Nice article about 2016 Max Prep All American DT Brian Manuel that includes this picture outside the LSU locker room. ExpandedSports.com Image: http://expandedsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BrianManuel31.jpg
[quote]MANuel AMONG BOYS: St. John’s (D.C.) OL/DL Brian Clifton Manuel
By D.J. Picca
“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” Mary McLeod Bethune
In just his third year at the helm of Kinston High School (NC), head football coach Nick Anderson knows the challenges of playing freshmen at the varsity level.
“They are generally are so immature physically and mentally that I don’t even consider it. Brian Manuel was the exception.”
A hulking 6’4?, 310-pound man-child with Brian Clifton Manuel’s skill set and potential arrive about as often as a total lunar eclipse on the high school gridiron horizon. Runs a legit 5.2/40 yard dash. Bench presses over 300 pounds and squats over 400 pounds at just 15 years old. Perfect technique and the quick feet of an 85-pound ballerina.
“The sky is the limit for Brian. To be blessed with that kind of size and quickness at such a young age is a gift. There is nothing but upside to his potential. The fact that he is a straight-laced “Yes Sir!” “No Sir” type of kid who will do exactly what you tell him, and you see why teachers throughout the school speak so highly of him,” added Coach Anderson.
Unfortunately for Coach Anderson and the Kinston community, Brian’s days in The Old North State are numbered. While Brian was excelling in his initial track season in the shot put (finishing no less than 3rd in any competition and 3rd overall in the conference), his parents were planning a move to Maryland. Brian’s education and a football program capable of developing his innate abilities were the criteria in selecting a high school. After looking at several of the highest-rated private institutions in the DMV, Washington D.C.’s prestigious St. John’s College Prep won out, landing the services of the gifted student-athlete (3.2 GPA).
“I am appreciative to Coach Anderson and the entire Kinston coaching and teaching staffs. They were great for Brian. We will always have fond memories of our time in North Carolina. The opportunity to further Brian’s education and football skills at a nationally acclaimed school like St. John’s is a life-changing opportunity. One that we as a family could not pass up. One that Brian fully intends to capitalize on,” Brian’s father Brian Sr. confessed.
“I was impressed with the schools I visited in Maryland, but I knew St. John’s was the place as soon as I walked through the front door on my visit. It reminded me of an Ivy League school. Everything was so picturesque, so orderly and so organized. Touring the classrooms I knew I could continue to excel academically. I want to be a mechanical engineer someday. Their math and science departments will get me ready for college. As far as football development, I loved Coach (Joe) Patterson and the entire staff. I trust that they are going to push me, challenge me and get the best out of me the next three years, ” Brian Jr. confided.
“Obviously I was intrigued by Brian’s size and strength, but after meeting him I found him to be a humble young man who wants to capitalize on his God-given skills. He was able to meet several of the current players on his visit here and immediately fit in well in that environment. We are excited by what Brian will bring to the culture of St. John’s,” Coach Patterson told me.
Willie Mickens is the head coach of the Lenoir County Tigers travel team for football players between the ages of 12 and 14. Brian Manuel was so large and talented growing up that he started as an eleven-year old.
“Brian was a gentle giant when he arrived on the team. He was competing mainly against players two to three years older than him. And he more than held his own on both sides of the ball. By the time he left at age 14, he already resembled a full-grown man. He learned techniques at the camps he attended (JuniorRank and FBU) and started to grow into his body. Mild-mannered and polite off the field. Very aggressive on the field. He was a handful for any player who lined up across from him,” Coach Mickens recalled.
The Lenior County Tigers won four straight Coastal Carolina Youth Football League championships during Brian’s four seasons of participation. ...