"I didn't want him to go too far and he preferred to go out of state," Laura Atkins, Manny's mother told Scout.com. "It's close enough for me to get to him and he decided to go there. He liked the campus once he toured it."
"Virginia Tech's basketball program just went to another level character-wise; a whole different level," James Hartry, Tucker's coach said. "He's a 3.8 student and a kid who made the highest test score in his rising senior class. Every teacher in the building marvels at him. He might be the best player that's every played in my program. Manny Atkins is at the very top."
Georgia Tech, Georgia, Marquette, Auburn and a host of other programs expressed interest in the wing. Atkins runs with the Atlanta Celtics and averaged 24 points a game. This spring he told Scout.com that this summer would be his time.
"It was a breakout (junior) year," Atkins said. "My junior year, I had to get out and show everyone who I am and what I can do. We won the state championship and had big time players (last year) but this was my year to step up and take control.
"In AAU ball, I'm going to have to step it up and work on the little things like ball handling. This is going to be my big summer."
The Hokies had been involved with a number of small forward targets but a visit from Atkins in which he got to see what the Blacksburg school had to offer sealed the deal.
"I think they did a good layout and a nice job of impressing him to come there," Atkins' mother said.
Seth Greenberg came down and sat in a hot gym and watched Atkins this spring, his coach said. "Plus, (assistant) Stacey Palmore is concerned about quality kids and he's always been a class guy," Hartry said. "I know Manny's in good hands."