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February 5, 2004

Michigan Lands Junior Wide Receiver

And you thought the past week was interesting.

The day after signing 22 prospects from the class of 2004, Michigan has received a verbal pledge from one of the nation's top prospects from the class of 2005. WYTV News 33 in Youngstown, Ohio first reported the news last night, and TheWolverine.com confirmed the big news.

Reporters from WYTV confirmed with two sources yesterday that Mario Manningham has already committed to Michigan. Ohio State and Michigan State were also among the teams in pursuit of the Warren Harding standout.

The report was aired Thursday evening on the station's 6:00 news, and confirmed with the WYTV staff and other sources shortly afterward by TheWolverine.com.

The 6-0, 174-pound Manningham is well known in Eastern Ohio for his 4.4 forty speed and tremendous athletic ability. He hails from the same high school as current Michigan players Carl Diggs and Prescott Burgess, as well as former Ohio State Buckeye Maurice Clarett.

A dangerous return man as well as a gifted receiver, Manningham was an Associated Press Division I all-state player in Ohio as a junior, when he caught 32 passes for over 600 yards and 11 touchdowns.He attended his first Michigan game this past fall when the Wolverines hosted Indiana.

WYTV reporters indicated U-M quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, as well as Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, were in attendance the other night to watch Manningham play basketball with his Harding squad.

Manningham -- thought by many to be among the elite junior players in Ohio, and a top 100 player from the Class of 2005 -- becomes U-M's fourth verbal commitment from the Class of 2005, joining East Grand Rapids (Mich.) running back Kevin Grady, Louisville (Ky.) Central TE/DE James McKinney, and Webster (N.Y.) Schroeder offensive lineman Justin Schifano.

"It's a big load off my shoulders," Manningham told the Tribune-Chronicle.

Manningham added the Michigan players made him feel comfortable when he attended U-M's football camp last summer, and that he liked what he saw of U-M last season.

"I paid a lot of attention to them, especially Diggs," he said.

Harding coach Thom McDaniels said Manningham might be the best of the skilled athletes he's ever coached.

"He has incredible quickness and great ball skills," McDaniels said. "He is just so comfortable catching passes. He has a sense of where everybody else is on the field."

For the entire article from the Tribune-Chronicle, click here: Mario Manningham.

Stay tuned for more on Manningham from TheWolverine.com.


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