With written scholarship offers in the fold from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, Scotland County (Laurinburg, N.C.) star linebacker Terrell Manning certainly has his share of options for the next level. His recruitment may not be a long one, however, as the 6-3, 205-pound prospect plans to commit sometime before his senior season.
"It is definitely going to be before the season starts," Manning said of when he will make a commitment. "Right now, though, I'm just laid back. I'm sucking all of this in before I start to narrow my list.
"It's definitely going to be before my senior season because I want to get everything out of the way. I want to play worry free, knowing where I'm going to go to school. That way, I can handle business the way I want to. I want to help my team win the state."
Manning is an intense player who, as he puts it, "plays like there is no tomorrow." A terrific athlete, he showed his athletic prowess at a recent Shrine Bowl combine, running a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and posting a 32.8-inch vertical leap. On the gridiron this past season, the standout junior racked up 135 tackles.
On film, college coaches have noticed two things in particular.
"Speed and aggression," said Manning, an inside linebacker for his team. "I'm quick getting to the outside. It is hard for anything to get by me. One thing I think college coaches doubt is how well I play with stuff coming at me because they don't see a lot of that on my highlight tape. From what they can see, though, they feel like I'm real physical."
Manning has visited five of the schools that have offered - Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Two of these four are schools Manning feels will definitely make his first cut.
"Definitely Virginia Tech, definitely N.C. State and South Carolina," Manning answered when asked which programs he feels will make his first cut. He may narrow his list to five after the May evaluation period.
"South Carolina has a high level of football. Virginia Tech has a high level of football. N.C. State would offer me the chance to play early."
Trips to N.C. State and South Carolina, respectively, have gone well. He discussed what he likes about those two programs.
"N.C. State offers early playing time," Manning said. "They have had a good defensive history. They have put a few linebackers in the league. You can't go wrong with early playing time and having the chance to be effective immediately.
"I haven't talked to the coaches since their Spring Game, but I could tell the people were really into football at South Carolina. People there knew who I was. They showed me a lot of love. There were a lot of people at that Spring Game."
Manning was hoping to visit Virginia Tech for its Spring Game, which was cancelled. He still plans to visit Blacksburg.
"Basically, they didn't want to take the risk of me coming up there because they were still trying to address the situation there," Manning said. "I thought they played it off real cool. Coach O'Cain just said I'll have to come another time."
Virginia Tech coaches plan to be at Scotland County High School within the next couple of weeks, Manning said. Yesterday, coaches from Alabama stopped by for evaluation.