'Johnny Football' set to light up Cleveland offense

Fri May 9, 2014 1:19am EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnny Manziel, College football's most charismatic and talked about player, is heading to Ohio after the Cleveland Browns traded up to snare the quarterback in the first round of the National Football League draft on Thursday.

Known popularly as 'Johnny Football', Manziel was selected by the Browns as the 22nd overall choice after waiting almost three hours to hear his name called out.

He may not have gone number one and he was not even the first quarterback picked on Thursday, but there was no more popular choice than the 21-year-old from Texas A&M University.

Even before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his name, the crowd at the Radio City Music Hall was on its feet, chanting "Johnny, Johnny, Johnny".

"To get that call was a weight off my shoulders," Manziel said. "It's a dream come true to be a first round pick in the NFL.

"This is a great day for me, something I've dreamed about since I was a little kid."

For Manziel and his supporters, it was still an agonising wait. Because of his enormous popularity, he was heavily promoted in the lead up to the draft and featured during the broadcast.

He had been tipped as a possible first choice but as each pick came and went, his disappointment was captured on television.   Continued...

May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) gestures as he walks across the stage after being selected as the number twenty-two overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns at Radio City Music Hall. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports