PSU Makes Impression on Manus-Schell

Erie defensive back got to know the Nittany Lion coaches on his Friday trip to Happy Valley. See what he had to say.

Penn State dialed back its practice intensity Friday ahead of Saturday's full-blown scrimmage at Beaver Stadium. For Felix Manus-Schell, though, that didn't mean a dialed back visit.

The junior cornerback from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep made his first trip east to University Park Friday, taking advantage of the opportunity to visit at the request of his recruiting contact, and Lion wide receiver coach, Stan Hixon. And he wasn't disappointed.

“It was nice. We got there, and toured around the Lasch Building before sitting in on position meetings, and watching practice,” Manus-Schell said. “To sit in on that position meeting; it helps a lot on a visit, just to be able to see how Coach [John] Butler and Coach [Anthony] Midget interact with the players while they are coaching and teaching them.”

At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Manus-Schell first came onto Penn State's radar in late November, as he and Prep were charging through the PIAA AAA playoffs. The interest only grew as the season lengthened; culminating with a 24-14 championship victory over Archbishop Wood that Hixon and other members of the State staff saw firsthand.

Since then, a steady dialogue has been built between the wideout guru, who visited Prep in early 2013, and Manus-Schell. But Friday, he spent time with not just his recruiting coach, but his potential position coaches, too. The junior spoke with both Butler and Midget, spending the most time with the latter.

It was with them that he was able to gain a fundamental understanding of how he can improve his game, including better eye control and focusing on a receivers' hips, as well as how to best play in one-on-one coverage. Even more, he was able to obtain valuable insight for any future decisions, including how the duo conducts a joint meeting session of the cornerbacks and safeties.

“They work off each other,” he explained. “They both talk about the safeties and cornerbacks, and it doesn't matter which one it is.

“Coach Butler will be talking, and Coach Midget would say what he thinks,” he continued. “Then Coach Butler would ask the players what they thought. It definitely was a good experience.”

Manus-Schell was invited to and will attend an Advanced Skill Camp in State College June 1, hoping to further his chances for an offer. Still, the chances of obtaining one remain murky with a host of cornerbacks in front of him on the Lions board.

Other players didn't matter on this day, though. The junior noted he was the only secondary recruit in attendance Friday, meaning he received plenty of individual time with the coaches, something he has rarely received elsewhere.

“On other visits, people didn't really talk to me that much. But at Penn State, most of the coaches, and all of the secondary coaches, talked to me,” he explained. “And Coach Hixon, too; they wanted to know me, and know about the stuff I do and I liked that a lot.

“I was really impressed by their facilities,” he added. “I definitely wanted to get out there, even though Michigan State wanted me to come [to their Saturday spring game], too.”

The junior has no additional visits planned at this point, and said he is hearing most from the Spartans, Lions and Temple, along with the lone program to offer him to date in Toledo.

And even on this low-key day, he left Happy Valley on a high note.

“It was a low-tempo practice [Friday]. It was very quick, and I liked the intensity of them just doing 7v7s,” Manus-Schell said. “They were keeping it more toward safety, and I completely understand that. They did it so people can be ready for the next day, and they don't want anyone to get hurt before the scrimmage.”

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