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Danieal Manning: The Mann behind the Pads

By Sienna Miller



The word is out, as many of you know that ACU?s Strong Safety, Danieal Manning has declared himself eligible to entered the 2006 NFL draft. That?s right, Wildcat # 11, originally from Corsicana Texas. After speaking with his Agent, Russel Hicks, he and Manning agreed to do an interview with me.{{more}} I was pleased to have the opportunity to get his take on his thoughts and feelings about entering this year?s draft. He?ll even tell us of another chance to watch him play before the draft. Let?s take a look at the Man behind the pads.I began by asking Manning what his feelings were, about deciding to enter the NFL draft. Manning said, ?Exciting!? Feeling a bit overwhelmed at first, he was perplexed about the decision. Manning says that he wanted to make sure that there were no other outside influences to cause undue pressure. ? I wanted to make sure it was the best decision for me, Danieal.? Manning said that he prayed about it that night. When he woke up the next morning, it was clear to him that he should grab the opportunity set before him and enter the draft. He mentions that he called up his family and told them of his decision. Many can only imagine what a moment such as this would be like. I then asked Manning what he would be doing between now and the draft, he replied, ?Working out.? He?ll be training in order to secure an invitation for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Along with his training, Manning will also be playing in the East West Shrine Game in San Antonio Texas on the 21st of January. The game will begin at 3:00 P.M. and it will air on ESPN2. Manning mentions what an honor he feels to be able to play in this game. Manning attended Corsicana High School in Corsicana Texas. He accomplished many great things there. A three-year starter at Corsicana, he led the 9-4 club to a regional final appearance as a senior in 2000 by recording 67 tackles, three interceptions , five fumble recoveries , 10 pass breakups and three blocked kicks. He was named second team all state by both the Associated Press and Texas Sports Writers Association. He was ranked the 17th-best player in the Southwest by SuperPrep, and as the 16th-best cornerback in the nation by He was recruited by Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, Arkansas and Alabama. When I asked Manning what brought him here, to Abilene Christian University, he replied, ?The grace of God.? Of course he mentioned that some of the guys he went to high school with, told him about ACU and said that it was a great school. He decided to come, and agrees that it has been that and much more. Manning has been noted as being a great leader. I asked him what he would like to say to all of his teammates who are still here and on the college level. Manning had this to say, ?Thank You, I appreciate those guys for their hard work. I look up to them also.? Along with these encouraging words to his teammates, I asked him if he had any messages for his past coaches. ?No messages.? He said??Just thanks. Thanks I appreciate everything they?ve done.? Throughout the interview Manning displayed a spirit of gratitude.Since he has been playing football from a young age, I had to ask him if he had a favorite NFL Player. Manning admires Chris Mc Alister, Corner Back for the Baltimore Ravens. When asked why, he says this, ?I love the way he plays the game?with passion.? I asked Manning what or who he would consider to be his inspiration for playing the game the way he does. He mentions that he has had so many people who have helped him greatly. Not wanting to leave anyone out he says, ?All people in my family. I have a great support system!? Manning is the son of Tammie Renee? Manning and Joe Allen Brown. Manning who is currently 23, is the eldest of four children. He has one brother Jonte? Manning , and two sisters Jodie and Tiffiany Manning .I asked Manning whether or not he played any other sports besides football, while growing up. He stated that he has also played basketball, baseball and track, with track being another highlight during his highschool career. As a senior he finished second in both the triple jump and 100 meters at the Class 4A state meet with marks of 48 feet, 11.75 inches and 10.34 seconds, respectively. He was also fourth in the 200 meters at 21.28. He finished second in the triple jump at the 2001 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays with a mark of 49-3. He had the fourth-best 100 meter time in the nation as a high school senior and the 12th-best triple jump mark. He?s also been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40.When asked what Manning would like to say to all of the kids out there who?ll be looking up to him. He tells them first to, ?Have fun. Never give up on your dreams, they do come true.? Last he wants them to know, ?You?ve gotta surround yourself with positive people!?Manning has had many defining moments in his life, however when I inquired what he would consider to be one of his most difficult, he mentions this decision. Before coming to ACU Manning seriously contemplated the decision of going to a Division 1 or Division 2 school. Originally signed with Nebraska in February 2001 as one of the top defensive backs in the nation. However, he never enrolled at Nebraska, instead enrolling at ACU in January 2002. This was a turning point for him. At first Manning thought that by attending a Division 2 school, ?It would be long to get to where I wanted to go.? he says. Even though a very legitimate concern of many talented athletes, his decision has proved itself to be the best one. He mentions that by coming to a Division 2 school , it taught him patience and hard work. He explains that the people and atmosphere allowed him to get a good understanding of himself and even helped to mold him as a person. At the end of our interview, I inquired of Manning what it is that he would like for us to know about him, and be thinking when we watch him out there on the field or on television? He says this, ?I?m a good sportsman?A man of character that loves to play the game.?

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