verbally committed to UCLA today on his official visit, pledging his commitment to Rick Neuheisel on the spot.
“It was this morning when we were eating breakfast,” Manfro said by phone today. “He took me outside and he was just saying that he was really impressed with me, that I could help the program and he was offering me a full athletic scholarship.”
It did not take long for the long-time UCLA fan to commit, as he told Neuheisel soon after that he would accept the offer.
Manfro’s recruitment has been relatively light, but his production at Valencia certainly was not.
Manfro had 75 touchdowns the last two years for Valencia as a dual-threat running back.
In fact, it was Manfro’s receiving abilities out of the backfield that he thinks led to his offer.
“I got a call a few months ago from Coach Neuheisel saying that they were interested,” Manfro said. “He loved that i had the catching ability and the running ability, being a dual-threat helped. Whenever we talked he said I was a taller Danny Woodhead.”
At 5-10, 176 pounds, Manfro is bigger than Woodhead, but they play similarly – low to the ground with good lateral moves, displaying the ability to avoid defenders.
“I want to compete in the top level of football,” Manfro said. “With smaller running backs, it’s starting to get big now. Woodhead is 5-7 right? Hes balling it up. Maurice Jones-Drew is small. He’s great.”
For Manfro, having the opportunity to someday step into Jones-Drew’s shoes is a dream come true.
“That’s my favorite school,” Manfro said. “It’s been my favorite school for many years now. It’s great ot have the opportunity to play for team. And my parents are definitely happy that I’m only 40 minutes away.”