Manny Bright has been a shining star for the Gilbert Indians this season.
The senior wide receiver may not say a whole lot, but he lets his play do the talking. It’s one big reason Chad Leaphart’s team is undefeated heading into Week 8.
“He’s out here. He does everything that’s asked of him,” Leaphart said. “Doesn’t matter that he has the TV cameras on him. Doesn’t matter that newspapers talk to him and those kinds of things. Manny works hard every day.”
Bright spent his sophomore year away from football to focus on basketball. The Indians point guard felt that he wasn’t built for the gridiron, but he missed the game he’s been playing since he was 10 years old. Then one day, his father gave him an ultimatum that would change everything.
“I was in the house playing Minecraft on my iPad and my dad was like, ‘Boy, if you don’t go out there and start playing football, I’m going to take that iPad away from you,’" Bright said. "So, I didn’t want him to take my iPad because I wanted to keep playing Minecraft so I came out and started playing.”
That decision has paid off for Gilbert. Bright has 43 catches for 791 yards and eight touchdowns. His goal is to play for Clemson at the next level despite his 150-pound frame and that could be possible. Not only are his football numbers pretty good, but his 3.6-grade point average is one of the best on the team.
Birght's goal is to study in Clemson's engineering program. However, Bright has yet to receive an offer from the Tigers or any other teams, but schools like Newberry and North Greenville are interested.
“The big thing with Manny is his size,” said Leaphart, “but then you turn on the tape and watch him go and see the things that he can do…especially here this year. He’s really taken off so I think that’s going to be good for him in that regard.”
Bright and the Indians will take on Strom Thurmond at home on Friday.
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