The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska football players you need to know heading into the 2020 season.
* * *
6-4, 225 • Junior • Wide Receiver
Nebraska’s red zone problems loomed so much over the 2019 season, they may have cost it two or three game. The Huskers had to address those problems in their 2020 recruiting class.
And they did with Manning, who signed with TCU out of high school, transferred to Kilgore (Texas) College, and then became the No. 1 receiver in junior college. Nebraska managed to get an official visit from him, and he eventually picked the Huskers just before the December signing period. It was a big recruiting moment for the Huskers.
What will they get in Manning? A hungry player with NFL potential. A willing, physical blocker. A deep threat who can draw a safety away from the middle of the field with over-the-top coverage, which frees up slot receivers and tight ends.
Manning will also be a major, throw-it-up-and-get-it option in the red zone, perhaps from day one. A fade pass may be a low percentage play sometimes. But it’s a safe one, and Manning’s height and physicality make him a prime candidate to catch a few.
If he caught 40 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns, that’d be a terrific season, in part because it meant he opened up guys like Jack Stoll and Wan’Dale Robinson to do their thing. Manning is a major player in NU’s 2020 offense. The better he is, the better others can be.