The Recruiting Guy

Devon Manuel commits to Arkansas, cites relationship with OL coach

Arkansas offensive line coach Brad Davis speaks with reporters on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas has led for offensive line target Devon Manuel since his March 7 visit to Fayetteville, and Tuesday he publicly committed to the Razorbacks.

His relationship with offensive line coach Brad Davis played a key role in his decision.

“Ever since they offered me, he’s texted me every single day,” Manuel said. “(He was) recruiting me hard and letting me know how he would care about me and how much he would take care of me.

"That's all I needed and all I wanted.”

Manuel, 6-8, 315 pounds, of Arnaudville (La.) Beau Chene High School, picked Arkansas over scholarship offers from Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa State, Central Florida, Houston, Kansas, Louisiana Tech and other programs.

He also believes he will get great coaching and care under Davis and Coach Sam Pittman.

“I know Coach Davis and Coach Pittman are great offensive line coaches,” Manuel said. “I wanted to go somewhere that I would be taken care of and I would have a family atmosphere. Since Day 1, Arkansas showed me that’s where all of that is. It was really a no-brainer.”

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network said Manuel is a 3-star-plus prospect with big upside.

“Interesting kid, very tall, pretty athletic,” Lemming said. “He can bend his knees and he’s a natural athlete, but still right now a 3-star-plus guy with 4- or even 5-star potential. He needs to be developed, but you cannot overlook his size.”

Manuel averaged 4.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game for his school’s basketball team this season. He said Davis wants him to play left tackle in Fayetteville.

“I still need to be developed. He sees me as a dominant left tackle in the SEC,” Manuel said. “That’s the highest and biggest competition in college football.”

The other Arkansas commitments added Manuel to their group chat and made him feel at home.

“They added me about three weeks ago,” Manuel said. “That was another plus. It just showed how other teammates were just making an effort to create a brotherhood over there.”

Manuel’s mother was unable to make the March trip to Fayetteville and is eager to see everything her son has raved about.

“She wants to see what all the hype is about,” he said.

Manuel, who bench pressed 325 pounds, squatted 565 pounds and power-cleaned 305 pounds last summer, also received interest from LSU, Baylor, Ole Miss and Auburn.

He becomes Arkansas’ 12th commitment for the 2021 class.