Derel Walker says his former Texas A&M teammate Johnny Manziel is working out and wants to continue his football career.
The Toronto Argonauts receiver spoke to the former Montreal Alouettes quarterback after his expulsion from the CFL.
“He was in Houston and he was just seeing what I was up to. He was out there throwing footballs,” Walker said. “I’m sure he wants to continue playing football somewhere if he’s going to continue training. I don’t know what his goals are or what his intentions are. I’m just looking forward to seeing him play regardless. He’s one of my good friends. To see him play football doing what he loves, I’ll be happy just to see that.”
Walker played with Manziel at Texas A&M University for two seasons, connecting 59 times for 903 yards and five touchdowns, including the last NCAA pass Manziel threw. Manziel was must-watch while playing for the Aggies and Walker believes the fellow Texas native still has the same juice.
“I definitely do believe it. It’s Johnny – I’ve been around him so long he’s a natural born athlete and he’s a hard worker,” Walker said.
Manziel passed for 1,290 yards, five touchdowns versus seven interceptions and rushed 29 times for 215 yards ending the season 2-6 as Montreal’s starter. Manziel had not thrown a pass in a pro game since December 2015 and coming to Canada was his comeback to football.
“He got thrown into the fire kind of early and it’s a little bit different up here as far as being a quarterback, especially with the extra guy. It was a little bit of a learning curve for him, but he started picking it up towards the end of the year,” Walker said.
Manziel was acquired in a blockbuster in-season trade last year when the Alouettes sent Canadian defensive end Jamaal Westerman, receiver Chris Williams and two first-round draft picks to the Ticats.
“He had [quarterback Antonio] Pipkin coming in as well, they had to figure that situation out. It was a tough situation for him because he was in Hamilton and came to Montreal and then he was playing and then he wasn’t playing and then he was playing,” Walker said.
“He’s a competitor, he wants to compete, doesn’t like to lose in anything. I just want to see him be successful.”