“I don’t think I can explain it,” Manning said. “I was excited. I was just really excited that I would have the chance to play in the SEC. My coach texted me and told me to call Coach Robinson because they were going to offer me a scholarship. I was just so excited and the first thing I did was tell my mom and dad.”
“Right now they are immediately number one,” Manning said. “I could just see myself at Auburn, but I don’t want to commit right now. I’m still going to wait a little bit. It’s just the name that comes with the school. A lot of great players have come out of Auburn and gone on to become legends.”
The offer wasn’t expected this early in the process for Manning, who said he expected it to possibly happen following his upcoming camp visit on June 19. Now it makes the trip an even bigger one for him in two weeks.
“I was supposed to go up there for an unofficial visit and a camp,” he said. “We didn’t really talk a whole lot except for them wanting me to go up there for a camp. This caught me by surprise though. Now the visit will probably make me decide then or if I want to wait a little more.”
Auburn’s need for help on the defensive line is a big one in the 2016 class, something Manning said is exciting about the possibility of becoming a Tiger down the road. Even more than the opportunity for him however is just the chance to get better and improve his game.
“If I go there I could probably improve 110 percent and become 10 times better than I am now,” Manning said.
Playing the sport since the grade school level in the Orlando area, Manning said something else works in Auburn’s favor as well when he considers the Tigers and that is the recent commitment of his old friend Woody Barrett.
“I actually played with Woody in little league,” Manning said. “We have been friends since then. Having him at Auburn could have a big impact just to know that I know somebody that I grew up with and played with on the same team.”