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Johnny Manziel: 'I played like I'm 10 feet tall'

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel crawls out of

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel crawls out of the crowd after celebrating with fans after a 51-14 win against Mississippi State on Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Credit: AP

INDIANAPOLIS -- Just a few days after proclaiming that the Houston Texans would commit "the worst mistake they've ever made" if they pass over him with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel walked back his remarks.

"Whatever team I do end up with, not necessarily the Texans . . . I'll do whatever it takes to try and be successful," Manziel said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"I'm going to try to do everything for that team, for that organization, to try to be the best football player I can be."

Manziel told the Houston Chronicle earlier this week that the Texans would be making a huge mistake if they didn't take him.

"I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year," Manziel said, speculating that he would be taken at No. 3 overall by AFC South rival Jacksonville. "Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."

Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football" during his Heisman Trophy season in 2012, could go No. 1 -- or he could slide because he measured just under 6 feet at the Combine, he likes to run with the ball and he's had some off-field issues.

He was arrested June 29, 2012, and charged with three misdemeanors after getting involved in a fight. He later pleaded guilty to failing to properly identify himself to police, a misdemeanor. Last year, he was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy after oversleeping and missing a meeting. He was kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party in July 2013. And he was suspended for the first half of last year's season opener against Rice when the NCAA found evidence that Manziel had accepted payments for autographs he signed in January 2013.

"When I decided to make this decision to turn professional," he said, "[I decided] it's time to really put my college years in the past. There's all kind of things on the line [in the NFL]. I'm going to be extremely focused on whatever organization I'll be at, pouring my heart out trying to be football 24/7 with that team."

As for the knock that he's too small, Manziel is unfazed.

"I play with a lot of passion," he said. "I played like I'm 10 feet tall, so the measurement to me is just a number."

With six of the top eight teams in the draft needing a quarterback, Manziel probably won't last long if the Texans don't take him. He hopes they call his name, though.

"That would be cool," he said. "I'm a Texas guy, born and raised in Texas. Never really left the state. For them to have the first pick means a lot to me."

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