Justin Manning, 4-star defensive tackle had a top three of Texas A&M and Oklahoma and TCU, but in the end, the talented recruit from Dallas, Texas decided to commit to the Aggies.
This is an important commitment for Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies program, as the 6'3'', 275 pound defensive tackle will be a very talented addition to A&M's 2013 class. It's also a little bit of momentum over the Sooners for Texas A&M heading into their Cotton Bowl clash with Oklahoma, but that's neither here nor there.
Jake Trotter of ESPN.com reports the commitment on Twitter:
ESPN150 DT Justin Manning (DeMarcus Granger's brother) just announced that he's committing to Texas A&M over the #Sooners.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 6, 2012
Taylor Hamm of 247Sports posted a video of the moment:
This is a big win for Texas A&M, but what exactly will Manning be bringing to the program?
Right off the bat, it's not hard to see that the Aggies are setting themselves up very nicely at the defensive tackle position. Manning joins a class that already has three other 4-star defensive tackles committed—Isaiah Golden, Kerrick Huggins and Hardreck Walker.
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Depth and competition is going to be the name of the game for the Aggies at this position, and that's always a plus when you're talking about a defensive line. Having a solid rotation of players will keep everybody fresh and able to compete at a high level, and this whole squad should be very effective because of that.
Manning has the potential to be the best of the group.
He has great size at 6'3', 275 pounds and he runs a five flat 40-yard dash according to 247sports. That may not seem that impressive, but that's very quick for a player as big as he is. He'll immediately bring great size and speed to the position for the Aggies.
The first thing you'll notice when watching Manning play is his technique as a defensive lineman. He gets a good jump off the line of scrimmage and has the strength to physically push back blockers, but where he really excels is in using his hands.
He easily has the best hand-technique of any defensive linemen in the 2013 class.
His best move is his swim move. It's quick, effective and allows him to shoot the gap and get inside leverage on the blocker. Notice in the video below how many times he utilizes the swim.
Manning uses his hands to keep the blocker from getting his chest plate and establishing leverage. He's able to fight and push the blockers arms away while continuing to get up field, and his natural speed and athleticism allow him to be very good in pursuit of the ball.
Overall, Texas A&M is getting a recruit that could make an impact right away. He'll be a huge depth player at first, but he's talented enough to use his technique and speed to consistently make plays in the SEC.
The importance of this commitment can't be overstated for the Aggies.