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'Johnny Football' visits Red Sox


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- At morning workouts at the player-development complex outside of JetBlue Park, fans rushed around to try to get a glimpse of Johnny Manziel, the quarterback simply known in gridiron circles as "Johnny Football."

Wearing khaki pants and a white Red Sox jersey with the number 2 and the name Manziel on the back, the Texas A&M star, who will be in the upcoming NFL Draft, roamed from field to field.

Manziel was in town doing some sponsorship work. He is a client of Fenway Sports Group, a marketing arm affiliated with the Red Sox.

Before the Red Sox took the field for their drills, he visited with players in the clubhouse.

"I met him last year in Texas, he came in and I met him there," said catcher A.J. Pierzynski. "So I just said, 'Hi,' to him again and that was it -- and I wished him luck. Obviously, he's a great player -- and him being an SEC guy and me being an SEC guy, I root for those guys. I know I liked watching him play. I liked the way he played, because he was an amazing player."

Mookie Betts, one of the brighter prospects in Boston's farm system, came out to the field to get his picture taken with Manziel, who declined to do any interviews.

"I think he'll do [well], if he's given the right opportunities," said Pierzynski. "He should be a heck of an NFL guy."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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