Published: March 27, 2014
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Johnny Manziel's NFL pro day had a former president, lots of swag, a Drake soundtrack and even some football, too.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner threw for 75 officials from 30 teams on the Texas A&M campus Thursday.

He also had some special guests, as former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara — and her two dogs — rolled into the facility on golf carts about 10 minutes into the workout.

The always flashy Manziel was true to his over-the-top Johnny Football persona, trotting into the facility with his receivers as a tune by his buddy Drake blasted through the building. He wore camouflage shorts, a black Nike jersey with his white No. 2 and caused a stir by wearing shoulder pads and a helmet.

Manziel didn't understand why it was a big deal.

"You play the game in shoulder pads on Sundays," he said. "Why not come out and do it? ... For me it was a no-brainer."

Manziel threw about 65 passes to six receivers, including A&M teammate Mike Evans, who like Manziel is expected to be a first round pick in the May draft. Only two passes weren't caught and Evans grabbed a third long pass out of bounds.

"I felt like it was good," Manziel said. "(I) was obviously going for perfection. So had a couple balls hit the ground. One was on me. One was a little bit high. I could've got it down for him a little bit."

Quarterback guru George Whitfield ran the workout. Manziel has worked with Whitfield throughout his career and has spent a big chunk of the last 2½ months working with him in California. Whitfield raved about his competitiveness.

"This wasn't just merely a set of routes that he was just going to go through and throw," Whitfield said. "It just feels like ... life is riding on every pass with him."

Eight NFL general managers and eight head coaches were among the group, including Texans general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O'Brien. Houston has the top overall pick in the draft. Smith and O'Brien liked what they saw from Manziel, but both cautioned that this is just one step in a long process.

"He made the throws that you look for and that you wanted to see so it was good," Smith said. "It's just a part of it and it was impressive."

Manziel, who started at A&M for two seasons, planned to meet with several teams on Thursday afternoon after the workout.

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