Do you have a favorite moment since you've been at Pitt?
Manuel: Absolutely. My sophomore year we went to NCAA Regionals and that was the coolest experience of my life. We beat Cal, we beat Oakland and then we played Michigan in the regional finals. It was the coolest experience playing in front of that many fans. It was really overwhelming, but being in that atmosphere was just amazing. It was a dream come true.
How have you become a leader of the team?
Manuel: I'm not much of a leader by voice, I don't really tell people what to do - I'm not that loud voice. I am more of a follow me and I'll do what you're going to do type of leader. I'm not going to expect anyone to do anything that I wouldn't do.
We had a judgement day where The Program came in - they kicked our butts. But they made me step out of my comfort zone and do things I wouldn't normally do. For example, I had to run out there and lead an exercise group. I had to get on to people to do stuff - but the more I did it, the more people bought into the entire idea and had to pay attention.
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Manuel: I already have a job out of college. I'm going to be a business management analyst at a defensive contract company in Florida. That is exciting for me.
Last fall, I finally got the ACC Honorable Mention. I was really proud about that, it finally showed my hard work paying off.
Any life lessons or takeaways from your time at Pitt?
Manuel: Accept change. I hate change. I'm originally from San Diego, so coming out here was such a huge difference. I'm such a homebody, but my parents made me leave. I am really grateful for that. Without them, I wouldn't be here. So really accept and embrace change and love it.