The Tallahassee Lincoln connection at Florida State could be growing larger. This season there are four Trojans on the roster, and that number could grow to five, six or even seven by next fall. Since last spring offensive lineman Calvin Darity and linebacker Rodney Gallon had a Seminole offer in hand but there was a third player waiting patiently to join his teammates.
The wait finally paid off.
Last week three star defensive back Joe Manning got word that a Florida State scholarship was waiting for him.
"Yea, I got one and it was very exciting to hear that," Manning told Warchant.com. "I've been working hard and that is one of my top choices so it is very, very exciting to hear that.
"I'm glad I got the offer because that is in my hometown and my parents are pulling for me to go there and stay home. And it's good because I know a lot of people that are at Florida State right now from Lincoln. I have friends up there so I wouldn't be alone. So it's a good choice right now. I'm really debating on whether or not to go there."
The news from FSU shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone since Manning already had 15 to 20 offers to his credit. The six-foot, 175-pound defensive back also had a strong senior season finishing with over 65 tackles, six interceptions, seven pass break-ups and five blocks. He also led his team in "big hits". As good as his season was from a personal standpoint, Manning is disappointed that Lincoln was upset by Choctawhatchee in the second round of the state playoffs. However, his prep career might not be over yet as he hopes to play in the January 2nd Cali-Florida Bowl.
In addition to FSU, Manning is considering Nebraska, Clemson, Louisville, and Tennessee. He plans on visiting all five schools before making a final decision. Although he's not sure of his visit dates yet, he expects to make the short trip to FSU's campus with teammates Rodney Gallon and Calvin Darity.
"That's what we are planning on, being up there together as teammates," he said. "We are seniors and it's been four years together and that's a big decision. If we wanted to go to the same place that would be great. We want to check out the campus at the same time."
This season Manning, the No. 29 rated cornerback, played both free and strong safety for Lincoln. However, he will likely play cornerback in college.
"I had to play that role at Lincoln High School for the team but I think I'm really good at corner," he said. "I think I can play with the best and that's where they project me at."
Academically, he carries a 2.8 GPA and has scored an 18 on the ACT. He projects as a full-qualifier.