Schools shocking Shavar

After a big sophomore season, Shavar Manuel put his name on the map, and Florida offered him first early in 2014. His recruitment has taken off from there...

Florida offered first.

Shavar Manuel picked that up early in 2014.

Since then over a dozen schools have offered the 2016 defensive end out of Tampa (Fla.) Blake.

A few of those are Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina.

More will come and maybe now they will not be unexpected like the first one was.

"It surprised me big-time," said Manuel. I am only a sophomore and when someone like Florida walks in the door, then offers me my first scholarship, that is big.

"Florida is known for having great defensive players, they have won some national championships, and it being my first offer meant something to me."

Will Muschamp was on the road working to finish off a strong 2014 class, but in between that, he stopped by Blake High School to check on the sophomore that had 10 sacks as a freshman and 19.5 sacks as a sophomore.

Manuel knew he had a couple of good seasons, but he did expect this type of attention. Someone in his family did though.

"It has been crazy. I did not see this all coming at all. A family member told me right after my sophomore season that the schools are going to knock my door down, so they were right.

"It is like is a dream coming true right now. I am getting offers, Will Muschamp (Florida) comes to my school, I go meet Nick Saban (Alabama), and it is just something unexpected."

He is taking it all in stride though.

The explosive defensive lineman visited Alabama and Florida State about a month ago and each school stood out to Manuel.

"Alabama offered me when I went there on my visit and that was exciting. It is a very unique place and I like it a lot. I spoke with Coach Saban, I met some players, and Alabama is different. It is just a nice place.

"When I went to FSU, I got to meet and talk with Coach [Jimbo] Fisher. It is a lot like Alabama to me - kind of unique. It just has that different feeling there and it is another great program."

Not Florida, not FSU, but another in-state school was the one the 6-foot-4, 260 pound sophomore grew up following, but he has put that love aside now.

"Miami was my favorite school as a kid," Manuel said. "Growing up they had all those top defensive players. They have had so many first round picks in the NFL, so I have just always liked Miami, and the players they produced.

"It is kind of different now though. You cannot go to a school just because you are a fan, it is a big decision for the future. I will look at different schools and take the fan part out of it moving forward.

"I do not have any favorites now. Florida offering first was big for me and I have liked my visits, but I am open to everyone."

Expect Manuel's offer list to grow in the coming months as coaches hit the road for spring evaluation.

He knows what coaches like and he will display that for them live on the practice field at Blake come May.

"Coaches tell me they love how I get off the ball and how aggressive I am. They see my size and they just like the way I move. Coach [Sal] Sunseri (Florida State) actually popped my tape in while I was there and talked about those things. He really likes me, but most of the coaches tell me the same things.

"I hope to show that and show them I have improved on other things this spring."

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