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Sunday, October 14, 2012
DT Justin Manning sees difference in OU

By Bob Przybylo

For as many times as ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) has seen Oklahoma, one game is not going to make a huge difference.

But even Manning noticed a pretty big change in OU’s defensive performance in a dominating 63-21 victory against Texas in the Red River Rivalry.

“Turnovers. A lot of turnovers and forcing more three-and-outs,” Manning said. “They played with a lot more heart.”

Saturday was a chance to make another positive impression on Manning before he announces his decision. Manning took an official visit to OU on Sept. 23, only to see Kansas State upset OU in Norman.

Since then, he has made official visits to TCU and Texas A&M. He was supposed to be at LSU for an official visit over the weekend but opted to see one more Red River Rivalry game instead.

It was a good sign for OU fans to have Manning in attendance to see an impressive defensive performance. But his decision to see the game didn’t have as much to do with OU than it did with his schedule.

Manning’s high school homecoming dance was Saturday night, and he wanted to be able to attend. If he has visited Baton Rouge, La., he obviously wouldn’t have been able to make it.

With OU-Texas being at 11 a.m., Manning was able to see the game and attend the dance. He said he is definitely going to reschedule his official visit to LSU.

Manning, who is 6-foot-2 and 275 pounds and No. 89 in the ESPN 150, has been hoping to make his decision Friday night between OU, TCU, A&M, LSU and USC. However, he said he is not sure if that will happen.

The Dallas Kimball administration is hesitant about Manning making his decision after the game, and Manning said he is not sure if he is ready to make the call.

Asked if he knew where he wanted to go, Manning said, “No clue. In the last couple of months, it has changed like 40 times. It has been crazy, but I want to get it done.”

Manning has seen several Red River Rivalry games because his older brother DeMarcus Granger played defensive tackle for OU and because of his own recruitment.

Did Saturday feel any different?

“Nah, it was just another blowout. I’ve seen a few of them for OU,” Manning said.