Catching Up with Mario Manningham

It was a slow start for wide receiver and Michigan commitment <b>Mario Manningham</b> from Harding High School in Warren, Ohio. The Raiders came away with a 21-6 victory over Dunbar High from Washington, D.C. on a very hot and humid Friday night that took its toll on several players, Manningham included. GoBlueWolverine Magazine spoke Sunday evening with TheInsiders four-star standout.

Michigan recruiting fans will clearly remember the disappointment when all-world wideout, and reported Michigan commitment, Cameron Colvin from California suddenly changed his mind and decided to follow his friends to Oregon. Stunned Wolverine followers were left pondering what damage Colvin's Signing Day switch to the Ducks would do to Michigan's need for a wideout. Their wait wasn't long as melancholy turned to exhilaration the very next day when Warren, Ohio standout Mario Manningham announced he would be attending he University of Michigan. Manningham stated he was only waiting for the Colvin to decision to make up his mind.

As the 2004 football season gets under way Manningham has no doubts about his early commitment. "I love Michigan," he said. "There are a lot of schools still recruiting me but I am not changing my mind."

The 6 foot 0, 180-pound wideout with lightening speed, clocking 4.4 speed in the 40, and his fellow Raiders opened the season by handing Dunbar High School a 21-6 present to take back to Washington, D.C. In what may seem a light workout for Manningham, he had one catch for seven yards, the intense heat and humidity took a toll. "I had to leave the game because I was getting dehydrated," he said. "I wasn't the only one though, a couple of guys were affected. They just gave us I.V.'s on the sidelines, I'm ok now but man, it was hot."

The Harding speedster also had two long returns Friday night. One, a punt return, was called back because of a penalty. "It was a good run and I thought I was going to score," he said. "I made a move on the last dude and he just got a hand on my foot and tripped me up on about the two or three yard line. Too bad it was called back, I like to score touchdowns and celebrate with my team." Manningham will come to Michigan as a wide receiver but also plays defensive back for the Raiders. "This is my second year at corner," he said. "But I want to play offense in college."

Football was a late-comer to Manningham's sports resume. "I've only been playing football since the 8th grade," he said. "I've been playing basketball since the 4th grade but my love is football." Manningham wasn't recruited for anything other than football, but with his speed he is giving serious consideration to running track. "I just may go out for track this year," he said. "I haven't decided yet. If they let me do that [at Michigan] I may just have to give that a try."

Manningham said he plans to major in Criminal Justice with the idea of going on to law school. Right now, though, his thoughts are on Saturday's game against powerhouse Glenville. "It's all about football now," he said. "When me and my friends aren't playing football we're watching other games or watching tapes."

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