Often times, college sports are capable of consuming student athletes lives through constant practice and team mandated events. This appears to have been the case with Texas A&M defensive lineman Justin Manning, who announced Tuesday that he will be taking a break from the game of football. Although Manning never saw significant game action for the Aggies, he was expected to be a key member of the team’s pass rushing unit.
“People go through different things at different times,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said via AggieSports.com. “He’s taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. A lot of times, we just think about football. [But] a lot goes on in young people’s lives.
“We’ve had different guys at different times that things happen and I think people outside don’t understand.”
Manning played in only five games during his redshirt freshman season, but was a highly touted four-star recruit out of high school and is definitely capable of being a major impact player for the Aggies. Still, Sumlin explained to the media just how important Manning’s life outside of football is to him and that sometimes you need to take a step back from the sport and focus on what’s important to you.
“He just had a lot going on,” Sumlin said. “We work with our young guys and there’s more to it than just football.”
Sumlin left the door open for Manning’s return and said its still a possibility that Manning is able to have a strong summer earning him a role in the Texas A&M starting lineup.
*Section Photo credit to Wescott Eberts, SB Nation; Featured Photo (above) credit to Saturday Down South