Nyme Manns almost didn’t come out for the Patterson football team.Manns, a tall, yet strong, receiving target, considered himself a basketball player first, having played with Digital Harbor’s Class 2A state championship team last season. Manns transferred to Patterson with no intentions to play football.
But a certain senior leader was in his ear telling him to come out and play.
“I talked him into it every day, all day, trying to force him to play,” quarterback Craig Oliver said.
Manns gave in and came out for a practice.
“We were just playing around, jump ball, jump ball and no one could out-jump him,” Oliver said. “So on the field it’s just jump ball. He out-jumps a lot of people.”
Manns wasn’t on the roster for Patterson’s first game against Archbishop Curley this season. In Week 2 against his old school Digital Harbor, he dressed but didn’t play. Coach Corey Johnson said he needed to work his way into the system. He received his first game reps in Week 3 against Carver. It was that game that a Towson University scout, there to see Oliver, noticed Manns. The scout has stayed in contact with both.
Manns is the type of receiver that quarterbacks love to have. With a deadly combination of size (6-4), speed and athleticism, it’s tough for any defense to leave him in single coverage.
“Most of the time the corners aren’t going to be my height,” Manns said. “So I can jump over them.”
Manns has only played football for about two years. Since there’s little game film, Manns is still waiting for more colleges to come calling. Johnson believes his big wideout has Division 1 potential.
“He’s a huge target,” Johnson said. “Craig feels very comfortable throwing to him. He works hard, he wants the ball, he wants to make plays. That’s the type of player you need to have.”
Manns’ decision to come out for the team has slowly made a big difference for Patterson this season. In his first game against Carver he caught two passes for 48 yards. The next week, against Douglass, he caught his a touchdown. Two weeks ago, in a loss to Poly, Manns hauled in five catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
“You just have to be willing to learn and be determined,” Manns said. “Hard work pays off and it’s paying off.”
Manns and fellow senior receiver Pete Carter make up one of the best receiving duos in the city. Manns’ deep play ability allows Carter to work the underneath routes, which is making the passing game easier for Oliver.
No wonder Oliver wanted Manns on the field this season.
“A lot of the basketball guys don’t want to play football,” Johnson said. “Luckily, Craig is a great recruiter.”
by Jason Butt