SAN ANTONIO — It’s no secret that Texas wants at least one more wide receiver for the 2017 class, and two of the main targets are taking part in this week’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio — Lancaster’s Omar Manning, who’s currently pledged to TCU, and Jamire Calvin, a slot receiver from Los Angeles.
Both have been practicing this week.
“As the day went on, I got accustomed to the talent here at this game,” Manning said of his first day of all-star practice. “A couple of the wide receivers were down, so I had to play every snap, but that is good. I love this type of competition and it only makes us all better. The defensive backs out here are faster and more physical than the ones I see on Fridays. It’s all about working and competing.”
Manning, who committed to the Horned Frogs in October, recently visited Texas and came away impressed. But the Longhorns will have to convince him to flip on a fellow Big 12 school while simultaneously holding off Ole Miss and a surging effort from Baylor.
“The type of atmosphere Texas has is special, and you get to compete against great players every day in practice. Oscar Giles is currently recruiting me and I had contact with coach Herman and those coaches when he was at Houston,” Manning said. “I’m familiar with them and it is one of the big reasons Texas is in the running. They are very good coaches. They scheme well and know how to get you in the right spot to get their players to play.”
Calvin is 5-10, 165 pounds. He uses his lack of size as motivation in these surroundings.
“It’s all a blessing, especially being a small wide receiver like myself,” Calvin said. “I’m probably the person out here among all of the players, so it is just a blessing. I have a chip on my shoulder as a smaller guy, even though I’ve been selected to play on the biggest stage. There is always something to prove.”
Calvin lists his top four as Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Washington State. The future slot receiver won’t choose Texas when he makes his television announcement Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the Longhorns don’t hold hope in his recruitment.
Calvin has one more official visit to take after Saturday’s game, and he said it would be at either Texas, Baylor or Oregon.
“I like coach Herman and the staff at Texas a lot. They’re cool guys — young guys — and they can relate to me more,” Calvin said. “The Houston offense used smaller receivers, so I have a good feel for Texas. Things could change between now and signing day in February.”