Manningham Puts Speculation To Rest

In recent weeks, whispers of wide receiver Mario Manningham of Warren (Oh.) Harding possibly reconsidering his commitment have surfaced. Manningham made it clear this weekend though that he is not interested in signing anywhere other than Michigan.

I caught up with Warren Harding star athlete Mario Manningham at the Maytag Basketball Classic in North Canton.

Manningham, ranked as one of the top senior football players in the state by Ohio High magazine, led the Raiders to an exciting win over Lakewood St. Edward. Mario was quite candid in discussing his commitment to Michigan and recruiting in general.

When asked if he was still totally committed to Michigan, Manningham said, "I'm 100% committed to the Wolverines. No, make that 150%. I have no idea where the rumors started that I'm not sure about my decision."

Michigan assistant coach Scott Loeffler was at the game to watch Mario and the two of them talked at length after his game.

"Coach Loeffler is a great guy. We hit it off right away. We called Lloyd Carr at home tonight to talk. Coach Carr is under the weather with the flu, so we didn't talk too long," said Manningham.

When asked why he selected Michigan over Ohio State, Manningham replied, " I really didn't pick Michigan over Ohio State. I guess Florida was my second choice, but really it was Michigan all the way. I never felt comfortable with the Ohio State staff like I did with the Michigan people. Also Prescott Burgess is playing there, and he's like a big brother to me. Ohio State was having off the field troubles at the time I was being recruited, and it seems it's still going on. Michigan was the right place for me."

When asked if Michigan promised him he could wear No. 1 on his jersey, Mario replied, " No, they didn't promise me that. At Michigan you have to earn that jersey. I want to earn it."

"I plan moving to Ann Arbor within a week after graduation," said Manningham. "I'll be living with Jason Avant. The coaches want me there as soon as possible to start working out. They told me I'll be returning punts right off the bat, and there's a chance for me to get some playing at wide receiver. There's no chance of me redshirting next year. I want to play right away, and the opportunity is there for me to do that."

Recruiting fans can stop wondering about the rumors that Manningham is wavering in his decision. After talking with Mario, there's no doubt where he'll be playing college football. He's looking forward to furthering his career wearing the maize and blue of Michigan.


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