Virginia Beach Bayside quarterback E.J. Manuel is generally regarded as the premier quarterback in the country. Standing 6-6, 210 pounds, Manuel worked with the Click-Clack unit in preparation for the Under Armour All-American High School Game. Chances are that we’ll see plenty of Manuel in the coming years as he remains committed to Florida State and figures to be a cornerstone in the Seminoles rebuilding efforts.
Manuel is a very polite, respectful young man. He looked good, but unspectacular, as expected. Why? Manuel is busy learning the offensive plays while trying to get the timing down with receivers that he has never played alongside. The tools are all there though. He also demonstrated that he can run the ball with a few scrambles during Monday’s workout.
He threw for over 5,800 yards during a stellar career and received scholarship offers from dozens of schools across the country. His senior season was equally outstanding.
“We had a pretty good year at Bayside,” Manuel said. “We finished seven and three and made it into the playoffs for the first time in eight years. We lost in the first round of the playoffs. We had a good run. Personally, I think that I had a good year. I threw for 1,996 yards and had a couple of good receivers, one that caught about nine hundred yards of passes. I had a pretty good season. I’m happy with it and I left a good legacy at Bayside.”
I asked him if the recent academic scandal involving Florida State athletes caused him to question his commitment to the Seminoles?
“It was about two or three weeks ago,” Manuel stated. “It was pretty shaky, but coach Fisher and coach Bowden made a home visit about two or three weeks ago and they clarified everything. I had heard about all this stuff about academic cheating and all before it came out publicly and they told me that it happened about three years ago. It has nothing to do with the people who are there now. So, it was shaky at first, but I’m fine. I’m still solid.”
This is how the Florida State coaches explained the situation. And of course, the spin continued.
“Actually, it was about eight-hundred students in all that it happened to and of course they’re going to single out the football players.”
I’m sure that you find those comments as interesting as I did. We’ll have audio from Manuel on The Gator Country Radio Show Wednesday morning.