Football

The Opening: Omar Manning, the state’s top WR, says Texas is ‘moving in the right direction’

Posted July 7th, 2016

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Story highlights
  • On Texas, Manning said the Longhorns, despite 14 losses in the past two seasons, are “moving in the right direction” after Charlie Strong put together impressive recruiting classes in back-to-back years.
  • Manning, a four-star prospect, is the No. 13 overall player and the state’s top receiver, according to the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55.
  • Manning, who has been held out of drills with a tweaked hamstring and a busted lips, says he’ll be good to go for The Opening's 7-on-7 tournament, which kicks off Saturday with pool play.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — It makes for a good debate on which side has been slighted more this week: Lancaster wide receiver Omar Manning, who, because of various injuries has been limited from participation at The Opening, or spectators who have been robbed of a good glimpse of the state’s top pass-catcher.

Manning, who is uncommitted and is seriously considering most of the big schools in Texas, showed up this week with plenty of fanfare but also with a tweaked hamstring. After taking it easy on Wednesday, he tried to give it a go Thursday but ran into more bad health when an errant ball hit Manning in the face and busted open his lip.

He’s sporting a nice little gash.

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“A coach was standing right there and as soon as he moved it hit me,” Manning said.

Manning, who is joining quarterbacks Hunter Johnson and Sean Clifford on Team Mach Speed, says he’ll be good to go for The Opening’s 7-on-7 tournament, which kicks off Saturday with pool play.

On his college recruitment, Manning is mostly tight-lipped but did say that prior to the start of the upcoming season he’d like to trim his list of schools to five. Under strong consideration are Texas, Texas A&M and TCU, but Manning also is generating interest from several out of state schools, including Alabama, Ole Miss and Oklahoma, which has been cleaning up in the Lonestar State with five commitments.

On Texas, Manning said the Longhorns, despite 14 losses in the past two seasons, are “moving in the right direction” after Charlie Strong put together impressive recruiting classes in back-to-back years.

Word is, Strong and the Texas staff love them some Manning.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to watch him very much (because of injuries) but I know overall he’s a stud receiver in every aspect,” Texas QB commit Sam Ehlinger said.

Manning, a four-star prospect, is the No. 13 overall player and the state’s top receiver, according to the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55. That’s no small feat considering the bumper crop of pass-catchers in this class, which includes three players alone who have joined Manning at The Opening: Fort Worth South Hills’ Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State commit), Lewisville’s Tyrell Shavers (Alabama) and Waxahachie’s Jalen Reagor (Oklahoma).

In all, 13 receivers made it into the Fab 55, including Texas commit Damion Miller of Tyler John Tyler who is No. 36 overall and ninth among receivers.

“It pushes me to work hard,” Manning said of competition against other top receivers.

Yet in his mind he is clearly the state’s top pass-catcher. Who’s No. 2?

“Whoever they say,” Manning said. “But I’m No. 1.”

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