Johnny Manziel has become a brand name due to his exciting play. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Johnny Football ™?
Quarterback Johnny Manziel is close to trademarking his nickname, according to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sent a letter to Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, which filed to trademark the name before Manziel, "rejecting its claim that the phrase wasn't referring to an individual," Rovell writes.
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"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual whose written consent to register the mark is not of record," wrote the examining attorney, who included articles referring to Manziel as "Johnny Football."
Manziel's JMAN2 Enterprises filed to trademark the name in Feb. 2013, three months after Reynolds Family Investments. Manziel's filing will be reopened after a decision is made on the Reynolds case.
The 21-year-old is expected to be one of the top pick's in the NFL draft in May. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner threw 63 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions in two seasons with Texas A&M, and won the Cotton and Chick-fil-A Bowls with the Aggies.
PHOTOS: Johnny Manziel's rise to stardom