Class of 2016 defensive end Shavar Manuel of Tampa (Fla.) Blake announced his top five for the first time over the weekend at the Drew Brees Passing Academy camp in Orlando. The 6-foot-3, 262-pound Manuel listed Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State and USF, all of which have made him offers.
"Growing up with ( Jethro Franklin as Miami defensive line coach), I've always been a Miami fan," Manuel said. "They tell me I fit perfect and they're trying to get me down there. They have a strong, aggressive defense so I feel like I'll be able to fit right in."
Virginia Tech is another school that sticks out to Manuel, and he plans on visiting both the Hokies and Hurricanes before summer's end, but he's not sure exactly when.
"I'm a defensive player, so any school with an aggressive, head-hunting mentality, I can fit right in and accept the challenge, said Manuel when asked of Virginia Tech.
Manuel has put together his top five based on which programs he believes will give him the best shot at playing in the NFL. So far, his list all has schools with reputations of putting players in the league.
That's a big reason why Clemson and USF are on his early list.
"Clemson raised a heck of a defensive over there so with me being a defensive end and highly recruited, I know they can help me out when I try to get to the next level," Manuel said. "And USF raised a heck of a defensive end in (Jason Pierre-Paul) and when I went to visit they said how I could fit in and made it sound real good.
"I really think I can fit in and I'm just ready to play football at the next level."
Of his top five choices, the only one he's visited so far this offseason is Florida State.
"Florida State went really well," he said of his spring visit. "I was nervous because they're a big name. They were excited to have me on campus and I respect Florida State with all my heart. I appreciate all the hard work they've done (to recruit me) and notice me on film."
Of course, there are other Big Five programs in the mix that can still jump into his top five. He also has offers from Ohio State and Alabama.
Manuel visited the Crimson Tide at the end of May.
"They win national championships that you can't even count on five fingers, so I respect them," he said.
For now, Manuel said his top priority is team workouts as Blake prepares for the upcoming season. He said once his work's at good stopping point, he'll map out a few visits, but he's not sure where other than Miami and Virginia Tech.