Donaldven Manning just concluded a senior season in which he helped Central (Miami, FL) to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the Class 6A state championship game. The 5’10”, 170-pound cornerback prospect is now counting the days until he arrives in Blacksburg.
“I should arrive by January 14,” said Manning, who, along with state of Virginia prospects J.C. Coleman and Der’Woun Greene, graduated from high school early and will enroll at Virginia Tech next month. “I have no plans for when I get there. I just want to get right into learning the system.”
Manning verbally committed to the Hokies in early February. He flirted with other schools, in particular Notre Dame, where he took an official visit the weekend of October 21. Ultimately, though, the prized recruit decided to stick with the Hokies, and earlier this month he received an in-home visit from head coach Frank Beamer.
“It went great,” Manning said of his meeting with Coach Beamer. “He had a chance to meet my family in person. He just talked to us about what Virginia Tech is about. My mom loved Coach Beamer. She feels like he is someone she can relate to. She most definitely feels like he is somebody who can look after her child.”
Manning’s relationship with Torrian Gray was a major plus for Virginia Tech. Gray, who served as Manning’s primary recruiter and will be his position coach, is someone the incoming freshman feels he can look to for help in transitioning to college. That being said, Manning is looking forward to figuring things out on his own as well.
“[Coach Gray] could help me along the way because he is like a father figure to me, but college is about growing up and making your own decisions,” Manning said. “I want to get there, work hard, and hopefully play as a true freshman. I want to learn my role.”
After three seasons at Miami Edison, Manning transferred to Miami Central last January. He played his final high school football season for the Rockets and came away pleased with the progression he made with his new team.
“I built my awareness for the game,” said, Manning, who primarily played man-to-man defense for the Rockets. “I know more about the game. I built my frame. I improved my...
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