Manning fulfilling a dream at FSU

<B>Joe Manning, </b> a three-year starter in the Tallahassee Lincoln High secondary, fulfilled a dream on Wednesday when he signed with childhood favorite Florida State. Manning, who received an offer from the Seminoles in November, selected FSU over Tennessee. TheTerritory attended Manning's announcement at Lincoln High School.

During his three-year varsity career, Joe Manning played six different positions -- cornerback, running back, receiver, free safety, strong safety and defensive end -- for the Trojans. Of course, he's earmarked for the secondary at FSU.

Manning will join prep teammate Rodney Gallon at nearby FSU, which has developed an impressive pipeline to Lincoln over the years. Former Trojans currently on the Seminoles' roster include Antonio Cromartie, Craphonso Thorpe and Andrew Henry-Kennon.

"I made my decision late last night between Tennessee and Florida State," Manning said. "I picked Florida State because it's close to home, my family can see me play and playing for the Seminoles is a childhood dream."

Manning, who also runs track for the Trojans, is looking to help the Seminoles continue their climb back amongst the nation's elite. FSU won the Atlantic Coast Conference title last season but fell to rival Miami in the BCS Orange Bowl.

Manning is noted for his cover skills and tackling ability.

Manning admitted he was impressed with Tennessee, though the chance to play in his hometown helped make the decision easier. Manning also received offers from Syracuse, Florida, Clemson, Iowa and Louisville.

Manning isn't concerned about the stiff competition at the cornerback position.

There's going to be some competition," Manning said. "I'm looking for the best direction and if redshirting is that, then that's fine. If I can get my feet wet and learn the system as I go, that's good also."

Manning is fully qualified with a 940 SAT, 18 ACT and B average. He said he wants to study sports law or sports management in college.

His teammate Rodney Gallon announced for the Noles first. After Manning made is announcement, Gallon presented him with a Garnet & Gold Seminole ball cap.

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