- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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In an interview session with reporters at the Home Depot College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner fielded questions about whether he'll take his talents to the NFL after this season and whether he feels he's ready to compete at that level.
"In my mind, I think I am [ready]," Manziel told reporters.
The redshirt sophomore said he'll take everything into account when making his decision to stay or go, including consulting with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Jake Spavital and George Whitfield Jr., the private quarterbacks coach he's worked with the past two summers.
"More than anything, 'Are you ready for the next level?' That's the big thing," Manziel said. "You don't want to go and be unprepared for the National Football League and leave two years [of college football] on the table. It all comes down to making the best decision for you. Whether you're ready. Whether teams are quarterback-needy. You look at all your factors."
Manziel did not specify a timetable for his decision to declare for the 2014 NFL draft or return to Texas A&M for his junior season. He said he is focusing on the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where the No. 21 Aggies will meet No. 24 Duke on Dec. 31 at the Georgia Dome.
Last season, Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman. He is a finalist again this year, one of six invited to Saturday's award ceremony. He is also a finalist for the Maxwell (player of the year) and Davey O'Brien (top quarterback) awards, the latter of which he won last year.
While he maintained that he has not made a decision about his football-playing future, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said he believes he is ready for the next level.