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Recruiting Notebook: NLA Combine

LANCASTER, TEXAS – On Sunday at Lancaster High in South Dallas, many of the top 2013 and 2014 prospects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area took part in the fast-paced Next Level Athlete combine put on by Justin Simons and staff.

Justin Manning will be on the campuses of Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas in the next few weeks

Among the bevy of standouts on hand was 2013 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). The 6-foot-2, 275-pounder with a very quick first step has a trio of junior day trips coming up in the next few weeks.

“I know I’ve got Texas and Oklahoma coming up in February,” Manning said. “I’ve also got Baylor coming up at the end of this month. Next weekend, I think,”

The younger brother of former Oklahoma defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger has offers from the likes of Miami (Fla), Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Purdue, UCLA, Tennessee and Arizona among others with Texas and Oklahoma likely to follow suit in the coming weeks.

“I say this in all my interviews, but OU feels like home to me,” he said. “I’ve been going there since the fifth grade. Lately, I haven’t had any contact with OU, so I’m waiting to see what pops up. My coach told me about the junior day invite. Texas, they are coming hard. My defensive line coach always tells me that Texas is saying I have the best first step they are seeing at my position.”

Manning, who didn’t take part in the one-on-one portion of the combine, has been in contact with the new Texas A&M staff.

“Texas A&M came up to the school the other day,” he said. “Their defensive line coach said I was the only defensive tackle they were recruiting like me and how much they needed me in the program and stuff like that.”

While Manning is being nationally recruited, he hopes to hear from two or three more schools.

“I haven’t heard anything from LSU, but I would like to,” he said. “Also, USC and Florida State, too.”

Receiver Quan Jones will be at Baylor and Oklahoma the next two weekends

Manning is currently the No. 61 ranked prospect in the 2013 class according to 247Sports.

Jones a hot commodity
The wide receiver class in Texas in 2013 is one of top tier talent and quality in depth. One of the many talented prospects at the position in the state is Quan Jones (Wylie, Texas/East).

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder currently has five verbal offers. The number is expected to double by the end of May.

“I’ve got offers from Baylor, Tennessee, Arizona, Purdue and Mississippi State,” Jones said. “I think Oklahoma and Texas Tech are the closest to offering next. Maybe Nebraska, too,”

The junior day process is set to begin next week with a first stop in Waco.

“I’ve got OU, Baylor and Purdue junior day invites for sure,” he said. “Oklahoma is February 4th, and Baylor is next weekend. I’m going to Purdue, but I don’t know the date yet.”

To Jones, the Baylor coaching staff is standing out early on, especially wide receivers coach Kendal Briles.

“I talk to all of the coaches with Baylor,” he said. “Also, I talk to Tennessee, Arizona, OU and Alabama some. The Baylor coaches are really cool and seem like they would be fun to play for. I really like Coach (Kendal) Briles.”

Driskell was a Sunday standout at the NLA Combine, and his recruitment is heating up

Jones says he doesn’t have a timetable for giving a verbal commitment.

Texas Tech, Baylor among those after Driskell
One of the most productive running backs in Texas during the 2011 season was Bryan Driskell (McKinney, Texas/Boyd). The 5-foot-8, 170-pound 2,000-yard rusher continued his string of impressive performances on Sunday and college programs have taken notice.

“I’ve got junior day at Baylor next weekend and Texas Tech in February, I think Feb. 18,” Driskell said. “I think Texas Tech is close to offering me, and Baylor may be also.”

Driskell, who is just as accomplished in the classroom with a 3.9 grade point average, is hearing from a number of regional programs, with the national interest beginning as well.

“I’m hearing from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Northwestern and Rice,” he said.

While Driskell says he blessed to have the interest he does, he is hoping that one SEC and ACC program come calling soon.

“I really like Ole Miss. Hopefully they will come around. I also like Clemson and hope they recruit me.”

Driskell’s 2011 campaign included 317 carries for 2,072 yards and 29 touchdowns in 11 games.

Outside linebacker Sammy Douglas will attend Texas Tech junior day in February

Quick Hitters
- Class of 2013 safety and cornerback Deric Robertson (Killeen, Texas) has junior day invites from TCU and Texas A&M and is also hearing from Texas and Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-0, 185-pound prospect hopes to hear from Oklahoma and Baylor.

- Class of 2013 wide receiver Marchie Murdock (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview) has a junior day invite from LSU on Feb. 4 and plans to attend. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder is also receiving interest from Oklahoma State, Houston and Notre Dame. He hopes to hear from Texas.

- Class of 2013 cornerback Dakota Austin (Lancaster, Texas) has junior day invites from Baylor and Texas Tech. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder plans to attend both junior days with Baylor slated for January 29 and Texas Tech in February.

- Outside linebacker Sammy Douglas (Arlington, Texas) has junior day invites in hand from Texas Tech and Oklahoma State along with interest from Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU and Michigan among others. Kansas and Baylor were by Arlington High last week. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder will attend Texas Tech junior day, but isn’t sure if it will be the Feb. 11 or 18 one.

- Outside linebacker prospect Akeem Harrison (Killeen, Texas) will attend junior day at LSU on Feb. 4. The 6-foot-0, 210-pounder is also receiving interest from Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas A&M among others. His communication has stopped with Texas A&M since the coaching change, but he hopes to hear again from the Aggies. Harrison also has junior day invites from Texas Tech and Tulsa, but isn’t sure of exact dates. While he projects to linebacker, he prefers wide receiver.

- Class of 2013 defensive tackle Charles Walker (Garland ,Texas/South Garland) was one of the most impressive players on the hoof. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder with reported 4.8-speed and a 360-pound bench press is receiving interest from Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech and Arkansas among others. He has a junior day invite from Oklahoma that he plans to attend in February. He hopes to hear from LSU and Florida.

- Tight end prospect Jason Reese (Euless, Texas/Trinity) has junior day invites from Oklahoma State and Baylor, and plans to be in Stillwater next weekend. Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Missouri are among the programs also showing interest in the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder. Oklahoma State is the current favorite with Baylor second.

- Defensive end prospect Devion Anderson (Plano, Texas/East) has a verbal offer from Colorado State along with interest from Colorado, Oklahoma, Purdue, Georgia Tech, West Virginia and LSU. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound edge rusher prospect has a February 11 junior day invite from West Virginia.

- Class of 2013 wide receiver Jarvis Baxter (Garland, Texas/Lakeview Centennial) has a junior day invite from Texas Tech for February 11 or 18, and plans to attend. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder with impressive hands and change of direction ability is also receiving interest from Purdue and Texas, among others. He hopes to hear from Oklahoma and Alabama.

- Athlete Kumani Armstead (Richland, Texas) is receiving interest from Texas Tech, Iowa, Houston and Notre Dame. He attended a Houston game during the season. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound receiver and safety hopes to hear from Oklahoma and TCU.

- Class of 2013 offensive guard prospect Jackson Hoskins (Dripping Springs, Texas) is receiving interest from TCU, SMU and Texas Tech. The 6-foot-4, 299-pound high school tackle attended games at SMU and Texas this season.

- Class of 2013 offensive tackle prospect Harrison Sorge (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) is receiving interest from Tulsa, BYU and Minnesota.

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