Manuel planning for an early commitment

LSU may have lost out on one of the top quarterbacks on the West Coast when Dayne Crist committed to Notre Dame on Thursday but that may open up the door for one of the top signal callers on the East Coast in E.J. Manuel.

Replacing JaMarcus Russell will not be an easy task for the Tigers, but if anyone comes close to Russell in stature, its Virginia Beach's E.J. Manuel.


Standing 6'5" in the pocket, the 210-pounder had a 58 percent completion rate and threw for 1,973 yards, 17 touchdowns and six picks. On the ground, he rushed and scrambled for 400 yards and six touchdowns.


The Bayside High School product said he has received 21 offers so far from the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Oregon, Miami, Florida International, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Florida State, Kansas State and Colorado to name a few.


Manuel said he does have a short list, but that he doesn't want to reveal it at this time.


"I'm keeping that to myself and I'm not ready to go public with it right now," he said. "I do have plans on committing early, though, probably in July or August."


Manuel has managed to take a few visits so far. He has taken trips to Miami, LSU, Maryland, Virginia and Duke.


"I had an awesome time at LSU," said Manuel. "My dad and I had a great time. We got to see the indoor facilities and get a good tour of the campus. We went into the stadium and you could just feel the spirit in their. Coach Miles spent 75 percent of the time we were there with us."


Two of his trips were in the same week as he got to see LSU during a midweek trip and then headed to Miami that weekend.


"I had a good time at both," he said. "I got to watch film and stuff at Miami with the coaches. LSU's facilities were second to none, and Miami has the money to get those facilities. There were palm trees everywhere in Miami and it was just a beautiful place."


When Manuel was in Baton Rouge, one thing he noticed was how much support the Tigers received from the city.


"Everywhere you went there were LSU bumper stickers," said Manuel. "You can tell that LSU football is the town. That's a big morale boost."


LSU receivers coach D.J. McCarthy is handling Manuel's recruitment and stays in frequent contact with the big man.


"He works a lot with the offense so that's plus," said Manuel. "I talked to him yesterday, but we text just about every day. He basically just keeps in touch. I actually talked with coach Miles on Monday on the phone."


Note** 2.975 GPA 1050 SAT

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