LINCOLN — Nebraska will likely have to wait two more months for a recruiting decision from its top 2020 wide receiver target.
Omar Manning, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior college star who averaged 20.8 yards per catch this fall, intends to sign in February, Kilgore (Texas) College offensive coordinator Peter Hopkins said Tuesday.
“There’s no rush because he wants to make sure he makes the right decision,” Hopkins said of Manning, who is the No. 1 juco receiver according to the 247Sports composite.
Manning has taken just one official visit — to Nebraska over the summer. Since then, he’s been almost radio silent with the media. Hopkins said that’s Manning’s preference.
“He doesn’t really like the limelight,” Hopkins said.
Manning’s play — 35 catches for 727 yards and six touchdowns — has done the talking. A steady stream of programs — including LSU, TCU, Florida, Tennessee, Florida State and Texas A&M, which offered Manning a scholarship Monday night — have been through during the recruiting period to meet Manning, who appreciates all the interest, Hopkins said. A&M coach Jimbo Fisher may eventually stop by. NU coach Scott Frost, Hopkins said, is supposed to make a visit later this week as a follow-up to running backs coach Ryan Held’s visit last week.
“Nebraska has always been at the top of his list,” Hopkins said. But Manning won’t graduate with his Associates Degree from Kilgore until May, so there’s plenty of time to take official visits, if he wants, before the Feb. 5 signing date, Hopkins said.
The only four-year school he’d be able to attend in January is TCU, where he originally enrolled in 2017 as a four-star recruit from Lancaster, Texas. He left to TCU to play at Kilgore in 2018.
“He could do that, but he’s not going to do that,” Hopkins said. Hopkins did not necessarily rule out TCU as a landing spot for Manning, just not in January.
The interest in Manning may intensify as February nears. Hopkins believes Manning is a surefire NFL draft pick. Manning’s run blocking, Hopkins said, plays a prominent role in his highlight tape because Manning is so good at it, and his catch radius makes life easier for quarterbacks.
“To be honest with you, all you have to do is get the ball in his general area and he’ll do the rest,” Hopkins said. “That’s just Omar being Omar.”
Omar will apparently wait until February. Other Husker receiver targets still appear locked in for a December decision.
» Justin Robinson, a 6-4, 200-pounder from Eagle's Landing Christian Academy near Atlanta, remains committed to Georgia. He took a visit to Nebraska Oct. 4 and has a teammate, defensive tackle Marquis Black, who is verbally pledged to NU. Robinson may receive an in-home visit from coaches this weekend.
» Alante Brown is taking a Husker official visit Wednesday. Originally from Chicago, Brown played this recent season at St. Thomas More Prep School in rural Connecticut. He signed with Texas Tech as part of the 2019 class but ultimately went to St. Thomas More. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder visited Maryland last week and heads to Virginia Tech after his trip to NU.
» Miami Northwestern standout Marcus Fleming is one of the fastest players in Florida, with 100- and 200-meter times of 10.62 and 21.01 seconds, respectively. His high school teammate, cornerback Ronald Delancy, is committed to NU, and Fleming visited Nov. 16. The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder added visits to Georgia (Nov. 23) and Florida State (Dec. 6) and now has an Ole Miss offer to mull over from new coach Lane Kiffin, whose previous stop at Florida Atlantic will make him familiar with every major prospect in the Miami area.