Manuel Talks Recruiting

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Duke’s Ted Roof, Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen, Virginia’s Al Groh and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer all stopped by Bayside High School (Virginia Beach, VA) last month to show their interest in 6-4, 210-pound quarterback E.J. Manuel. Manuel is up to seven scholarship offers and could get more in the coming weeks/months.

“It’s a feeling of security and just feeling good about yourself,” said Manuel of the interest from colleges. He received 12 text messages from various coaches just while in school on Wednesday. “It’s fun.”

Manuel, who says he wants to stay “level-headed” throughout the recruiting process, has been offered by Duke, Florida International, Marshall, Maryland, UNC, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He has received serious interest from Florida and Miami, among others.

Reportedly, Manuel recently named Maryland as a favorite. Is this true?

“It’s very true,” Manuel said. “I went there on an unofficial visit recently to see them play Duke. I really liked the college atmosphere there…it was what I’m looking for. I just really liked the atmosphere and I really like Coach Friedgen and Coach Bratton. They are cool guys and I could tell they were sincere about what they were saying. I think I’d be able to play early on in my career. They want an athletic quarterback who can throw – I like to throw first because I trust my arm.

“I just said they were my favorite. I’m not saying I’ll commit next week, but I’m saying they are my favorite school right now.”

Miami topped the list of schools Manuel would like to see come in with a scholarship offer. He also expressed interested in SEC schools such as Auburn and LSU and Pac 10 schools including Cal and UCLA. For Manuel, location will not be a factor at all in his decision.

“I’m going anywhere. Location doesn’t matter. It’s just about where I fit in,” Manuel said. “I really wasn’t raised to root for either in-state school. I watched them, but, really, my favorite college team was the team with the best quarterback. I really liked Ken Dorsey and he was at Miami, so I kind of grew up a Miami fan.”

Making an early decision is something the talented signal caller has thought seriously about recently.

“I’m thinking about making an early commitment, probably before the season starts, just so I know I have a place I’m going to go if God forbid I get hurt or something,”