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Sonny Mannino | Tuscarora High School | QB | 2022

Twitter: @ManninoSonnyInstagram: @iam_sm7_

Q: Tell us about your high school career and what the recruiting process has been like thus far. 

A:  As a rising junior who sat behind the Offensive Player of the year from 2020, I ran the scout team, got our team prepared every week and was prepared to play.  I was ready for action and when given the opportunity, was ready to play.  For that reason, I saw limited varsity action but went undefeated in JV play.  I think the recruiting process has been slow for me simply because I happened to sit behind a great leader and mentor. 

Q: When did you receive your first offer and what school was it from? How many offers have you received thus far? 

A:  N/A but anxious to prove myself on the field to coaches and scouts.

Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?

A: Even though I was not present in the game, having played backup quarterback for the runner up state championship team is something that I am extremely proud of.  I worked hard to master both our and the opposing team offense, prepped our defense via the scout team and learned a lot about mental toughness. 

For my own singular accomplishment, I am quite proud of having placed 4th at AAU nationals as a runner in the 3000m.  It was several years ago, but I believe that it is a testament to the mental focus that I am able to harness when training and competing.

Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at your school?

A:  Coach Toler’s goal for me was to always be ready to play.  I used that to focus on the daily tasks that would leave me in a position to be an asset on the field.  Preparing for almost any occurrence, injury or otherwise helped guide me through the season and helps me now as I prepare for what will hopefully be a challenging year.

Q: What have you learned during this unique time in 2020? What did you focus on or accomplish during Quarantine?

A: I’ve focused on getting stronger throughout the quarantine.  I’ve worked on improving technique both in strength training as well as while working with a Quarterback Coach virtually. 

I’ve also worked on being a team player, being committed to my family and my studies by taking an online summer course.

Q: If you could play in college, what would you choose to major in? What are your plans if football doesn’t work out?

A: I’m really interested in Architecture and Design.  I attended an summer architecture program in the summer of 2019 at Virginia Tech and believe that this field of study has a lot of opportunity in it whether I study to become an architect or move into an engineering field related to design and build.

Q: What would your current teammates say about you and your qualities?

A: I think that they would say that I am a hard worker.  They would agree that I am flexible and willing to do anything for them.  They know that I will show up and can count on me. 

Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career so far?

A:  I believe there was a play last year, versus Woodgrove where I was rolling to the right and was under pressure.  I spotted my wide receiver Evan Blum about 35 yards down field and completed a nice over the shoulder pass.  It felt good to complete it as the game was close and it gave us some momentum to win the game.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?

A: I think that one of the bigger challenges was when another quarterback transferred to Tuscarora.  He is the same grade as I am and when he came to Tuscarora a lot of people kept asking how I was doing.  Well, his presence pushed me to work harder.  I want to be a better Quarterback and person on and off the field and I know that I can do all of it when I push myself to be my best.

Q: If you could compare yourself to a collegiate or pro athlete, who would that be and why?

A: I feel like I could be compared to Aaron Rodgers because we can both make plays and get the ball to where it needs to be but also, we’re both not really running quarterbacks. 

Q: What is your biggest strength and why should college coaches & scouts consider you?

A:  I believe that coaches and scouts should consider me because when I’m in the pocket I don’t get flustered; I’m able to sit back and deliver a good ball.

Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?

A: During both the basketball and football seasons, I participated as a mentor in Readers as Leaders at a local elementary school.  I take this commitment very seriously and never missed an opportunity to work with those students.  I also volunteered last summer with iCan Bike program at Tuscarora High School.  This program worked in conjunction with the Husky Buddies to mentor students with special needs and assist them in learning how to ride a bike.  I really enjoyed this role as it catered to my desire to stay active while encouraging others to challenge themselves.

Lastly, I have worked with my father during this Covid-19 crisis to prepare meals to people afflicted with the virus through a DC program called Feed the Fight.   Though I don’t have a job, I have volunteered by working in their kitchen at Georgetown University to prepare meals, haul beverages and restock items. 

Q: How are you preparing for the 2020 High School National Scouting Combine and what are your goals for the combine?

A: I have been working out at Performance Edge getting stronger and quicker.  Having never done anything like this before, I just want to come out, perform as best I can and give myself a benchmark that I can improve upon as I continue to work toward the start of my junior season.

Q: What would be your ultimate achievement? 

A: The ultimate achievement would be being able to play football in college.  I love the game, and it would be a pleasure to be able to continue to play it at a higher level.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football? Do you play other sports? 

A: I enjoy playing basketball and I’ve continued to play while in High School.  I love to build things with my hands, think advanced Lego’s or more architectural types of design.  I play my share of video games  and choose to hang out with my family.  We are collectively active, so riding bikes, my parents swimming laps at the pool and us playing backyard soccer are all possible.

Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life? 

A: I would say my parents have been the most influential in my life.  My dad has been able to balance going to work in busy restaurants often from early in the morning to late at night and he still finds the energy and patience to want to be with my brother and I.  I’d also say my mom because she was willing to stay home for us for so long so that we could have the extra attention that we needed.  She seems to always be busy but yet is always available. 

Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?

A: I love to and am learning to cook.  My dad is a chef and he is regularly teaching me new things.  I enjoy cooking because it gives me control to try to execute something that I want.