With early signing day approaching and bowl practice getting underway, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats football program had a full guest list on campus this weekend.
Featuring uncommitted transfers such as Tayvion Robinson and Khris Bogle, it appears there was another player that made the trip to Lexington in what could be a position of need next season.
According to Justin Rowland of Cats Illustrated and Rivals (via KSR), Auburn Tigers transfer Tashawn Manning was in town to check out campus this weekend.
Manning appeared in 12 games this season after starting every game at left guard in the 2020 season. He started the final three games at left guard this season due to an injury to Brandon Council.
He shortly entered his name into the transfer portal after Bryan Harsin decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
Manning is also a very inspiring story for many across the sport. On Thanksgiving of his senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with leukemia. From that diagnosis, he went through eight months of chemo, before he was declared cancer free in July of 2016.
During his time in chemo, he fought with every intention of playing for Auburn at the conclusion of his treatment. With much delight, he got the chance when he arrived on campus in January of 2017.
Originally from Apopka (FL) the 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Manning was listed as a defensive line project coming out of high school. He was considered a 3-star recruit by the 247 Sports Composite rankings, which also ranked him as a top-65 defensive line recruit in the country.
Manning chose Auburn over offers from Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina, NC State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and several others.
This is not the first offensive lineman the Cats have been tied to in the portal this offseason, as they actually extended an offer to Rutgers transfer Brendan Bordner. With Dare Rosenthal’s decision still up in the air, and some turbulence with the Kiyaunta Goodwin recruitment, this seems simply to be a search for some more depth on the Big Blue Wall.
But with the experience Manning brings to the table, don't be shocked if this becomes a move to plug-and-play for the experienced lineman.