"Tavon is like my big brother," McManus said. "In my freshman year, he was a senior [at Dunbar High]. When I went into the weight room, he showed me the ropes. He said I could be something special.
"I'm hoping he'll put me under his wing [in Morgantown] like he did at Dunbar. I hope he'll show me the ropes. I'll use that to my advantage."
McManus is unabashedly proud of his relationship with Austin.
"I talk to him all the time," said the signee. "He was here [in Baltimore] a couple days ago. I call when I need him."
McManus, who also played basketball but stopped after his sophomore year, might one day have another former Dunbar teammate around. WVU has already offered the Poets' quarterback, William Crest, a scholarship as an athlete in the 2014 class.
It will take time to see how that deal unfolds. But for McManus, the process was swift. He had offers from most of the nation's most highly acclaimed schools, including, he said, Big 12 kingpin Texas, but took no official visits.
"Ever since I went [to Morgantown], I knew," McManus said. "I went there for a 7-on-7 camp and committed last summer."
Was he even tempted to check out the other schools?
"I was tempted," he said. "I didn't close any doors. But I knew in my mind where I wanted to go."
McManus, by the way, is confident he's not only headed to WVU, but in good academic standing.
"I just got my report card [Thursday]," he said. "Got all B's. I'm definitely good to go. I needed 10 points on my SAT and should get that back in a week or two."
And if there are no stiff breezes, expect McManus to fly like the wind at WVU.
"I'm a physical playmaker," said the receiver. "I will just be an animal on the field. I'm a playmaker - for real."
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.