Top Programs Vie for Star Linebacker

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With written scholarship offers in the fold from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, Scotland County (Laurinburg, N.C.) star linebacker Terrell Manning certainly has his share of options for the next level. His recruitment may not be a long one, however, as the 6-3, 205-pound prospect plans to commit sometime before his senior season.

“It is definitely going to be before the season starts,” Manning said of when he will make a commitment. “Right now, though, I’m just laid back. I’m sucking all of this in before I start to narrow my list.

“It’s definitely going to be before my senior season because I want to get everything out of the way. I want to play worry free, knowing where I’m going to go to school. That way, I can handle business the way I want to. I want to help my team win the state.”

Manning is an intense player who, as he puts it, “plays like there is no tomorrow.” A terrific athlete, he showed his athletic prowess at a recent Shrine Bowl combine, running a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and posting a 32.8-inch vertical leap. On the gridiron this past season, the standout junior racked up 135 tackles.

On film, college coaches have noticed two things in particular.

“Speed and aggression,” said Manning, an inside linebacker for his team. “I’m quick getting to the outside. It is hard for anything to get by me. One thing I think college coaches doubt is how well I play with stuff coming at me because they don’t see a lot of that on my highlight tape. From what they can see, though, they feel like I’m real physical.”

Manning has visited four of the schools that have offered – Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State and South Carolina. Two of these four are schools Manning feels will definitely make his first cut.

“Definitely Virginia Tech, definitely N.C. State and South Carolina,” Manning answered when asked which programs he feels will make his first cut. He may narrow his list to five after the May evaluation period.

“South Carolina has a high level of football. Virginia Tech has a high level of football. N.C. State would offer me the chance to play early.”

Trips to N.C. State and South Carolina, respectively, have gone well.