Vital Data: The up-and-comer during the 2001 football season, Manuel blossomed from a 215-pound junior to a 240-pound senior. He appeared on the recruiting radar after an effective scrimmage against Barbe High and the state's top running back, Justin Vincent.
Manuel finished his senior year with 70 tackles and five quarterback sacks.
Tiger Rag's take: Manuel was a great story to track this past season, coming from nowhere to attract major Division I interest. He will probably start off as a strong-side linebacker with the potential to hit the defensive line if he adds more size. He has good speed (4.7) and can close quickly in the backfield.
The Scoop: Having transitioned to the Jennings High basketball team, you would expect Manuel to drop a few pounds from his frame. That's not the case, says football coach Rusty Phelps. Since moving over from the gridiron, Manuel is up to 247 pounds and maintaining his quickness. He will be qualified for the 2002 LSU season with a passing grade in his English IV class.