Four-star defensive tackle chooses Texas A&M over OU
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
NORMAN – Justin Manning, a coveted four-star defensive tackle from Dallas, verbally committed to Texas A&M on Thursday afternoon among friends and family at Kimball High School.
That amounts to a huge recruiting letdown for the Sooners, who have run hot and cold with high-profiled prospects of late. OU's class to date is rated 29th by Rivals recruiting service, behind Big 12 schools Texas (12th) and Oklahoma State (21st).
Manning, the younger brother of former OU defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger, had been considered an OU lean for some time. But Texas A&M put on a real charge for the 6-3, 275-pounder and prevailed.
Manning is the nation's No. 6 high school defensive tackle according to Rivals, No. 7 according to Scout and No. 8 according to ESPN. The Sooners could have used him, with three of the first four tackles in the Sooners' current rotation – Casey Walker, Jamarkus McFarland and Stacy McGee – are seniors.
Freshman Jordan Phillips is the fourth player in the mix right now. Behind Phillips is a collection of unproven youngsters – Marquis Anderson, Torrea Peterson, Jordan Wade and Damon Williams.
The Sooners do have commitments from three defensive ends – Union's Dalton Rodriguez, Matt Dimon from Katy, Texas, and D.J. Ward, a four-star talent who sat out this season after transferring from Lawton to Oklahoma City Douglass, and then enrolling at Southmoore, all before the season started.