Gabe Manzanares, a former Running Back at UC Davis, never got the chance to play professional football despite a successful collegiate career. The Spring League Showcase in July is his big shot in hopes of an invitation to an NFL or CFL training camp.
As a recruited walk on transfer from City College of San Francisco, Manzanares won the starting job his first season for UC Davis. During his two seasons for the Aggies, he had a total of 2116 rushing yards, 656 receiving yards, and 18 total touchdowns. In his 2014 senior season, he finished third in the Big Sky Conference in rushing with 831 yards and 5 touchdowns, while missing the first 5 games of the season due to injury. He also finished third for All-Purpose yards in the Big Sky Conference. Manzanares’ best feat that season was being amongst the top in the country for all purpose and rush yards in the FCS, right up there with guys like David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals and Zach Zenner of the Detroit Lions.
Not getting a chance to prove himself in any professional training camps beyond the UC Davis and 49ers pro days, Manzanares is now turning to The Spring Football League Showcase on July 15th to earn an opportunity at the next level. “I’m participating in The Spring League Showcase because I want to show scouts I can compete in the NFL and how much I’ve improved since college,” said Manzanares. The Spring League is an instructional league, which serves as a developmental platform and showcase for professional football talent.
Manzanares can impress the scouts due to him being a versatile Running Back who understands and has had success in both zone and gap run schemes, has exceptional hands, and is a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. He is an intelligent player who can quickly understand and execute pass protection and most importantly, he is a competitor.
The Spring Football League has had a handful of players from their first showcase sign with NFL teams and Manzanares plans to be next.