UM commit Manuel will visit this weekend, talks about his love for the Canes

UM commit Manuel will visit this weekend, talks about his love for the Canes

Stefan Adams
2020 Vanguard 4-star WR Leonard Manuel is considered one of the top players in the country in his class, checking in at #7 overall nationally and the #2 receiver in America in 247Sports' early 2020 rankings. The top-ranked talent in the Sunshine State has been a Miami commit since November and he’ll never forget the special moment of pulling the trigger for Miami in the aftermath of the Canes' huge 41-8 win over the Irish of Notre Dame.

“It was a big-time move, obviously going down to Miami when they played against Notre Dame,” Manuel said of his commitment day. “It was loud, the stadium was rocking. I just felt like I should be a part of that. The coaches loved it when I told them right after the big win.”

It wasn’t just Hard Rock Stadium’s atmosphere that night that had Manuel feeling Miami. It was also the environment that Mark Richt has cultivated over the past 2 plus years as well.

“I just love the culture that Miami has,” Manuel said. “Players that go to Miami are playing for survival, so when we all together playing for the same thing it makes you want it more cause you know the man beside you want it just as bad as you do.”

And that environment has led to results on the field. Huge strides have been made by the Canes lately: winning 10 games for the first time in 14 seasons and capturing their first-ever ACC Coastal title. So, what does Miami have to do to keep reaching new heights?

“I love coach Richt, he’s a great guy,” Manuel said. “I think he will continue to bring the swag back, and as long as he’s the head coach, everything will stay on the up and up.”

It’s still extremely early, but Miami currently has the #1 2020 class in the nation according to 247Sports, and Manuel shared his thoughts on the class as a whole, as well as two players he hopes the Canes will add to Category20.

“Well yes, this class is really booming,” said Manuel. “I do think we will stick together, I hope so. But yeah, (I’d like to add) Desmond Dailey and Marcus Fleming.”

The early class of 2020 commitments have built a close bond, but that doesn’t mean competition within Category20 stops. So, who is the best receiver between Manuel and his fellow WR commits Jermaine Burton and Marc Britt?

“I’m the best athlete (laughs). You’d have to ask them guys,” Manuel said.

Asked if his own level of commitment was still 100% solid, Manuel didn’t hesitate: “Most definitely,” he said.

Even so, the 6’4” 195 pounder still plans to check out the Gators in Gainesville this weekend, however, he’ll end his tour back in Coral Gables.

“I’ll be in Florida on Friday and Miami on Saturday,” Manuel said of his upcoming trips.

Recently, Manuel completed his sophomore season and finished with 40 receptions for 678 yards for Vanguard, while using his frame to snag 9 touchdowns.

“I finished off well, could have been better,” Manuel said on his sophomore season. “My AC separation bothered me when we made it to the playoffs, but I’m just working on speed and my hips (for next season).”

For the record, Manuel says his shoulder is now fully healed. For his upcoming junior year though, the Miami commit plans on experimenting more at a different position part-time.

“Me playing free safety, I love the position,” Manuel said on what he’s most looking forward to at Vanguard next year. “And also to see how fast I have gotten.”

While Miami is still recruiting him as a receiver, does he prefer one side of the ball over the other?

“It really doesn’t matter, I’ll give you 100% on both,” Manuel said. “I just like to hit people cause they don’t feel the pain I felt when I was a kid or even now, so I just take that out on the field.”

And his message to Miami fans?

“Always repaint that swag.”


Comments (46)

Another sign we getting the caliber players needed to win championships. Need locals like Stevenson to be as committed to the home team like this kid.
Bring him in as an athlete and throw an offer out to Marcus Rosemy (STA WR who has been balling this off season).
He’s an elite receiver but I wonder if he gets big enough to where he ends up coming in at TE or somewhere on D. With his frame and athleticism he could legitimately play DE, ILB or S. I say take him as an ATH and go after Rosemy and Fleming and add another elite WR
I have a question. Is he a bit overhyped? He just doesn't jump off the screen for me (Ladson does, Pope, Hightower, etc) and while tall, those dudes he's going up against look tiny. Best in Florida is a big deal, so what an I missing?

I love his attitude though. Real good read.
Leonard Manuel at FS and Avantae Williams at SS... could be the best safety duo in the history of cfb.