Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar's Deontay McManus has not been shy when it comes to discussing the schools that stand out to him at different stages of the process. Oregon had been the team that the 6-2, 210-pound prospect mentioned most often as his favorite, but a new team has assumed that top spot for now.
"I've been out to West Virginia and they've got the new offensive coordinator from Oklahoma State," McManus said. "He used to coach people like Dez Bryant, [Justin] Blackmon - big wide receivers. I talked to him and he said they need another big wide receiver, so I could fit the offense perfectly."
McManus said West Virginia is the team that leads his list at this point in time, but the field is still wide open for other schools to make a run.
"I have my top schools right now that I think I am going to be looking into, but I am not knocking any schools off," he said. "I've just got to go up there, see if I fit the program and the offense. This spring I am going up to West Virginia and Penn State. Over the summer I am going to USC, Oregon and Cal for 7-on-7's, combines and things like that so I can show them what I can do."
A total of 35 schools have extended McManus a scholarship offer. He is listed as an "athlete" prospect, and could play several positions on both offense and defense.
"On the next level I would love to play receiver," McManus said. "But when [coaches] look at my size they feel I am a linebacker or a safety. I feel as though I have too much talent just for me to be on defense."
McManus spent part of his weekend at the BadgerSport 7-on-7 Tournament in Pittsburgh, playing with a squad called the Maryland Dream Team that also featured players like Baltimore Poly safety Donovan Riley and Calvert Hall's Da'Quan Davis.
"I'm just coming out here, first of all, having fun and trying to make plays for my team," McManus said. "They look at me as a big playmaker, so anything I could do to help, that's what I am trying to do."
McManus only participated in Sunday's single elimination session of the tournament because Saturday was an opportunity to look back on his team's 13-1 season last fall.
"At my high school we had a ring ceremony because we won a state championship, so I had to miss the first day," McManus said. "They had a couple former NFL players that made it from Dunbar come through and the governor came through."