Now that coaches are able to visit recruits, the coaches at FSU have been flying around the country popping in visiting committed and uncommitted players. The visit to Bayside was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but Manuel said the visit Friday was a good time for both him and his parents. He explained, "Coach was here Friday. It went very well. He came to the school and talked to me for about an hour. We talked and hung out for a bit. After that I went back to class. My parents got off of work because he came to our house and spent 2-3 hours with us. We just talked about next year; you know the same old stuff. I had a couple questions that he answered for me. It was more just a leisurely talk. We just kicked back and relaxed."
E.J. informed NoleDigest that the FSU coaches are not the only coaches that have been stopping by lately. He explained, "There are a few more guys from my team being recruited. Penn State was here the other day to talk to me. I was busy so I didn't have the time to really talk to them. I have developed relationships with most of these guys, so I am not going to be disrespectful towards them. They know I am going to FSU and they respect that. There is no doubt where I want to go to school. Coach Fisher told me that he is going to come here every week to see me because he isn't going to let any school out-recruit his recruits."
For E.J. the relationship with Coach Fisher is a great thing that provides comfort in his decision. He appreciates the effort he and the other coaches are putting towards keeping that relationship strong. Manuel states that Fisher isn't the only coach he's planning on hosting from FSU. "Bobby Bowden will be here this week. I am not sure when, but Fisher told me he was coming to see me. He's going to come to my school, so it should be crazy. Everyone is going to want to meet him. He's a legend," said Manuel.
Manuel has watched the majority of the games FSU has played this year, and the Florida game was one that was tough for him to watch. He said, "That was a tough game to watch. UF has an awesome team because of the recruiting classes they've brought in lately. That's how it'll be at FSU, though. They won a National Championship with freshman like Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin. I think it's a good example for the FSU family that with good recruiting anything can happen, and it will for us. I've been paying attention to what's going on with recruiting and we landed a big time player in Tavares Pressley. He looked humongous on the tapes I saw. He looks like he's going to do big things. I like how he's played with Corey (Surrency) too."
Now that his season is over Manuel has been working hard to get into better shape before he gets to FSU this summer. "I got a weight and conditioning program from Coach Stroud. This Monday I will be starting my fourth week doing that. The last week of my season I was 203 pounds, now I am 215, so I have been working hard and it's paying off. I have a friend who I'm doing conditioning that is a professional trainer. I throw the ball four times per week. The coaches haven't told me that they want me at a certain weight because they know I'll fill out more when I get there. I want to just work hard so I can play next year. I just got to get used to the college game and get reps. That'll all come when I step on campus. Until then I am just working out getting ready for the ESPN game so I can look good on television (laughs)," said Manuel.
As you can see E.J. is a great kid with a great personality. He cannot wait to get his career at FSU started and is excited about the future for the Noles. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with E.J. and all the other recruits for the 2008 class.