CANYON COUNTRY — Canyon High offensive lineman Mark Manskar said Friday he has committed to USC, choosing the Trojans over UCLA and Colorado.
Manskar, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound senior tackle, was the most heralded offensive linemen in the area and one of the most sought-after prospects in the nation. After considering Notre Dame and Miami, he had narrowed his choices to Colorado, UCLA and USC because of a desire to stay close to home.
"I grew up a UCLA fan, but I thought I'd fit in better at USC," he said. "I'm now a Trojan."
USC Coach John Robinson said before the season that Manskar could start for the Trojans now. But Manskar said the Trojans will redshirt him next season.
Colorado Coach Rick Neuheisel, visiting Canyon the day before he was chosen to replace Bill McCartney, watched five minutes of film on Manskar, turned off the VCR and said, "That's all I need to see."
UCLA Coach Terry Donahue spent three hours at the Manskar home on Tuesday. Manskar's mother, Shirley, cooked dinner.
But Manskar said he was swayed by the atmosphere at USC.
"I really liked the coaches and I thought the place was very classy, and I could see myself there," he said.
Canyon Coach Larry Mohr sees a bright future for his standout lineman.
"He's got great size and footwork, and he's got a frame where he can get to be about 300 pounds by his senior year," Mohr said. "I think Mark's going to be an outstanding college offensive lineman."
Manskar, a first-team All-Valley selection and three-year varsity starter, was named most valuable player for the Cowboys, who finished 3-6-1. Mohr said Manskar never allowed a sack and Canyon had a 75% success rate on fourth-down conversions when it ran behind Manskar.
"I've coached a long time and I've never seen a better lineman," Mohr said.