Manning Enjoys Tennessee

Lincoln High standout <b>Joe Manning</b> visited Tennessee over the weekend with prep teammates <b>Calvin Darity </b> and <b>Rodney Gallon.</b> Manning, for one, enjoyed the trip, saying it "kind of stands out," pointing to the Vols' facilities and the scenic Knoxville, Tenn., area. Manning, of course, will make his final visit to Florida State this weekend as the recruiting process heads into the bell lap. Also click here to find out the schools Manning has eliminated from his list.

Joe Manning and crew arrived back in Tallahassee late Sunday afternoon. Manning was pleased with the trip, saying one of the highlights was the opportunity to run into Neyland Stadium, which seats 104,079.

"It was a pretty good trip, going up there with my two teammates and enjoying ourselves," Manning said Sunday afternoon.

"They really have some nice facilities, including a huge, huge stadium. This trip kind of stands out. They were re-doing their locker room, so we couldn't go in there.

"But they had our jerseys with our names on them and we got to run into the stadium like it was the Super Bowl. They had cheerleaders and the band there. It was fun."

Manning, who is noted for his tacking ability as well as his pass-coverage skills, also was pleased to hear he would be given the opportunity to compete immediately.

"They are losing four defensive backs -- three were starters in their base package and the fourth was a starter in their dime package, and they were in their dime package 40 percent of the time," Manning said.

"I will get the chance to compete (for role) in the dime package on that inside receiver, where I can either blitz or still cover."

Manning, who will visit FSU this weekend, says he has eliminated Nebraska and Syracuse from his list of favorites, leaving FSU, Auburn and Tennessee. Manny says he wants to major in sports management and plans to announce his decision on National Signing Day, Wednesday Feb. 4.

Manning says he and teammates Calvin Darity and Rodney Gallon should not be considered as a package deal.

"They are going to make up their own mind in terms of what's best for them," Manning said.

Manning also said he still is enjoying the recruiting process, though he admitted "I've been gaining some weight because of all the food I've been eating (laughing). But it's winding down and I want it to finish up strong and then make the right decision."

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