Defensive Prospect Feels Good About Visit To AU

A nationally recruited football prospect comments on his weekend on the Plains.

Tallahassee, Fla.--Joe Manning says that the "Southern hospitality" and the friendliness of the people he met were highlights of his football recruiting weekend in Auburn.

The standout cornerback from Lincoln High School made AU the third of his five stops on his official visit list. He made pre-Christmas trips to Syracuse and Nebraska and has trips set to Tennessee and hometown FSU the next two weeks.

"I would say the Southern hospitality stood out at Auburn compared to my first two visits," Manning tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I guess most of the Division I schools have pretty much the same thing in facilities and everything, but I did feel good up there on my visit. They made me really feel at home."

Manning says that he wants to take all of his visits before picking a college destination. "Signing day is four or five days after my Florida State visit and I am going to try to hold out until then unless I feel like I need to go ahead and make a commitment to a school."

Joe Manning

The cornerback notes that Nebraska is still recruiting him despite the change in coaching staffs. He also notes that he is still considering the Cornhuskers as well as Syracuse. "I don't really have a favorite right now," he says. "I will say that all of them are really high because I am still getting information and they are still recruiting me. The one I decide is the best at the end is the one that is going to get my name on that paper."

When asked if FSU has the "hometown advantage," Manning says, "I wouldn't say that. It is a plus that it is in town, but I am still going to play football in college and if I feel that is not the best place for me then that is not the best place for me."

On his trip to Auburn, Manning drove from Tallahassee with his father and both say they enjoyed the weekend. He says as soon as he arrived his hosts went out of their way to make him feel welcome. "The people there treated me like I was already on the team," he states.

Manning says he enjoyed getting to know his player hosts, linebackers Antarrious Williams and Travis Williams. Some of the highlights were going to a band festival on Friday night, meeting with academic advisers on Saturday as well as touring campus and having dinner at Jordan-Hare Stadium. "I really liked the stadium," he says. "I heard that they can really pack it for games."

Manning says the coaches talked to him about Auburn's tradition and the pride there is in AU's football program. He says they also pointed out the high level of competition he would face playing in the SEC. He says the academic part of the equation also impressed him. "I am interesting in majoring in communications," he says.

At six-foot-one, 175 pounds with a 4.42 40-time and a bench press of 260 pounds, Manning says from talking with the Auburn coaches that they would really like to sign him. "They told me they really need some corners," Manning says. "I think a freshman will be able to come in and challenge for a starting job."

Auburn's defensive coordinator Gene Chizik has been recruiting Manning and the defensive back says that Chizik, who also coaches the secondary, has been doing a good job of keeping him interested in the Tigers.

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