Manley, a three-star prospect ranked as one of the nation's top 50 guards by Scout.com, says rumors that he was close to make a decision a few weeks ago were not true
"I am still weighing my options. I?never told anybody I was close to making a final decision. I?was hoping to commit in June, but I wasn't able to get that done," said Manley. "I have just kind of kept to myself in recent weeks and have kind of been weighing everything. I am just talking to coaches and others to make sure what school is the right fit for me."
Since Bowling Green opens preseason workouts Monday, Manley hopes to make another visit to UK this week after taking a trip to Louisville last week. He has family in both places.
"I will have this done before our season starts. I?like both schools. I like both coaching staffs and fan bases. I like that I can get back home easily from both schools," Manley said. "Offensively, there's not a big difference in the systems. They both run and pass about equal."
Manley says the recruiting process has been fun and not overly stressful. Sunday night he was grilling ribs, chicken, squash and zucchini — "I just like cooking and grilling" — after spending the previous day at a family get-together in Louisville.
"People talk to me all the time about both schools. When I go see family in Lexington, it will be mainly UK talk. When I see family in Louisville, it's mainly Louisville talk," Manley said. "Everybody wants me to go to their favorite school. You just can't let the whole recruiting thing engulf your whole life."
Bowling Green coach Kevin Wallace says his star lineman has indeed enjoyed the recruiting process.
"I think he has handled the process of establishing relationships in a positive manner," Wallace said.
Wallace likes Manley's potential at the Division I?level.
"His size is his biggest asset. Typical of many young lineman, his improvement will hinge greatly on how he improves his feet and ability to move," the high school coach said. "I would like for Joe to be a consistently dominant force on our offensive line. He needs to be someone we can depend on every snap.
"Joe has great potential. Currently, he is a work in progress, but I think a college weight room, added maturity, and learning to compete at a high level gives Joe a chance to be a better player down the road."
His coach says his demeanor and personality will make him a good fit wherever he decides to play.
"Away from football, he lives to laugh and fish. He's a good kid," Wallace said.
Manley has talked to Ryan Wallace, the coach's son, who started his college career at Colorado, transferred to UK and is now playing for Western Kentucky. He's also talked to Kentucky senior offensive lineman Stuart Hines, another Bowling Green product, as well as several other former teammates now playing college football.
"I talk to Ryan Wallace a lot," Manley said. "But even though I talk to different people, I just have to do what is right for me. Kentucky and Louisville are both good schools. That's why it is so even between them. It just comes down to how I see myself fitting in with the coaches and all the players. I am also interested in opportunities after football, so that will play a role in my decision.
"I don't know for sure when I will make my decision, but I want to get this done. I talk to the coaches a lot, so it just comes down to making sure I make the right choice."