Manning's Final Three

Manning's Final Three

Once with nearly every major college football program in the picture, the nation's seventh-ranked defensive tackle Justin Manning now sits with a trio. He discusses inside.

"Game plan tonight was just to play hard, finish strong," said Manning Thursday night following Dallas Kimball's 38-13 first-round playoff win over Bryan Adams. "We've been playing them first round for the last three years and beat them all three times, so we knew we could do it again. It's just consistent winning; just runs at Kimball."

Manning has been anchoring both sides of the trenches this fall, and will continue to do so through postseason.

"I'm feeling good. Best shape of my life," he laughed. "No time to get tired. It's just a focused mindset. If your mind tells you you're good, you're good; and you just roll with it. We're not done yet. We want more."

Speaking of 'not done yet' - his recruiting process.

"It'll be between TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M," he reported of his decision. "Trust is a big thing for me, and I feel like I can trust the coaches. I feel like they're all a good place for me, and that I can make it to the next level from all three of those schools."

"I've already made my official visits to all three. (OU Sept. 21, A&M Sept. 28, TCU Oct. 5) I'll take another visit to each one before I make my decision."

When can we expect that decision?

"Right after season," he quickly replied, smiling, "So hopefully not for another six weeks."

Manning's most recent visit was an unofficial to TCU last weekend for the Frogs' showdown with the nation's current top team Kansas State.

"It was crazy," he said. "I went with a couple friends; my mom was there, too. It was a good game for the (TCU) defense. The offense just couldn't drive the field."

"I'll get back down to A&M again, I loved it down there; and then Oklahoma. I just don't know when yet."

For now, he is focused on one thing and one thing only: next week's area-round matchup with the winner of West Mesquite - Frisco Centennial.

See him in action in Thursday night's win (No. 55):

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