Manning to Follow Granger?

While at the Nike Camp this past Sunday Sooners Illustrated had the opportunity to check out the younger brother and spitting image of former Sooner Demarcus Granger in Justin Manning, 2013 defensive tackle prospect out of Kimball HS in Dallas (TX).

Like Granger, Justin Manning wants to play at Oklahoma and a lot of that has to do with his older brother having played there. Another thing the two have in common is they can both play through pain. This was demonstrated by Granger after having major back surgery to repair spinal stenosis which has been known to end careers.

Granger still came back and played his senior season for the Sooners.

Manning pulled a muscle during drills at the camp; however he didn't let it stop him from the one on one portion of the event where Manning was still able to beat the opposing offensive lineman. Granger displayed good footwork in drills while also showing better than average strength for a sophomore.

"The whole thing was hard," Manning stated about the camp. "I had pulled a little muscle but I still got out there in one on ones and did what I had to do."

Playing through pain is something Manning says is possible if you want it bad enough.

"It ain't hard," Manning said about playing through pain. "You just got to want it. And I just keep pushing myself and pushing myself. That's it."

The 6-foot-2 and 270-pound Manning was a terror out on the field last year racking up 83-tackles along with nine-sacks and four-fumble recoveries.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have already taken notice of Manning but it's the Sooners that have Manning's attention.

"I know Nebraska sent me a letter and I'm waiting on Oklahoma because that's what I really want (an Oklahoma offer). I ain't got one yet."

It's quite easy to see that Manning looks up to his older brother when he showed up at the Nike camp sporting Granger's workout shorts from his time at Oklahoma which have the #96 on the back of them.

"Him playing at OU really makes me want to go to OU off the top," Manning explained.

Manning also likes Oklahoma's defensive tackles Coach Jackie Shipp.

"He's a real good coach. I like his defense," Manning said.

As a sophomore Manning obviously had a big season and with two more years left before he graduates high school Manning knows what he is going to improve on.

"I'm planning to improve on my speed off the top," Manning began. "Just try to get strong and try to get that All-American spot."

The Sooners are obviously in the driver's seat for Manning's services. And with two years left to go until he signs a letter of intent you should stick with Sooners Illustrated for plenty more coverage on Manning moving forward.

-Greg Powers-

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