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Newest Oakland Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 19, 1990.
Manuel played his high school football in Virginia for Bayside High School, throwing for over 1,900 yards and 15 touchdowns and running for 345 yards and five touchdowns during his junior campaign.
His incredible junior season landed him All-American honors, a five-star rating by Scout and a scholarship to Florida State University.
At FSU, Manuel played sparingly throughout his first two seasons as starter Christian Ponder secured the helm.
During his freshman year, Manuel was lucky enough to replace an injured Ponder for the Gator Bowl. A game that put Manuel on the map nationally as he led the Seminoles to a 33-21 win over West Virginia, while taking home the game’s MVP award.
Manuel took over the starting job his junior season and threw for 2,666 yards and 18 touchdowns, and led FSU to a comeback win against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl to finish the season at 9-4.
Manuel improved throughout his senior season, finishing with a 12-2 record and an Orange Bowl win against Northern Illinois and throwing for 3,392 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Going into the 2013 NFL draft, Manuel was touted as a blue-chip talent, however, there were concerns about his work ethic and ability to take care of the football at the next level, according to NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks.
It was those concerns that made the Buffalo Bills drafting Manuel no. 16 overall all the more shocking for most fans.
With the Bills Manuel appeared in ten games as a rookie, throwing for close to 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns against nine interceptions. However, Manuel proved inconsistent and inaccurate, which made it very difficult for him to hold down his job in Buffalo for any length of time.
Manuel failed to reach a Pro Football Focus player grade above 50.3 in any of his four seasons with the Bills. His erratic performances made him a much better fit in Buffalo as a backup, a role Manuel should enjoy for years to come in the NFL.
The 6-foot, 5-inch Manuel will come as a stark contrast to former Raiders backup QB Matt McGloin, both in size and ability. Perhaps with the guidance of Carr and new Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing, Manuel can improve his accuracy and work ethic.
Raider Nation certainly hopes so.