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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
ESPN 150 Justin Manning taking it slow

By Damon Sayles


Don’t look for ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) to make up his mind any time soon. In fact, look for him to take as much time possible with the recruiting process.

Manning late Tuesday evening said he’s not planning on making any rushed decisions and plans to weigh all eight of the schools in his current list carefully. LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Arkansas and USC all are getting major looks from the 6-foot-2, 275-pound, four-star lineman.

“Everything’s been going smoothly, and I’m just letting everything flow,” said Manning, ranked No. 91 overall, No. 8 among defensive tackles nationally and No. 13 among players in Texas. “I’ve just been lifting weights and practicing with the team.”

Manning is back on the field after being out with a left thumb injury. He had to wear a cast for six weeks but is back in workouts and in good shape. He participated in a one-day camp hosted by Texas A&M two weeks ago, and he said he plans on attending summer camps at A&M, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and LSU.

The younger brother of former Oklahoma defensive standout DeMarcus Granger, Manning said the eight schools that made the cut all have their own positive traits individually. Collectively, they all are making moves in recruiting, have a reputation for winning and can boast about putting defensive linemen in the NFL.

Manning said he’s been seeking recruiting advice of his big brother as it gets closer to decision time. Manning said he is leaning toward announcing his commitment in November at Kimball’s homecoming game, but he said that idea isn’t set in stone.

“[Granger] hasn’t really told me anything directly, but he’ll make little comments here and there,” Manning said. “He hasn’t said anything really as far as decisions go or making me choose, but he’s said to stay in the books and away from all the hype and attention. He’s teaching me to keep a level head.

“What’s next for me is to just have a big season. I want to do that, get good grades and just have a great senior year.”