Defensive end Shavar Manuel (6-3, 262, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is one of the top players in the country and one of the top prospects on the Florida Gators recruiting board.
Manuel was in attendance on Saturday for the Florida Gators big win over the Tennessee Volunteers and the defensive lineman liked what he witnessed from the Gators.
“I had a blast tonight [Saturday night],” Manuel said. “I got the chance to talk to Coach [Jim] McElwain after the game. I was just amazed at what I saw throughout the night at how those boys fought throughout the game. It was just a blessing.”
This was Manuel’s first game in the Swamp and he says that it was everything he thought it would be from an atmosphere standpoint.
“The atmosphere was crazy from top to bottom, it was loud,” Manuel said. “Florida was clicking and they deserved to win and they came out on top. They kept fighting and never gave up out there.”
Over the last several months Manuel has developed a good relationship with Coach McElwain and the Gators head coach relayed a message to the Florida Gators recruiting prospect.
“Coach McElwain asked where else do I want to play ball,” he said on McElwain’s message to him. “Coach McElwain said there was no other place for me to play ball at and I really didn’t have an answer for him. Coach Mac also said that Gators take care of Gators and that Florida is home for me.”
Manuel has also developed quite the relationship with defensive line coach Chris Rumph and Manuel liked how Rumph’s defensive line played on Saturday.
“The defensive line was just hitting on all cylinders,” he said. “They were just clicking and hitting the quarterback a lot. They were doing their jobs and they got the victory tonight. Florida deserved that victory.”
Next up for Manuel are two official visits and one of those official visits will see Manuel watching the Florida Gators play on the road.
“I believe the next visit will be my official visit when LSU takes on Florida,” Manuel said laughing. “I know how Florida can play football so it will be a good game that is won in the trenches. I’m also going to take an official to Auburn when they play Georgia this year.”
There were rumors that Manuel was going to take an official visit to Florida during the season but the Gators want him to come in after the season is over.
“I haven’t set one yet but it will be after the season,” he said on his Florida official visit. “They want me to come in after the games are over so that they can spend more one-on-one time with the coaches and players.”
During the Florida Gators recruiting camp in July Manuel named a top three and he says that now four schools are standing out to him.
“Florida, LSU, Auburn, Florida State are my top four schools,” Manuel said. “Nobody is my leader right now but those are four schools that I’m looking at.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Manuel was all smiles after the game and you can tell that he enjoyed his first regular season game in the Swamp. Manuel is one of the top targets on the Florida Gators recruiting board but I believe that Florida and LSU are the schools on top for Manuel.