2008 Intro: Terrell Manning

LAURINBURG, N.C. --- Throughout the years, Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland County has consistently sent its players to the Division I-A ranks to continue their football careers. Current Fighting Scot Terrell Manning just might be better than any of those previous players.

"Terrell's a really good football player. He's probably going to be the most highly recruited player that we've had at Scotland High School and we've had some really good football players here," said Mark Barnes, who has been the head football coach at Scotland for over a decade.

Manning, a 6-foot-2 205-pound linebacker, isn't resting on his laurels. "It's something I can say I'm proud of, because there's been a lot of special players to come through Scotland," said Manning. "But, I can't really get too big headed about it and put myself ahead of my team."

So far, Manning has collected scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, N.C. State, and South Carolina.

"Pretty much everyone [that has] seen him on video has offered him," said Barnes.

After viewing his highlight film, college coaching staffs agree Manning is the complete package at linebacker.

"He's relentless," said Barnes. "He's got great speed and he's very, very athletic. He changes direction well. He defends all types of offenses well; in other words, he'll play well against the spread when he's involved with the coverage, he'll play well against the two-back, three-back teams that try to play power football."

With new schools entering the fray just about every day, Manning has found difficulty in establishing a favorites list.

"I had a top five, but I just kind of let it go," said Manning. "So basically I'm giving everybody a chance – everybody. I'm not going to put anybody out – everybody's going to have a chance with me."

Manning is, however, giving a strong look at the Tar Heels.

"I like North Carolina," said Manning. "Coach [Butch] Davis is really starting to bring back North Carolina and they could be competing in the next few years for a championship with the way they're recruiting. Everything's looking pretty good for North Carolina."

Manning does hope to have things squared away before the start of his senior football season.

"It will probably be during the summer time [when I make a verbal commitment]," said Manning. "I definitely want to make my decision before football season starts just so during football season I don't have to worry as much about where I'll be going to school. So I'll have everything setup and I'll be able to play football stress free.

"I haven't really decided how I'm going to start that process [of coming up with a decision]. If I do narrow it down, it will probably be right before I make my decision. So if I narrow it down to my top five, you can expect that I'll make my decision shortly after that."

Former teammates of Manning's are playing at both South Carolina and North Carolina. He says that those teammates, as well as the recruitment of current teammate Adrian Jones, won't factor into his decision.

"[I'm looking for] a good education, a great environment for football, great people to be around, and possibly an early stop for playing," said Manning.

Earlier this spring, Manning unofficially visited North Carolina for the Georgia Tech basketball game. He has also attended basketball games at N.C. State and South Carolina.

This coming Saturday, Manning will revisit USC, and then unofficially visit Clemson the following weekend. If time permits, he'll make a trip to a second ACC school following his Clemson stay.

"[UNC and N.C. State] have talked to me about coming down there for their Junior Days [on Sunday]," said Manning. "If I'm back in town, I might see if I can come down there to either Junior Day."

Manning is still working out his summer camping schedule, but considers Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, and N.C. State as probable destinations.

A starter at middle linebacker since his sophomore season, Manning "only" (his word choice) recorded 130 tackles last fall. He also forced three fumbles and intercepted four passes, returning one of those picks for a touchdown.

Terrell Manning Profile

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