Georgia State’s football team will start spring practice on Thursday at the practice complex on MLK Drive.
The team returns nine starters on defense and seven on offense.
This is an interesting year for coach Trent Miles as he looks to build momentum on last year’s 6-7 season, which included the first bowl appearance in program history.
This is the second in a 10-part blog series on the people I’m most excited to watch this spring.
Most of these are people who either didn’t play last year, didn’t play a lot last year, or are trying to replace the few key starters who graduated and/or used up their eligibility.
Nos. 10-4 are in no particular order. The final three are.
Class: Redshirt junior
Stats from last season: None, which is one of the reasons that he left Utah for Georgia State. He played in two games for the Utes, both as a back up. He was affected by changes in the coaching staff and offensive systems that didn’t fit his particular skills, which is as a back-up passer who passed for a mind-blowing 9,400-plus yards in high school in California.
Why is he on the list? Because Georgia State needs a starting quarterback and Manning is one of three likely candidates to take over for Nick Arbuckle, who passed for more than 4,300 yards last season.
Why am I interested to watch him practice? Anybody that passed for that many yards in high school is worth a few minutes of time, you think?
I have no idea if he accumulated that many yards throwing screen passes to what must have been a posse of Division I prospects at wide receivers and running back.
I have no idea if he accumulated that many yards throwing passes against what must have been some of the worst high school defenses since I watched Freedom roll over Watauga in the early 1990s.
Either way, I want to see how it happened.
I also want to see if he can read defenses and put his teammates in the correct positions to succeed, the same thing I said for Aaron Winchester and Emiere Scaife.
Here are more posts:
Georgia State football
Georgia State basketball
The six-part series on what went wrong for the team in 2016: