Today, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Mario Manningham. Mario Cashmere Manningham was born on this day in Warren, Ohio. Yes, he was a Buckeye who decided to take his talents to Ann Arbor instead of Columbus. Manningham was a highly- recruited receiver coming out of high school, but Lloyd Carr offered a scholarship and Manningham accepted.
Mario Manningham enrolled at Michigan in the fall of 2005. He started three games at wide receiver and caught 27 passes for 433-yards and 6 touchdowns. The good news was that Mario earned his first varsity letter. However, the bad news was that Michigan ended the season with a final record of 7 wins and 5 losses. It was the worst season in Lloyd Carr’s tenure. Michigan won five of eight conference games which tied them for third place. It was not a year to remember for Manningham or his teammates.
During the 2006 season, Mario started nine games at Wide Receiver. He had 38 receptions for 703 yards and averaged 18.5 yards per catch. Manningham scored 9 touchdowns and had three games with 100-yards or more of reception yardage. He earned first team All-Conference honors for his excellent season. Michigan had a much better season in 2006, but it ended on a sour note with two straight losses. The Wolverines ended the season with 11 wins and 2 losses and finished second in the Big Ten with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss.
Expectations were running high in Ann Arbor to start the 2007 season. The fifth ranked Wolverines had a ton of returning starters and plenty of very good players like Chad Henne, Mario Manningham and Mike Hart. Everyone was expecting great things from Michigan in 2007. Unfortunately, Appalachian State and Oregon did not believe all the pre-season hype about Michigan. The Wolverines lost their first two home games for the first time since 1959. Michigan was now on a four-game losing streak dating back to the last two games of the 2006 season. It was time to see what the Wolverines were made of.
As it turned out, Co-Captains Mike Hart and Jake Long knew that Michigan was a very good football team. They picked their teammates up and led the way as the Wolverines won eight straight games. Michigan lost the last two games of the regular season to Wisconsin and Ohio State to finish second in the Big Ten. They ended the regular season with a record of 8 wins and 4 losses. Lloyd Carr had announced his retirement earlier in the season and the Wolverines sent him out on a high note with a 41-35 win over Florida in the Capital One Bowl.
Mario Manningham had a very productive year in 2007. He started eleven games and caught 72 passes for 1,174 yards. Mario grabbed 12 touchdown passes and averaged 16.3 yards per catch. He also had 19 rushing attempts and gained 119-yards which averaged out to 6.3 yards per carry. Manningham earned first team All-Conference honors for the second straight season in 2007.
Of course, Mario Manningham opted to leave a year early for the NFL. He ended his excellent career with his name all over the record book. Mario’s record of six consecutive 100-yards receiving games in 2007 still stands at the top of the list. Here are some of the best “firsts” that connect Mario Manningham to Michigan Football:
- Mario Manningham played in the first game ever against Northern Illinois in 2005.
- Manningham also played in the first, and only, game against Ball State in 2006.
- Mario Manningham played in the first game ever against Appalachian State in 2007.
- Manningham is the first, and only, receiver to record 6 consecutive 100-yard receiving yards in 2007.
So, thanks to Mario Manningham for his notable contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. Please take a moment to appreciate everything that Mario did at Michigan. Happy Birthday Mario Manningham. Thanks for the memories and Go Blue!