Manuel in 2013
No. 3 Buffalo Bills
|Date of birth:March 19, 1990|
|Place of birth: Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|High school: Virginia Beach (VA) Bayside|
|College: Florida State|
|NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16|
|Debuted in 2013 for the Buffalo Bills|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2014
Erik Rodriguez "EJ" Manuel, Jr. (born March 19, 1990) is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Manuel played college football for Florida State University (FSU). The Buffalo Bills chose him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
- 1 Early life
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Manuel was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He attended Bayside High School Virginia Beach, where he played for the Bayside Marlins high school football team. His father, Erik, was childhood friends with NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith. In 2004, as a freshman, he started at quarterback and threw for 589 yards and seven touchdowns, as well as rushing for 219 yards and one touchdown. As a sophomore, he recorded 1,332 passing yards and eight touchdowns as well as 276 rushing yards and six touchdowns. As a junior, Manuel threw for 1,973 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 345 yards and five touchdowns. In 2007, as a senior, Manuel passed for 1,859 yards, 18 touchdowns and rushed for 541 yards. He was considered a five-star recruit by Scout, a four star recruit by Rivals and both sites, as well as Sports Illustrated, listed him the second best quarterback. He was an All-American quarterback in high school.
Manuel enrolled in Florida State University, where he played for coach Bobby Bowden and coach Jimbo Fisher's Florida State Seminoles football teams from 2008 to 2012. While he was a student, he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Manuel became the second collegiate quarterback to win four straight bowl games. The first one being Pat White of West Virginia.
Manuel took over for an injured Christian Ponder as the 4-5 Seminoles were in danger of finishing with a losing record for the first time since Bowden took over the program. His first start was an away game against Wake Forest. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown, leading the Seminoles to a 41-28 win over Wake Forest, who at the time had won three games in a row against Florida State. Manuel struggled in his second game against Maryland but still managed to pull out a much needed win making FSU bowl-eligible. Manuel's struggles continued against the dominating Florida Gators, and the mobile quarterback wasn't able to get into a rhythm as Florida State lost, 37-10.
Florida State entered the Gator Bowl 6-6 and in serious danger of letting legendary coach Bobby Bowden leave with a losing record. Manuel led Florida State to a 33-21 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers and won the Gator Bowl MVP honors.
Manuel started twice in the 2010 season for Christian Ponder, who battled a nagging forearm injury. In his first start against Clemson, he picked up 71 yards on 15 carries. He also led the Seminoles to a victory in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina when Christian Ponder was injured in the second quarter of the game.
In the 2011 season, EJ Manuel played in every game besides the loss at Clemson after injuring his shoulder in a loss against Oklahoma the previous week. He finished the season with 2,666 yards passing on a 65% completion rate. He also finished with 18 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He helped lead the Seminoles to a comeback win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Champs Sports Bowl by throwing for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Manuel led the Seminoles to a 12-win season for just the third time in program history  and the first time since their dominant stretch in the 1990s. During his senior season, he threw for the second most yards in team history with 3,392, trailing only Chris Weinke's Heisman Trophy winning season, in which Weinke threw for 4,167 yards. Manuel went 25-6 as a starter, won the first BCS bowl for Florida State since 2000, won five out of six games against intrastate rivals Miami and Florida, and he also led the offense to its most prolific season in team history, cleanly surpassing the 1999 National Championship squad with 6,591 yards.
NFL Draft prospects
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks projected him as a top five quarterback heading into the 2013 draft and compared him to Josh Freeman. While Manuel possesses the blue-chip physical characteristics, work ethic and leadership qualities necessary to be successful at the NFL level, he has been faulted for somewhat inconsistent play at times during his college career.
2013 NFL Combine
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 5 in||237 lb||35 in||10⅜ in||4.59 s||1.64 s||2.60 s||4.21 s||7.08 s||34 in||9 ft 10 in|
|All values from Central Florida Pro Day.|
Manuel was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the draft, a draft that was seen as especially thin at quarterback (the Bills, who originally drafted eighth and had a great need for a quarterback, even traded down to obtain more picks); Manuel was drafted ahead of higher-profile quarterbacks such as Matt Barkley and Geno Smith, as well as Ryan Nassib, who had played under Bills head coach Doug Marrone when Marrone coached the Syracuse Orange.
Buffalo Bills (2013–present)
On June 14, 2013, Manuel signed a four year contract with the Buffalo Bills. The deal is worth a fully guaranteed $8,885,300.00, including a $4,852,036.00 signing bonus evenly spaced out annually ($1,210,509.00) over the next four years. His salary in 2013 will be $1,615,509, $2,019,386 in 2014, $2,423,264 in 2015, and $2,827,141 in 2016.
Manuel made his professional debut on August 11, 2013 during the preseason against the Indianapolis Colts. During his debut, Manuel completed 16 out of 21 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Manuel underwent an operation on his knee to remove fluid buildup after the second game of the preseason and it was unsure if he would be ready to start by Week 1 of the 2013 season. On September 4, Doug Marrone announced at the team meeting that Manuel was confirmed to be the starter for Week 1. In week 1 Manuel completed his first live NFL game touchdown to fellow rookie Robert Woods, on an 18 yard end zone strike. In the second week of the 2013 NFL regular season, on September 16, 2013, Manuel engineered his first victory in the league with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown march to bring his team from a six point deficit in the fourth quarter with seconds left in the game. With the Point-After-Touchdown (PAT) the Buffalo Bills went on to post the win over the Carolina Panthers 24-23. Manuel was voted the "Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week" for his performance.
On October 3, 2013, during the third quarter in a game against the Cleveland Browns, Manuel sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. The injury caused him to miss 5 weeks of the season. Manuel had an up and down rookie season, but was given a vote of confidence by coach Doug Marrone as he was announced as the starter for the 2014 season.
- "Manuel family strengthened by values, faith | Football | Sports | Toronto Sun". torontosun.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- EJ Manuel Statistics, Rivals Yahoo. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- EJ Manuel Scout.com. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- EJ Manuel Rivals. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- EJ Manuel Seminoles.com. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- "NIC 2012 All-Fraternity All-American Football Teams". North American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Bowden goes out a winner as Seminoles dispatch Mountaineers ESPN, retrieved on August 18, 2010
- "Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles - Box Score - November 13, 2010 - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
- "Seminoles.com 2012 Schedule and Results". Seminoles.com. 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- "FSU wins Orange Bowl, 12 games _ no national title". MiamiHerald.com. 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Fisher points to the numbers to say FSU close to a title run". Warchant.com. 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "FSU Wins 2013 Discover Orange Bowl -- Notes". Seminoles.com. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Geno Smith, Matt Barkley headline 2013 NFL Draft quarterbacks". NFL.com. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Latavius Murray | Central Florida, RB : 2013 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- EJ Manuel a surprise pick by Buffalo Bills at No. 16
- "EJ Manuel signs Buffalo Bills rookie contract - NFL.com". nfl.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- "E.J. Manuel Salary Cap, Contracts, Salaries, Cap Hits, & News Profile". spotrac.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- Graham, Tim (August 27, 2013). EJ Manuel will need days of practice before green light. The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week: EJ Manuel". NFL.com. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- "EJ Manuel out four to six weeks with LCL strain". UPI. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "EJ Manuel Will Enter 2014 as Buffalo Bills Starting QB - NFL.com". nfl.com. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- Hanzus, Dan (September 29, 2014). "EJ Manuel benched; Kyle Orton to start for Buffalo Bills". NFL.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014.