Not long ago BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford was scouring the Los Angeles area for talented football prospects the staff feels would be a good fit as member of the BYU Cougars football program. One of those candidates was found just east of Compton and Paramount in the suburbs of Bellflower, California. Meet Jeffrey Manning.
“Coach Gilford offered me and I’m really excited, especially from a program like that,” said Manning. “I didn’t even know Coach Gilford was coming down. I was talking to him with my coach and he was going over a few things like the honor code and expectations and things like that. Then that’s when he offered me.”
Manning feels he has a really good relationship with Coach Gilford, who is also from the Los Angeles area.
“Me and Coach Gilford, we had a really good conversation and we really connected well,” Manning said. “He’s a great guy and hearing what he has to say was great, especially coming from a guy like that who can relate with me. He came from Los Angeles just like me, so we kind of vibe on a lot of things.”
In addition to his BYU offer, Manning holds offers from Boise State, Iowa State, Nevada, Oregon State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah, Washington State, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming, Montana State, and Southern Utah. But what separates BYU from the others?
“BYU [was] my 11th offer but I have 15 offers now,” Manning said. “What separates BYU from other schools is their honor code. I do know a little about BYU and Provo is a very special place. I do need to do more research on my end though and plan on doing that, but I did see their schedule last year and they also have a tough schedule this year.”
In seven games last year, Manning carried the ball 11 times for 80 yards averaging 7.3 yards per carry scoring one touchdown. He also recorded 29 receptions for 311 yards with an average of 10.7 yards per catch while scoring two additional touchdowns for the Buccaneers. On special teams, Manning also fielded punt return duties. However, it’s on the defensive side of the ball where BYU is looking for him to hone his skills.
“I play for Bellflower High School and I’m a member of the class of 2017,” said Manning. “I’m 6-1, 185-pounds and I run a 4.5 forty and play defensive back. In my opinion I have really good [pass coverage] skills, but I’m also really versatile and can play safety too. BYU is looking at me to play in the defensive backfield.”
Manning is hoping he can make it out to BYU over the summer for an unofficial visit.
“I’m hoping that I can go out to BYU for an unofficial this summer,” Manning said. “We wrap up school [soon] so I want to take an unofficial out there and also to Eugene as well. I also want to take an unofficial visit to Utah too because they offered me too.”