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Columbia defensive back Martez Manuel commits to Missouri

Manuel attended Mizzou’s Night at the Zou event and elected to end his recruitment soon after.

Missouri’s Night at the Zou event took place on Saturday night at Faurot Field. On Sunday morning, the Tigers landed their first commitment of the weekend, from Columbia Rock Bridge defensive back Martez Manuel.

Per the 247Sports Composite, Manuel is a mid-three-star prospect and a top-20 prospect in a loaded Missouri crop for 2019. He received a Mizzou offer back in May, and it appeared for a while that the Tigers were in pretty good shape for landing his services. On Sunday morning, he made it official.

Landing a well-regarded prospect from about three miles down Providence from Memorial Stadium seems like a no-brainer, but it has not been a given for Mizzou in recent years. Since the 2007 recruiting cycle, Rock Bridge has produced 14 power-conference signees. Missouri offered most of them, but along with former defensive tackle A.J. Logan and current defensive end Tre Williams, Manuel is only the third one to commit to the Tigers, the fourth if you include receiver Alex Ofodile, who first signed with Oregon.

So there’s some symbolic gain to Manuel’s commitment. But Mizzou also landed a really athletic prospect, too. He’s a track star who was on two state-champion relay teams this spring, and he could thrive both on defense and in the return game in college.

Here’s his junior year Hudl film:

Manuel is listed at 6’1, 185 pounds, and his frame looks like it could easily handle more weight without looking too bulky to employ track-star speed. He is an exciting prospect for a number of different reasons, and now he’s a Tiger. WELCOME, MARTEZ.