Wayne Graham said --"Craig has improved yearly. I think he's one of the top catchers in Division I, and he may be one of the best situational hitters in college baseball."
Rice -- 2012 Rice's regular starting catcher the last two seasons with a wealth of Division I experience... Started 92 of the Owls' 118 games over the 2011-2012 seasons (78 percent)... Was on the national watch list for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award as the top Division I catcher... Closed-out his college career with a .291 career batting average and 100 RBI in 209 career games... Veteran backstop who helped lead his Owl team to four-straight Conference USA championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances... Hit .275 for the full season and .296 in C-USA league games... Owns 11 games with two or more hits and has driven-in two or more runs in a game five times... Reached base in 10-straight games during one point of the season... Batted either second or third in the order a total of 31 times... Has thrown-out 13 runners attempting to steal a base and was error-free in the field in 463 total chances... 2011: Conference USA Championship all-tournament team; All-Silver Glove Series team for the season-long best-of-five games vs. crosstown rival Houston; Played in 60 of the team's 63 games with 47 starts... Made 46 starts at catcher and one as the designated hitter... Starting catcher on Opening Day against nationally-ranked Stanford... Finished the year starting a critical stretch of each of the last 12 games of the season... Led Conference USA with 11 pinch hit appearances (and remained in the game as a defensive substitute behind the plate 10 of the 11 times)... Tied for second in the conference in sacrifice bunts (12), and tied for third in the league in sacrifice flies (7)... Ranked tenth in the conference, and was second on the team, in on-base percentage (.421)... Was hit by a pitch a team-high 10 times (seventh-most in C-USA)... Finished third on the team in batting average (.309), and was fourth in both RBI (35) and walks (29)... Struck out only eight times all year and finished with a 3.6-to-1 walks-to-strikeouts ratio... Again proved to be a steady hitter who was 27-for-88 (.307) in his first half of the season, and 27-for-87 (.310) in his second half... Longest hitting streak of the season was six games... Batted .366 with runners on-base, .348 with men in scoring position and .333 with the bases-loaded... Hit .381 (8-for-21) with seven walks in seven postseason games (including the NCAA Regional and C-USA Championship)... Maintained a .344 average in Rice's 12 games against nationally-ranked opponents... Batted .333 in ten games where the attendance was more than 4,000 fans... Did some of his best hitting in road games away from Reckling Park (.322)... Posted two or more hits in a game 13 times, including three hits in a win at Arizona to tie a career-high... Hit a three-run home run against Tulane to tie a career-high in RBI... Tallied two or more RBI a total of six times... Drove-in 16 runs when there were already two outs recorded in the inning (the second-highest two-out total for an Owl)... Twice scored two runs in a game in C-USA wins over UAB and Memphis... Did exemplary work all year with such a young pitching staff... Caught ten different starting pitchers, led by Austin Kubitza (15 times) and Matthew Reckling (12 times)... Six different Owl pitchers went undefeated in games where he was the starting catcher... Maintained a .991 fielding percentage with only four errors at catcher... Twice registered a career-high 14 put outs in high strikeout games against Southern Cal and Dallas Baptist... Threw-out runners attempting to steal a base 13 times... Played in the Coastal Plain League (Forest City Owls) over the summer... 2010: Conference USA Academic Honor Roll; Played in 48 of the team's 63 games with 32 starts, including 26 behind the plate and six as the designated hitter... Was the same, steady defensive catcher (did not make an error all season) who increased both his slugging and on-base percentages from his freshman year... Tallied new season-highs in doubles, triples and home runs... Batted .300 with runners on base and .333 with the bases loaded... Hit safely in a career-best nine-consecutive games in March... Collected two or more hits in a game 10 times... Tied a career-high with three hits in the home win over No. 2 ranked Texas... Drove in two or more runs in a game four times, tying his career-high twice with three RBI in back-to-back wins against NCAA Tournament-bound teams California and Texas... Hit .393 (22-for-56) in 22 games against talented teams that went on to play in the NCAA Tournament... Batted .417 (10-for-24) in big games where the attendance was more than 4,000 fans... Went 5-for-15 (.333) when starting as the DH... Shared the team lead in sacrifice bunts (7) with eventual major league draft pick Jimmy Comerota... Three of the seven SAC bunts were in the season-long, five-game series against crosstown rival Houston, but it was his home run blast in the bottom of the 12th inning that lifted Rice to an 8-7 victory over the Cougars in the team's longest game of the year... One of only five Owls who had more walks than strikeouts (14-to-8)... Came off the bench a total of 16 times (the second-highest total on the team), including eight times as the new catcher... Starting catcher for eight different Owl pitchers, led by Taylor Wall (six times) and Tony Cingrani & Mike Ojala (both five times)... Tallied a season-high 11 out outs against Texas... Tied a career-high with three assists three different times... 2009: Successful debut season of Division I baseball... Worked his way into 43 games with 31 starts as a true freshman... Made 24 starts behind the plate and seven as the designated hitter... Evolved into the game-two, or Saturday catcher, in weekend series... Team went 17-7 in his starts at catcher, and Owl pitchers maintained a steady 3.83 ERA with a .238 opponents' batting average in those games... Ten of his catching starts featured an all-freshman battery, including either Taylor Wall (five times), Andrew Benak (twice) or Matthew Reckling (twice)... Showcased a strong and accurate arm, throwing out 12 baserunners who were attempting to steal... Made only one error in the field all season... Has the hitting to match defensive skills... Maintained a .292 average for the full season and a .300 mark in Conference USA games... Opportunistically batted .404 (19-for-47) with runners in scoring position... Batted a steady .316 against ranked opponents and .313 in nine games when there were more than 4,500 fans in attendance...Hit .462 in the season-long five-game Silver Glove Series against crosstown rival Houston... Longest hitting streak of the season was seven games... Collected two or more hits in a game 17 times, including a season-best three hits twice (vs. Lamar and East Carolina)... Knocked doubles on the road at Texas and Lamar, and at home against Notre Dame... Drove in two ore more runs in a game seven times, the sixth-highest total on the squad... Season-high for RBI was three on two occasions... Tied for third on the team with four sacrifice hits... Made 12 appearances off the bench, the second-highest total of any player on the team... Played summer ball in the Florida Collegiate League, where he helped lead the Samford River Rats to a second place finish in the regular season standings.
High School -- A 2008 graduate of Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Fla... Hit .500 to earn District 11-5A player of the year honors as a senior... Two-time all-Cape Coast Conference selection... All-county player in 2006 and 2008... Four-year varsity letterman... Caught every inning of every game as a junior and senior... Coached in baseball by Oscar Restrepo... Multi-sport star also played football for four years... Played quarterback in the county all-star game... Varsity letterman for the Scorpions soccer team... Maintained a 3.78 grade point average on a 4.00 scale.
Personal -- Full Name: Craig Manuel. Born: May 22, 1990 in Rockville, Maryland. Parents: Roger and Bobbi Manuel of Satellite Beach, Fla., (one sister). Father played baseball at Jamestown College in North Dakota. College: Sid Richardson.