LSU hosts 5-star Texas DT

Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning recaps his visit to Baton Rouge

The visitor list in Baton Rouge last weekend was as impressive as it has been all spring, a group that featured mostly top-flight prospects on the defensive line.

Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 overall prospect and a combination defensive end/defensive tackle, traveled to Baton Rouge with a handful of teammates and named LSU his No. 1 team after his departure.

Houston Alief's Torrodney Prevot, the nation's No. 7 defensive end prospect, said the trip blew him away and secured the Tigers a spot in his top three.

Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning was the top interior lineman in Baton Rouge on an unofficial visit, and much like with Nkemdiche and Prevot, Manning received the royal treatment from the LSU coaches.

"Coach (Les) Miles was saying that I was one of their top guys," Manning said. "Coach Miles said they need me and the other two people they brought in (Nkemdiche and Prevot).

"They are losing some linemen these next years and wants us in there and competing to play."

Prior to the attention from Miles, Manning sat down for a similar conversation with defensive line coach Brick Haley, who has reeled in numerous high-profile out of state defensive line prospects during his three years in Baton Rouge.

"We sat in there and had a one-on-one conversation about why I should come to LSU," Manning said. "He said I needed to be there because of people he has put out in college and into the NFL.

"(Haley) showed me some freshmen highlight tapes from guys at LSU, and he said he could see me in there playing as a freshman."

Former LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, who transformed into a potential first-round selection in this year's NFL Draft, was back on campus training for Pro Day, which gave Brockers the opportunity to chat with a high school prospect who could one day occupy his old spot on the Tigers' defensive line.

"My favorite part of the weekend was just chilling with the defensive line, but I talked with Michael Brockers the most," Manning said. "He was a Texas kid and said LSU was a good school and a powerhouse, but it wasn't like anything else.

"He also said the SEC is the mini-NFL. If I can make it at LSU, then I could make it in the NFL."

Back home after a weekend spent touring the LSU campus and taking in the team's first scrimmage of the spring, Manning is confident in calling the Tigers one of his top teams.

"I like LSU and I can tell the coaches like me," Manning said. "I talk to all the coaches every time I get on the phone with LSU. I don't even know who recruits my area.

"It is everyone showing me love."

With over 20 scholarship offers, including one from Oklahoma, where his brother, DeMarcus Granger, recently suited up, Manning has maintained he has no favorites. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound five-star prospect does have an idea of how long his process might play out.

"I hadn't thought too much about the process, but I will be taking official visits then deciding on a school in December," Manning said.

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