Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian University, 2006 Page: 66



Danieal Manning said a dream he's had since he was 7-years-old
came true. With the 42nd pick in the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears
selected the former Wildcat star with its first pick. Manning was drafted
as a free safety by the Bears, the position head coach Lovie Smith wants
him to play.
Smith went to Corsicana more in March to watch Manning work out
and said in a press conference that he was impressed enough to make
Manning a top priority for the draft.
The Bears traded its first round pick to the Buffalo Bills at No. 26,
and used the extra pick received in the trade to take Manning.
Manning's agent, Russell Hicks, said a scout told him the Bears would
trade their first round pick.
"I hear stuff all the time, so I didn't give it much attention,"
Hicks said.
Manning watched the draft from a hotel lobby in his hometown of
Corsicana. While the Bears were on the clock, Manning received a call
from an unknown number on his cell phone. It was coach Smith.
"He said, Are you ready to be a Chicago Bear?'" Manning said. After
that Smith told him he was ready to take Manning.
Then Manning saw his name across the bottom of the screen, and the
room erupted with hugs and tears.
"I was hugging everybody," Manning said.
Manning said that day was one of the best days of his life.

"It ranks right up there with turning my life to God and the birth of
my first son," Manning said."I've been dreaming for this for a long time,
and now it's true."
The Bears introduced Manning to the Chicago media and fans on
May 1st. General ManagerJerry Angelo spoke before bringing Manning
to the podium.
"I can tell you this first hand; all the information we got was very
good, very positive," Angelo said. "We're very happy to have him as our
No. 1 draft pick:'
Manning addressed the media, and said how big of an honor it is to
have the chance to play for the Bears.
Many members of the media were concerned about Manning coming
from a smaller school, but he tried to calm any worries during his press
"I'm going to do my best and contribute to the team as best as I can
and to ... show the fans that I'm here to play and get the Chicago Bears
to where they need to be," Manning said.
Manning said he had heard a lot about the city of Chicago and the
weather. Playing in the NFC North Division, Manning will play in
games in cold weather.
"Once I get there, I'll adjust," Manning said.
By: Jared Fields, adapted from the OptimistI
By:Jared Fields, adapted from the Optimist

Photo by Brian Schmidt

At a football game versus TAMU-Commerce, Danieal Manning runs the ball while avoiding a tackle.






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