South Carolina Tuesday landed a commitment from state heavyweight wrestling champion Hank Manos (6-4 275) of Chapin, who is also one of the state’s top centers. Manos has had a long standing relationship with the Gamecocks, having made several visits over the past year. He picked up an offer from Will Muschamp earlier this year, and Tuesday he picked up the phone and made his pledge to Muschamp and offensive line coach Eric Wolford.
“My decision was based on education, proximity to home and coaching," Manos said. "Those have been my top three for the entirety of my recruiting process and South Carolina is the best for me in all three aspects. I am very happy with my decision. Coach Wolf really wants me at center, but also realizes I can play guard if needed. I am really excited about playing for Coach Wolf. He is a special kind of coach. He seems to truly care about his players, but at the same time is tough as nails and expects full effort and commitment every time they are on the field. This is just what I was looking for in a position coach.”
Manos also had offers from NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and Georgia State, plus he drew interest from Clemson, Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State. But the chance to play at home for a program he feels is on the rise was too much for him to pass up.
“I think the program is heading into a very positive direction," Manos said. "There is a lot of excitement in Columbia and I'm just glad to be a part of it.”
Manos is coming off another state heavyweight wrestling championship and those skills no doubt attracted Muschamp and Wolford. A center and a grappler have much in common.
“Wrestling has been invaluable for football,” Manos said. “It helps with leverage, speed, flexibility, toughness, confidence, just everything. I can't say enough about the sport. I fell in love with it immediately and would recommend that anyone trying to better their football career consider wrestling.”
With the commitment Manos said he is ending his recruiting and is 100% solid with the Gamecocks. He’s the fourth newcomer for the 2018 class and the second on the offensive line.
**Story by Phil Kornblut**