Georgia defensive lineman Josh Manley committed to Syracuse following his visit this past weekend, but apparently his recruitment is still open. The Fizz spoke with Josh yesterday, and he explained his visit to Missouri next week.
“I currently still have the verbal to Syracuse, but I’m keeping my options open. I wanted to see Missouri. I’ve had some interest in Missouri, they recruited me early in the process. I just wanted to make sure I’m choosing the right school. Syracuse was my only visit, I loved it there, but I want to make sure that I see at least one more school before I make my decision.”
The Tigers didn’t offer Manley a scholarship until very recently. Manley said that he also plans to visit Louisville. There’s less than two weeks until National Signing Day, so he’s going to try and squeeze it all in. He intends to visit Mizzou during the middle of next week, and then head to UofL that weekend. Earlier, it appeared NC State, Georgia Tech and Purdue were favorites to land him.
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For those who are wondering whether it’s a bad sign that Manley’s commitment is now listed as a “soft verbal,” don’t read too much into it. Recruiting services have their own standards for what is considered a soft verbal or a solid verbal. In Manley’s case (and it is for many recruits) he has not declared specifically how strong his commitment is. To borrow a Bill Belichick phrase, Manley’s commitment “is what it is.” It obviously could be stronger, because he’s still visiting other schools, but Manley doesn’t officially consider it a “soft” or “solid” verbal.
Still, the fact Manley is still visiting schools just days after committing to SU has to be jarring for Orange fans. His commitment would be a major recruiting victory in the wake of Chandler Jones’ decision to forego his final season of eligibility. He was one of The Fizz’s top targets to fill the void left by Chan.
There are many indicators that Manley will honor his commitment to Syracuse, though. In a conversation with The Fizz right after he concluded his SU visit, he raved about the atmosphere on campus.
“When we hung out with the current players, there was no hesitation, it was like family the first day we walked on campus.”
That was the first of many times the lineman uttered “family” during the conversation. He clearly felt Doug Marrone’s effort of building Syracuse football into a close-knit unit. Manley also raved about Syracuse’s aerospace engineering program.
“The flight simulator they have at Syracuse – only two other universities have the system and all the upgrades they have with theirs.”
Manley also feels like he’s the perfect fit for SU’s defensive scheme after speaking with Orange Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer.
“We talked about attack 4-3 defense. We didn’t call it that at my high school but that’s basically what we ran as our base defense.”
He also enjoyed talking to Syracuse Defensive Ends Coach Tim Daoust, who could assume Shafer’s position one day. After that conversation, Manley was certain of his familiarity with SU’s defensive system.
“I knew it was the exact same thing (as the defensive system Manley played in high school), just with different football verbiage.”
If Manley does enroll at Syracuse, Daoust will be his position coach. The 250-pounder is capable of playing multiple positions, but the Orange told Manley where he would play.
“I played defensive tackle during my senior year in high school but I played defensive end during my junior year, and that’s actually what I’m going to be playing at Syracuse.”
He would make a large defensive end, to say the least. He also indicated that the coaches expect him to see the field as a true freshman.
Manley visited campus with fellow Georgia recruits Josh Parris and George Morris, neither of whom he had previously met. A large snowstorm hit CNY over the weekend, but according to Manley none of the Georgians were uncomfortable with the weather. Both of Manley’s parents are from New York City, so he has experienced snow in the Big Apple before. He even said he misses snow, and is sick of people in Georgia flipping out unnecessarily about ice storms.
One of the most memorable moments of Manley’s visit actually involved snow. Several visiting recruits from California and Florida had never witnessed the powdery white stuff before.
“One kid from San Diego decided to jump in the snow to see what it felt like and made a snow angel, it was pretty funny.”
Manley was also in awe of the Carrier Dome environment during the blowout win over Providence he attended. He and the other recruits dreamed about what the Dome might look like with a packed house for football.
It also helps that Manley has tons of family from New York, although we may need to watch out for his relatives if he ends up wearing Orange.
“I’ve actually had a few aunts get kicked out of basketball games because they were too loud.”
The sound of Manley’s shrieking aunts would be a welcome one for Marrone next fall. The Fizz will keep you updated on Manley’s decision, as he visits Mizzou and Louisville in the coming weeks.
Posted: Andrew Kanell