If National Signing Day were today, Shavar Manuel knows which schools would be in the running for his services.
“The three hats on the table with me would be LSU, Florida and Florida State,” Manuel told the AJC’s SECCountry.com on Friday.
Manuel, a 5-star defensive tackle from IMG Academy (Fla.), also named his co-leaders in the interview.
“I would say LSU and Florida are above Auburn and Florida State,” Manuel said.
The nation’s No. 8 overall player explained why LSU and Florida were his co-leaders:
- On LSU: “I have a great relationship with (defensive line coach Ed Orgeron). He knows his stuff. LSU just gets after the quarterback week after week. Coach O’ puts people in the right positions to be successful.”
- On Florida: “Florida’s defensive line hurts the quarterback really well. They always have a great defense. When it comes down to it, I can be successful there.”
Manuel will be in attendance for the Tennessee-Florida game on an unofficial visit on Saturday. He says it’s his first game ever in The Swamp.
In addition to that trip, Manuel has an unofficial visit set for the Miami-Florida State game on Oct. 10 and official visits set for SEC showdowns: Florida-LSU (Oct. 17) and Georgia-Auburn (Nov. 14). As of now, those are the only planned visits.
A month ago, Manuel had Auburn, LSU and Florida at the top of his list, but Auburn has dropped because he hasn’t liked what he has seen from the Tigers’ defense so far.
“It’s concerning to me considering what I know (Auburn defensive coordinator) Will Muschamp is capable of,” Manuel said. “It’s really shocking to me that they have struggled, but I believe Auburn will turn it around.”
He continued: “Will Muschamp came there for a reason and that was to make the defense stronger and to play better. (LSU running back) Leonard Fournette and the Jacksonville State team played well against them. It was really shocking to see that because I was expecting Auburn to have a dominant defense. I think they’ll get it fixed soon.”
Manuel says he doesn’t know when he will announce his commitment. He said it could happen as soon as he finishes all of his official visits.
You can catch me in the Swamp tomorrow….
— Shavar Manuel (@TheRealShavar46) September 25, 2015