Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School is never at a loss for talent, and the Class of 2004 is keeping that tradition strong.
Lincoln has seven players with scholarship offers entering their senior season, including one of the Sunshine State’s rising defensive back prospects in Joe Manning.
Manning (6-0, 175, 4.4) is sporting offers from Nebraska, Clemson, Louisville, Alabama, Iowa, Iowa State, Syracuse, Michigan State, UConn and Middle Tennessee. He also appears to be on the verge of an offer from Tennessee.
“Tennessee just asked for some game film and told me to call them back as soon as possible,” he said. “They sound like they’re real serious about me.”
His current favorites include Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisville and “Florida State and Florida if they offered.”
The Cornhuskers hold the lead position, thanks to the promise of early playing time.
“They’re kind of rebuilding right now, but they think I can come in and be a major contributor right away,” Manning said. “They have great tradition. It would be nice to be there when they came back up strong.”
The Volunteers have made a recent push, and in similar fashion to Nebraska, say they’re on the lookout for top cover men in this class.
“They say they need to sign some DBs this year,” he said. “They’ve got a real strong program every year, and the SEC is great competition. It’s not too far from home, either.”
A darkhorse in the race is Louisville, which signed several players from the Tallahassee area in 2003.
“They’ve got a bunch of guys up there I already know,” he said. “A bunch of my former teammates are there now, so it wouldn’t seem like it was so far from home. I could feel comfortable there. I think there’s a good opportunity to step in and play there.”
As a junior, Manning recorded seven interceptions to help Lincoln post a 12-1-1 record. He’s also solid in the classroom with a 2.8 GPA, an 18 on the ACT and a 940 on the SAT. He wants to major in business, marketing or advertising.