First Love Christian Academy 2022 guard Mason Manning has visited Pitt numerous time and has had the chance to speak with Jeff Capel and his staff.
Manning’s conversation on Tuesday with Capel was different from ones in the past and the most important one to date, as he learned that he’d received an offer to play for the Pitt Panthers. Manning received the news in an afternoon phone conversation but at first, didn’t realize that he actually got the offer from Pitt.
“It was kind of weird and some miscommunication but I realized I had gotten the offer after talking to my high school coach,” Manning told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Coach Capel actually offered me earlier in the day but after realizing I actually got the offer, I announced it last night.
“He told me that they loved my game and like the fact that we already have a little bit of a relationship built because I’ve been up there on unofficial visits for games. He told me that they were going to be recruiting me hard and that they really like my game. I felt great about getting the news and this whole process is very motivating and I feel good because the work I’ve put in to get better is starting to pay off. I also realize that I need to keep working hard if I want to make it to the next level.”
Although he’s originally from Mississippi, Manning has kept tabs on Pitt over the last year since he now plays at First Love and Capel offered and was recruiting his former teammate D.J. Gordon, who eventually signed with Penn State.
“I really like how Coach Capel is turning the Pitt program around since he’s been there,” said Manning. “The few games that I saw them in person, they looked really good. I like Coach Capel is a coach that I’d like to play for. He pushes his players hard to do well because he really wants them to do well.”
Manning (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) is a consensus three-star recruit and is currently rated as the No. 87 player in the Class of 2022 by 247 Sports.
Pitt isn’t the only school giving Manning attention as in the last couple of days, he’s also received offers from Illinois, Georgia Tech and Seton Hall. Previously, he held offers from Baylor, Bryant, LSU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Penn State, South Florida and TCU.
“The last couple of days have been very overwhelming because I wasn’t used to it with all the phone calls and texts,” he said. “Honestly, I didn’t expect to be getting that much attention. I expected some calls but not this many.”
Manning’s recruitment is wide-open and the only thing that he knows is that his eventual decision isn’t going to be an easy one.
“Yes sir,” he said. “This thing isn’t going to be easy.”