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July 17, 2012

Manning heads to Utah

When El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) quarterback Conner Manning arrived on the Utah campus on Monday morning, he had a feeling he might have found the right program for him. The record breaking quarterback made it official on Tuesday afternoon by making a verbal commitment to the Utes.

Manning spent the last two days on an unofficial visit getting to know the program in detail. "I spent the day with the coaches and saw the facilities. I pretty much saw everything and loved it all," Manning said.

According to Manning, the most impressive part of his visit was his interaction with the Utah coaching staff. "The coaches, I really felt all of them are just really good guys. They have the same type of values. I feel like I have a good relationship with all of them, and Utah feels like home to me," he said.

During the visit, Manning took the opportunity to get to know Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "We were just getting to know each other. It was the first time I met him. He seems like a really good guy. He wants the best for all of his players. When I met him, I felt like I knew for a fact that I wanted to commit right away," he said.

Receivers coach and passing game coordinator Aaron Roderick has been Manning's primary recruiter, and is a major reason that the El Toro standout committed to the Utes. "[Coach Roderick] is one of the main reasons why I committed. He's always been straightforward with me through the whole recruiting process. He's always been the guy that's been there for me," he said.

Manning is an established quarterback that is known for his leadership and ability to put up big numbers in a good league. The 6-foot-2 inch signal caller feels like he has the tools to successfully transition to Utah's new offensive attack. "I know that they're going back to the spread stuff offensively, so I'm excited about that. I felt like I can definitely fit in their offense for what I do. I just felt like they're trying to get back to throwing the ball a lot, and that's what I strive on doing. I want to help the get back to that high tempo offense," he said.

Manning maintains that his commitment to Utah is 100 percent solid, and he plans on turning his focus to the upcoming season. "I've got a weight off my back now I can go out and handle my business. I've just been blessed that I've been given the opportunity to be a Pac-12 quarterback. I'm just going to make the most of it," he said.


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