Earlier this week, EerSports first reported that both Dematha (MD) linebacker Sam Lebbie and Dunbar (MD) athlete Deontay McManus will be attending prep school together at Atlanta Sports Academy (GA) this fall. On Thursday, we caught up with Coach Damon Dawson to discuss the two players and what their plan is going forward.
Coach Dawson on McManus: "He's the truth!"
“About three weeks ago, Sam Lebbie reached out to us and said he was probably going to need to go to prep school. I just talked to his momma [Thursday] and he will be coming down [today],” said Dawson, who is not only the head coach, but the athletic director. “About a week later, we also heard from [people with] Deontay McManus. He actually just had his first practice [last night]. I’ll tell ya what: He’s the truth! He’s got the size of a linebacker, moves of a safety and the speed of a receiver.”
While it was interesting to hear how long this had been in the works, the first question that comes to many fans’ minds is: how does a prep school in downtown Atlanta end up as the home for two West Virginia commits? The connection is from the players’ hometowns, actually, not their college choice.
“We have had a good relationship with a lot of the schools from that area – Morgan State, Towson, and others,” said the coach. “For Sam, actually, he was referred by an old teammate, Charlie Jordan, who we had down here last year.”
Just because ASA has connections to the Baltimore and D.C. areas and is square in the middle of SEC and ACC country, Mountaineer fans should not be worried about the program “funneling” players anywhere.
“We let them make their own decision,” said Dawson. “We send guys to a school where they want to go. We will help them look at what’s the best fit for them, what the academic situation is and how they relate to the coaching staff.”
“We’re not a regional place that will send them to Georgia, [Georgia] Tech, Auburn or whatever,” he continued. “We tell them to stick with their pick if that’s where they feel comfortable.”
Well, that begs the question: has he gotten any indication of McManus’ and Lebbie’s intentions?
“As far as I know, McManus is sticking with WVU,” said Dawson. “Lebbie is, too. Neither has told me they want to open back up [their recruitment].”
So what can West Virginia fans expect from the duo after a semester at Atlanta Sports Academy?
“They’re going to be getting bigger, better and stronger,” said the coach. “McManus will be an excellent wide receiver and same with Lebbie at linebacker.”