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September 17, 2012
Manning Finally Getting to Norman?
It seems like each week Dallas Kimball Rivals100 defensive tackle Justin Manning has a new plan as to how he'll handle his recruiting and after saying for some time that he would be deciding at his team's homecoming game - the plan has again changed.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound pass-rushing defensive tackle has now decided to take at least four official visits that have already been set. Potentially included among those trips is a visit to Norman next weekend for the Kansas State game.
So after wanting to announce his choice at homecoming what caused the change of course?
"At first, I really don't know. I just have to take my visits," Manning offered. "It's just getting to know teams better."
It's clear for Manning that developing a strong relationship with whatever coach he'll eventually play for will trump almost every other aspect of his recruitment.
"When I go on a trip, in my mind, I'm thinking the same thing on every campus. When I'm on campus - every top one looks good, every graduation rate, the main thing is the coaches, just finding out if I can trust them," he admitted. "Just somebody that is going to be there for me, taking me in because it's not all about business. I mean it is kind of all about business, but that doesn't have to be all it is. Really, if a guy is injured, I want to find a coach that isn't going to just toss their player on the shelf.
"(Distance) won't matter."
With the crucial importance of coaches in mind one coach that would seemingly have a distinct advantage would be Sooners defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp who has known Manning since recruiting, signing, and coaching Manning's older brother Demarcus Granger.
"I talk to coach Shipp a lot, probably at least like once every two weeks," Manning said. "The conversation between us is everywhere; school, girls, parties."