FSU’s Manuel Shines In Senior Bowl, Earns MVP

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — EJ Manuel’s January couldn’t have gone much better on the field. More importantly, he’s hoping for a similarly happy February for his family.

The Florida State quarterback passed for a touchdown and rushed for another on the South’s first two drives in a 21-16 victory over the North in the Senior Bowl on Saturday, and was named Most Outstanding Player.

Now, he can try to be the MOS — Most Outstanding Son. His mother, Jackie Manuel, who was diagnosed with breast cancer before the season, has been recovering from her final round of chemotherapy, and Manuel said she’s scheduled to have surgery on Feb. 1.

“That’s kind of been my motivation,” Manuel said. “I call my mom every single day and tell her I love her. I never miss a day.

“They’ll be sending that award home to her. I won that award for her. I went out there and played well for her. I’m happy I was able to do it.”

And even happier to return to her side in Virginia for a few days, instead of just squeezing in Skype and Facetime sessions.

It was a great finish for Manuel to a month that began with a 291-yard performance in an Orange Bowl victory over Northern Illinois.

Manuel and running backs Stepfan Taylor and Mike James combined to put the game for senior NFL prospects away on the South’s final drive. Stanford’s Taylor carried five times for 32 yards and caught a 6-yard pass from Manuel.

Manuel converted a fourth-and-1 play on a sneak to set up a 5-yard touchdown run for Miami’s James with 2:41 left. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 76 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Alabama tight end Michael Williams. He also scored on a 2-yard run.

Source: Associated Press

Insider Note: Coming up later this week, it’s the 2012 FSU Football Post-Season Awards Fiesta Extravaganza. Coming on February 8, it’s the debut of The Reynolds Report, your one-stop shop for Seminole football off-season news and tidbits. We’ll also take a trip in the DeLorean down Old School Lane and look back at some of the greatest players and games that helped shape the Seminole football program.

You may ask yourself, how in the hell could this get any better? Well, it wouldn’t be named The Reynolds Report if it wasn’t for one of the greatest Seminoles of all-time, Mr. Burt Reynolds. Yes ladies and gents, the legend of the Bandit began in Tallahassee, where he carried the pigskin for the Noles and undoubtedly romanced his king’s bounty of FSU coeds.

Each week, in addition to FSU related news, The Reynolds Report will feature a tribute (pics, video clips, classic lines) to a classic Burt Reynolds character. (Spoiler Alert: 98% of the characters feature the iconic Burt mustache) You’re welcome.

I wish Mr. Reynolds a speedy recovery, as he has spent the last few days in a Florida hospital ICU battling that bastard flu. Doctors say his health is improving and he should be released on Monday. Chop it Up, Burt.