Former linebacker Donovan Manuel signs deal with the Minnesota Vikings

Former linebacker Donovan Manuel on the field for the FIU football team. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director 

After spending two seasons with the FIU football team, former linebacker Donovan Manuel signed with the Minnesota Vikings, as announced by the team’s X account on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

Manuel, standing at 6-1, 230 pounds, operated as the linchpin of the Panthers defense during the 2023 season. That year, he finished with 121 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and led the team in each metric.

Over the entirety of his career with the team, Manuel started in all 24 games that he appeared in and provided FIU with consistent production. Through his two years, he accumulated 218 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss, six pass deflections and five forced fumbles.

Prior to joining the Panthers, Manuel played his first four seasons with the East Tennessee Buccaneers in Johnson City, Tennessee. In his fourth season with the team, he led their defense with 124 total tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss.

Upon the conclusion of the 2023 season, he entered his name in the 2024 NFL Draft, which began on Thursday, April 25. Although Manuel was not selected in the draft, his efforts were still rewarded with a contract from the Vikings.

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