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March 4, 2013

Manning could boost U-M recruiting

Michigan's hire of former Wolverine Roy Manning to coach outside linebackers could be a move that boosts recruiting. Departing coach Jerry Montgomery, who was tasked with the defensive linemen in Ann Arbor, was the youngest coach on the Wolverines' staff, and one of just two coaches of color. Manning is younger than Montgomery, and joins Fred Jackson as the second coach of color on Michigan's staff.

Most recently, Manning spent one year as Cincinnati's running backs coach, and had accepted the same position at Northern Illinois before the alma mater came calling.

"He recruited the Cleveland area for Cincinnati," Rivals.com Midwest Recruiting Analyst Josh Helmholdt said. "He also had Michigan, the rest of Northern Ohio, and Louisiana."

Although Manning's brief tenure in the Queen City makes it tough to determine just how effective a recruiter he was for the Bearcats, Helmholdt likes a lot of the characteristics that he brings to the table.

"He's an energetic guy: he goes out and gets it done," Helmholdt said. "He's a younger guy. Kids related to him really well. It wasn't long ago that he was recruited himself which never hurts."

Of course, when Manning was recruited out of high school just over a decade ago, he also selected Michigan. That makes it very believable to recruits that any recruiting pitch he gives them is more than just an attempt to sell them on something - it's a decision he made just a few years ago.

He's a native of the state of Michigan, and not only is he a former Wolverines, but ha played three years in the NFL as well. That type of playing experience - and the coaching experience he's picked up since - is a positive in recruiting.

According to Helmholdt, the jury is still out on Manning, since he's been a recruiter for such a short amount of time. He was a full-time coach last year at Cincinnati for the first time, and prior to that had been a non-recruiting graduate assistant for the Bearcats with a stop at Michigan (serving in the same capacity) in between.

"It's too early to say if recruiting is strength for him, but it's certainly not a weakness," Helmholdt said. "I think he's an up-and-comer. You just can't tell [yet] if he's an all-star recruiter, but I think we've seen enough to know that it's not a weakness."

Brady Hoke's decision to add Manning to the staff indicates that the Wolverines' headman is more than confident that the former Michigan linebacker will prove in short order that he can be an all-star recruiter, after all.


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