Manning made his first college visit in over a year to Clemson for the Tigers’ camp. He worked out during the afternoon session on Saturday, June 5. Manning drew the close attention of Dabo Swinney along with several Clemson staffers, current players and fellow campers. This was our first opportunity to see the touted 2023 prospect perform in person and he did not disappoint.
For starters, he has grown significantly since he burst on the recruiting radar as a ninth grader. He’s a legitimate 6-foot-3 (if not a shade taller) and has filled out to what looks around 190-200 pounds. Manning was highly efficient and precise in drills. His footwork was the most refined and polished of the several top quarterbacks we saw over the course of the week. He was also the most accurate in location drills, with very few errant throws on the day. At this point, his most unique attribute is the throwing motion and release. Manning has a quick, compact motion with no moving parts and is very mechanically sound as a passer. The release is lightning quick and special at this stage. It’s so fast you almost don’t catch it in real time.
The most pleasant surprise was Manning's arm strength. He generated zip and was able to locate the ball to all levels of the field with little effort. He made several highlight throws, including a pretty deep ball to fellow 2023 prospect, Brandon Inniss. The throw prompted outward exuberance from an onlooking Dabo Swinney. Manning also had a spectacular pass to tight end/defensive lineman Matayo Uiagalelei in 1-on-1’s. The throw was a deep ball that was dropped in a bucket from 50 yards out. If there is one area for improvement with Manning, it would be continuing to improve on spinning the ball consistently. There were a few occasions where the ball didn’t come out of his hand cleanly, even if he was accurate. It also took him a bit to adjust to leading speedy receivers with his throws.