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Take Two: Can Miami keep 2020 five-star WR Leonard Manuel?

Leonard Manuel
Leonard Manuel (Nick Lucero/

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and another expert from the network.

MORE TAKE TWO: Darnold No. 1? | Can Oklahoma regain pair of five-star commits? | Can LSU land pair of in-state five-stars?

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team



Leonard Manuel is the next five-star wide receiver from the state of Florida and he could be the biggest yet - literally.

The Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard standout is listed at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, and he’s already drawing comparisons with former Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central star Kelvin Benjamin, a mid-level four-star who now plays for the Buffalo Bills.

There are currently no five-star receivers in Florida’s 2019 class and the only one in 2018 was Miami signee Mark Pope, an undersized speedster who brings an entirely different skill set to the Hurricanes’ offense.

In the era dating back to 2002, there have been 17 five-star receivers from Florida. Manuel is the tallest, the only ones who came close in terms of size were Trevon Grimes (who has transferred to Florida from Ohio State) and Florida State’s Fred Rouse and Miami’s Ryan Moore.

The 2020 receiver is already committed to Miami but lives in Gator Country with Ocala being less than an hour from Gainesville. Can the Hurricanes hold on to the five-star receiver or will another team swoop him up in the coming years?


“He has all the physical tools that you want in a big-time receiver, but it’s worth considering that he’s still young and working on polish. I don’t know that he’s ever going to be say, Calvin Ridley, but his upside is certainly higher than a handful of other five-stars from the area in recent years. If he stays healthy and adds muscle, he has first-round potential.

“As for his commitment, I think he’ll take other visits. He’s said as much himself. Still, the Early Signing Period has to make Miami feel better than it would have in years past. As long as UM keeps it together on the field this season, I don’t see Manuel as a pressing threat to flip.”


“Manuel should stick with Miami, but we know he’ll take other visits and other schools will be all over him. If Miami has a good year on the field, and it should, he’s a kid I can see sticking and he’d be a massive weapon in that offense.

"He’s kind of like a Kelvin Benjamin although Benjamin was a little more raw coming out. Manuel is a big freak. Just a kid with the size of a tight end where you think of Calvin Johnson and Dorial Green-Beckham, guys like that we saw out of high school who are that size and can do the things he does.

“I don’t think he’s as polished as Jerry Jeudy and certainly not as polished as Calvin Ridley but you can’t really create that size. He’s bigger than both of those guys and he’s going to be a red-zone nightmare. He still has a couple years left to develop, which is scary.”