Last week, Zachary Manning out of Druid Hill had some last-minute heroics to get his team into overtime and eventually pull off a 21-20 win over SE Whitfield. The junior athlete caught a pass 40 yards downfield high-pointing over a defensive back, then steered and veered side-to-side, which threw off the defense as he ran into the endzone.
The clutch-play factor for Manning is hard to quantify, but something we can measure is the fact that Druid Hill is 3-1-1 on the season. The junior feels good about the start of the year on multiple fronts.
“I would say that it has been a real breakout year for me so far. Academically, I’ve gotten off to a great start in my classes which is great since junior year is so important for college. On the field, it’s felt good to see all of the hard work I put in over the summer with camps, film, and strength training pay off,” Manning said.
Manning tenacious playmaking on both sides of the football has been huge for Druid Hills in 2023, and last week’s top play of the week is no better example. The junior talked about specifically where he has improved the most.
“I’d say I’ve grown the most in my ball skills and football IQ. Though I’ve always been aggressive, I think it translates into better football through my training and the physical changes in my body over the last year. I’m proud of the fact that I’m coachable and willing to consistently put in work. Track and field has also helped improve my speed and stamina,” he said.
Manning has a solid frame at 6′ to continue to add weight and has impressive speed getting around defenders or sticking to a receiver like glue on defense too. On the recruiting front, we suspect that D1 schools have to be keeping tabs.
“I’ve been hearing from UAB, Middle Tennessee, and Georgia Tech. I’m taking a few visits starting in October.”
Manning doesn’t know his stats just yet, but you can definitely go through his individual film and see D1-caliber moments. He is an impressive young athlete, and with the 2nd half of the season still ahead, Manning has a few goals he would still like to attain.
“My biggest goal is to keep putting in work, remaining coachable, and trusting my training. Specifically, I want to get 3-4 more interceptions and lead Dekalb County in interceptions. I also want to secure multiple D1 offers, and of course, do well in the classroom.”
It will be a busy fall for the junior, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter/X to hear the latest on the 2025 athlete and players all across the state of Georgia.