Manning Looking Hard at Irish

Miami Edison High defensive back Donaldven Manning is committed to Virginia Tech but has built a strong relationship with Notre Dame assistant coach Tony Alford. So, what's it mean? Manning spoke to IrishEyes.com about it.

Miami Edison High cornerback Donaldven Manning remains committed to Virginia Tech, something he did in early February, but all along he maintained his desire to see other schools.

And while Manning said Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee and "maybe" Wisconsin were schools he was considering, he put his interest in Notre Dame in a much different light.

"I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame," he said. "A great program like Notre Dame, with the history, the academics, a lot of talent coming out of there, the television contract with NBC …you can't beat things like that. I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame."

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Manning, who holds an offer from the Irish, said his relationship with assistant coach Tony Alford is a major reason why he likes the Irish.

"He's a great guy, and he doesn't come at me forcing anything," Manning said. "He lets me be myself, and he tells me everything that's best for and what Notre Dame can provide for me and other schools cannot."

Manning added his personality meshes well with Alford.

"Coach Alford is a straight-forward guy," Manning said. "As the saying goes, you recognize your company. Coach Alford is a guy like myself. He's intelligent, he's wise. He knows his football, he has love for football and a love for the game. He's dedicated, and he has me fired up about them.

"Some of the quotes he sends me to help me through the day, and to finish strong and showing so much love weekly. I'm getting mail from him, and he's a great guy."

Manning is graduation from Miami Edison in December, and he plans on enrolling in college in January.

The accelerated timetable means he will not be able to take all five official visits in the fall and winter, so he is planning on visiting schools in the summer.

"I plan on going up there (to Notre Dame) this summer," he said. "I don't know exactly when yet, but I plan on going up."

But Manning said despite the plans to visit schools and the relationships he is building with other staffs, his commitment remains.

"I'm just looking toward other schools to see if anybody has anything better to offer," he said. "But right now I'm committed to Virginia Tech."


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