September 15, 2011
|One of the most likable and talented young me you will ever meet just committed to Colorado|
There is something special there behind that flowing hair and dark mustache. Behind those coal black eyes and subtle smile that hints at both lamb and lion. The “X” factor they call it; he has it. And he is taking it to Boulder, Colorado for his collegiate career.
That decision came down tonight for one of the finest football players on the West Coast. Lakes High School’s two-way star Ma’ne Manaea just pledged his verbal commitment to Buffalo Head Coach Jon Embree.
Ma’ne is having a great year so far going 4 for 5 receiving for the Lancer’s in game one. He took those 4 catches for 120 yards and 3 TD’s. Something he mused over.
“Well I made the catches so I thought I would just make the most of them,” laughed an always gracious Senior.
He is fast, has great lateral and vertical skills, and is such a great hitter on the defensive side. No doubt he will be used as a Safety at the next level. And there are so many similarities to Troy Polamalu it is silly.
But he really is blossoming on offense this season. And he is looking forward to tougher teams on the schedule.
He discussed last week saying, “It was tough. I cam in early and left early. We put 35 straight points on Evergreen in like 5 minutes and we all went out. So I am aching for more.”
Why Colorado and why now? After all his stock is rising faster and faster. But the special athlete has it all figured out.
“This was a family decision. We love the staff and they have shown nothing but the highest level of interest in me,” he said confirming an October 22nd Official visit date.
Washington State had offered but then filled the spot they had for Manaea and let him know that door was closed.
“The Coaches at Colorado gave me room and let me know the were keeping me in their hearts. So I thought why not keep them in mine.”
Wise and soulful words from a high-character family guy. Someone who loves all who are with him and who would not hesitate to battle those that cross him.
That “X” factor is there and it smolders like a hot ember. To see it you only have to watch him and his motor as he will never take a play off or shut it down on the field. Always intense he is only one split second away from a highlight play at all times.
Something he shares with team mates and All American Cedric Dozier who returns in full this week after missing week one with a concussion.
“Cedric is explosive and so great to be around. He and I are on the same side of the defense and I back up his corner spot at Safety. It is awsome,” he added.
There is also Lakes new star from Georgia Charles Hall Jr who is just wreaking havoc on the other side of the field and at full back. We asked Ma’ne if Hall’s hitting lives up to the phenomenal film he released early this year as he moved in.
“My God that is a Man. That is a straight up Man right there,” barked Ma’ne excitedly. “If he lines up on you it is going to be painful. No one hits like him anywhere I have ever seen. If there is anyone I want to see him. That is a true football player there.”
As we spoke about Hall the discussion turned to how Cedric is from Alabama and Hall is from Georgia and both have an intensity and explosiveness rare by even Manaea’s high standards.
But there is more to that Southern connection. Marquin Russell (Jr. 5’11”, 180), Kevin Thompson ( SR, 5’7″, 180), are both from Alabama. Then there is Quinton Parker (SR. 6’2″, 180) who is a gifted wide receiver is from Shreveport, Louisiana.
“This kid Ray is fast..I forgot him. He is from Alabama too. Man I am telling you these guys can all play and they start.”
That is a nice bit of Southern Comfort for the Lancers. Ma’ne also spoke about the line play and the continued rise of elite linemen All American Zach Banner and Zaheer Webb (6’3″, 320 DT), the work horse efforts of SR. RB Levonte Littlejohn, and the consistent play of new QB David Wood.
|Adam Munsterteiger; Cougzone.com|
|5’11”, 195 pound Ma’ne Manaea of Lakes HS|
“David is getting better and better and that is important to our success as a team. Coach keeps telling him to envision our team playing Bellevue and not to take it easy on teams. And Coach is right. We have to be focused.”
Being focused is one of the biggest reasons for his commitment. To get it over with and to focus on the season at hand. He realizes there will be other offers. But if they have not offered him yet what have they been waiting for? And would he be as good of a fit as a last choice at another school as he would be a first choice at Colorado?
“Not likely. That is why I am committing. Now my Dad said it is time to get on with the ‘Big Job’.”
No need to ask what that is because unless someone catches the 46th Nationally ranked (Rivals 100) Lancers with their guard down there is a show down coming.
The only thing standing in the way of the Ma’ne and his boys is the perennial State Champions and now 22nd (Rivals 100) ranked Bellevue Wolverines.
This is the most talented team in Lakes history on paper. Two All Americans in Banner and Dozier who will both play in the Army All American Game lead a host of D1 and D2 football players. But all that talent will not get it done alone.
“Family Over Everything. That is what we live by. And we can win it all this year. That much I know,” he concluded.
Somewhere in Boulder, Colorado tonight the Buff stampede lie sleeping. And it will be a peaceful and pleasant slumber knowing that Ma’ne Manaea will be with them all next year.
And he is bringing his “X” factor with him.
Editors Note: Catch this and all the Lakes Lancers News and More over at our Brother Site WashingtonPreps.com; the site to GO DEEP for Washington Prep Football