Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Manning emerging at Edison-Fresno?

Contributed photo
In the late 1990's, Ricky Manning was all the buzz at Fresno's Edison High School before winding up at UCLA then the NFL.

Now, could cousin Ronnie Manning become the next root that grows on the Manning family tree?

The 2013 safety/running back prospect has been someone I've kept my eyes on in the last two years, despite moving from place to place. Ronnie Manning has had an interesting back story: He's gone from Clovis West, to Clovis North, to now Edison and playing for new head coach and older cousin Ricky.

However, all that moving around hasn't seem to put a damper on Ronnie Manning. He's gathered interest from the likes of Cal Poly of the Football Championship Subdivision to Arizona of the PAC-12.

And, all that relocating has landed him a better opportunity at showing his true skill set on the football field, which has now made him one of the more underrated prospects in the Central Section.

Manning (5-foot-11, 185-pounds) has lots of athleticism with his 4.5 40-yard dash time and a vertical jump of 33.5". On the football field, he's an excellent tackler who hasn't been spotted losing a ball carrier from his grasp. Manning relies on wrapping his arms then rolling his opponent to the ground. But while he's shown to be a sure tackler, he's also a deadly hitter.

In fact, in the Tigers' secondary, Fresno State commit Justin Holmes is the ball-hawk, but Manning has been the sledgehammer with his viscous pops. His reaction and closing speed are pluses for him as a safety.

He does tend to bite on plays especially against the play action. But after playing the reserve role at Clovis North and Clovis West, he's taken full advantage of his new opportunity to become an impact player for the Tigers.

The safety class in the Central Valley has been pretty deep, beginning with Oklahoma commit Hatari Byrd of Central, Manning's teammate Holmes of Edison and another hard-nosed hitter in Sunnyside-Fresno's Eric Wingfield. But Manning has quietly emerged as a top safety and an under-the-radar prospect in his region. He could be the next Tiger to continue Edison's lineage of college football talent.


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