Good Time

Tallahassee Lincoln High standout <b>Joe Manning</b> enjoyed his trip out west last week, helping Florida to an exciting 24-22 win over California in the CaliFlorida Bowl V all-star football game late Friday night at Moorpark (Calif.) College near Los Angeles. Florida rallied from a 16-3 halftime deficit.

"It was a showcase of talent out there, a lot of fun," Manning said Sunday as he watched the replay of the all-star game.

"You were competing each day in practice with some of the best talent in Florida. There was a lot of players making plays, a lot of trash talking, but we came together as a team and played well. There was definitely a bond between the Florida players. We think we play the best (prep) football in the nation."

Manning, a hard-hitting safety who is projected as a cornerback in college, played both positions in the all-star game. He also contributed on special teams.

Manning, who has already taken official visits to Syracuse and Nebraska, is scheduled to take visits to Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State this month. Although Manning does not list his favorites, FSU is considered the frontrunner.

Manning said he had an opportunity to chat with FSU commitments and fellow Floridian all-stars Drew Weatherford, Jonathan Warren and Lamar Lewis while in California.

"Drew, I think he was one of the team leaders out there," Manning said.

"He learned the system (quickly)and he let players make plays. Plus, he was a (FSU) recruiter out there (laughing), talking about how we all need to go to FSU. Warren was a guy who was banging heads in practice and in the game. Very aggressive. Lamar reminded me of Warrick Dunn-type back, he was real shifty."

Manning also says he continues to enjoy the recruiting process. Although Manning decided against playing basketball for the Trojans, he is gearing up for track season.

"It's fun -- you only get one shot at it (recruiting)," Manning said. "It's kind of like a reward for all the hard work you have put into it (football). I want to take all my visits, see what's out there and then I will decide."

Nole Digest Top Stories