Lancaster wide receiver Omar Manning is a wanted man. Manning is also a man of very few words. Manning isn’t one for the spotlight that comes along with being one of the best recruit in the state and the entire country. Manning is one of those players that rather have his play do his talking for him, and his play did plenty of that in 2015.
While Manning’s stats only totaled 33 catches for 671 yards, 12 of those went for touchdowns and he absolutely caught fire in the postseason, as he really began to flash his potential that has college coaches across the country drooling. Along with going on a tear in the playoffs, Manning went on a tear in recruiting as he hit a stretch early on in the cycle where it felt like he was getting a new offer every day.
At 6’3, 203 pounds, Manning is a big receiver who moves and runs routes like a smaller receiver. Manning does some very uncommon things for his size and it is this kind of ability and his freakish potential that makes him such an intriguing prospect. He almost reminds me of Dez Bryant or a Brandon Marshall because of how he has the size and ability to bully opposing defensive backs when he attacks the football, but he also has the ability to route you up and make you look stupid. He is going to be a guy who grows into an absolute monster once he hits a college weight room and he is going to grow into a mismatch nightmare on the outside.
This offseason, Manning earned himself an invite to The Opening out in Oregon, but despite showing up ready to compete, his body had other plans as a nagging hammy injury kept him out of action after it tightened up on him early on the first day during practice. This bummed me out in particular, as along with many others were very anxious to see how Manning stacked up against some the elite defensive backs in the country.
While he missed out on the opportunity to compete in Beaverton, the real prize is a state championship. Manning and his Lancaster squad are loaded with talent and he and his teammates are looking to make a deep playoff run this fall. While Lancaster didn’t get off the start that desired in the first week of the season against Denton Ryan, Manning flashed his big play ability by taking a pass 49 yards to the house for a touchdown. I’m sure he would much rather have the win than the long touchdown catch and run, but it was a small taste of what Manning is capable of doing.
The 2017 class of receivers is absolutely loaded and it is saying something if you are near the top and arguably the best of the bunch. You can rattle of names like Tylan Wallace, Tyrell Shavers, Mannie Netherly, Charleston Rambo, and Damion Miller, but if I had to pick just one I am probably taking Omar Manning. If he comes anywhere close to hitting his ceiling at the collegiate level, Manning is going to be a full grown junk yard dog and I want guys like that on my football team every day of the week and twice on Sundays.