E.J. Manuel talks about his top 10

Wednesday the Virginia quarterback trimmed his list of potential colleges and he talks with NoleDigest.com about what he likes about each one in this exclusive interview.

NoleDigest.com: So why did you decide on trimming your list to a top 10?

E.J. Manuel: Well, I just want to group together the 10 schools I am interested in so I can decide before my season starts.

ND: Is that time frame for your decision locked in?

EM: Well, I want to decide before my season starts so I can get it out of the way so I can focus on my teammates and my school. I don't want anything to be in the way of what we are trying to do.

ND: Can you mention briefly what stands out about your top 10?

EM: Florida State: Well, there is Bobby Bowden. They have new coaches and a great coacing staff. I really like Jimbo Fisher and his philosophies, and the way he taught Jamarcus Russell. I think we have the same skill sets, but I think I am a little quicker than him. I like what Jimbo Fisher did with him (Jamarcus Russell).

Alabama: They new coaching staff they have there is great. Coach (Nick) Saban is awesome.

LSU: I really enjoyed my visit there. I like Coach (Les) Miles and the staff there a lot. The facilities there in Baton Rouge are nice.

Maryland: It is close to home. I like Ralph Friedgen and the QB coach there. I just like all the coaches there. Plus I have a lot of friends that play there.

Miami: It is a powerhouse school. There is a great opportunity to play there. I know that they have a commitment already, but I think I can beat him out.

UNC: They also have new coaches there. I like Butch Davis. They had a great recruiting class last year and I think they may do it again this year.

Oregon: I wanted a West Coast school on my list, and I can see myslef playing there. I like Coach Billotu. The coaches are doing a good job in recruiting me.

Penn State: They have Coach (Joe) Paterno. I had a great unofficial visit there last Friday.

Tennessee: They have tradition and are a traditional power. Coach Cutcliffe does a great job with QBs and he has sent a lot of them to the NFL.

Rutgers: I like (Greg) Coach Schiano and his coaching philosophy. That is a team on the rise and they are going to be good in the future.


ND: Are these the schools you plan on visiting in the summer?

EM: That is the plan. I am going to check them out with my dad. My plan is to take all of my visits (unofficial) to these schools then decide. But, who knows. The decision will come when I am ready. I also plan to take one official to the school I choose.

ND: What are your plans now?

EM: I don't have plans to do any more combines or camps. I just want to continue to get faster and stronger and work on my game. Thats my focus right now. There is a possibilty I may do a camp to show my face and workout in front of some college coaches. I am just doing visits and working out.

ND: What is the most important aspect these schools can offer?

EM: I just want to find the best fit for me so I can have a successful career. I want my parents to be able to see me play. I am not a kid who wants the glamour. I am not doing this list to play a guessing game with people. They all have their opinions and all, but I just want to make the best decision for me.


Manuel is one of the top
prospects on the East Coast.

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