Did Irish Make Up Ground with CB Manning?

Miami Central High cornerback and Virginia Tech commit Donaldven Manning made an official visit to Notre Dame over the weekend. After returning home, Manning spoke to IrishEyes.com about the visit, what he saw on campus and the No. 1 school on his list.

Cornerback Donaldven Manning's official visit to Notre Dame gave him plenty to think about, but it remains to be seen whether it was enough to sway his commitment from Virginia Tech.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder from Miami Central High returned from his official Sunday night feeling very good about the Irish, but still considering himself a Hokie.

"Virginia Tech is my No. 1," Manning said. "If I don't find a better school, it will be Virginia Tech."

So, were does Notre Dame rank after his visit?

"I think Notre Dame is great," Manning said. "Tech is a better school as far as athletic programs and Notre Dame is a better school as far as academics. I do want to play in the NFL, and I do want a degree, and Notre Dame's graduation rate is 98.6 percent, so that got my interest a lot."

Manning was on campus until Sunday night, but with the late game against USC on Saturday, he said much of his time was spent talking with the coaches and hanging out in the football facilities.

"I liked the facilities, I liked the whole coaching staff," Manning said. "I loved the way they played. I loved the tradition, the game atmosphere …everything about Notre Dame."

There were a few things the Irish coaching staff tried to impress on Manning, and one was talking about leaving home and going further away to school than he may have anticipated a few months early.

But the distance from Miami to South Bend (Ind.) is something the Irish staff talked about, Manning said.

"They said they want me there at Notre Dame, and they know it's not in my comfort zone," he said. "Most definitely, it would be tough being that far north."

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