Former Jackrabbit Josh Manchigiah will return to Brookings Saturday as a Coyote

USD Senior will play for first time against his former teammates Saturday
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 11:53 PM CDT
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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Josh Manchigiah has always had a pretty good feel for the game of football. “Get an interception, pass breakup, tackle, any sort of thing, just playing with instinct and finding the ball and just being able to play free.” Manchigiah says.

The Papillion Nebraska native quickly put that on display at South Dakota State. A redshirt in 2016, Josh became a starter in 2019, and led the Jackrabbits with four interceptions during their spring 2021 season.

During the fall he lost his starting spot and, with one year of eligibility left, relied on his instincts yet again. “The transfer portal is crazy business so you got to look at your opportunities realistically and kind take advantage of what’s there for you. The (USD) coaching staff was really intentional with me and I appreciated that.” Josh says of transferring from SDSU to USD.

He quickly became the oldest and most experience player on USD’s roster. “And he’s played at a high level in our league. Guys like that are going to help you. From a football standpoint he’s come in and he’s hit the ground running.” USD Head Coach Bob Nielson says.

To the point that his first interaction with his new team involved a certain play with his old one. “That was one of the first things they were like ‘oh SDSU? How about that play?!” Manchigiah says of the USD hail mary play to beat SDSU last year that he was in on.

On Saturday Manchigiah returns to Brookings wearing red, the first player in the Division One era to have switched sides in the rivalry. “The only thing I can compare it to is like a Seth Benson who committed to us (out of high school) and then ended up at a school, in this case Iowa. It was a treat to visit with Seth and I look forward to seeing Josh and I wish him the best. Always have.” SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier says.

There will certainly be strong feelings seeing former teammates and friends, many of whom were in his wedding party this past summer. “There was like 20 of my ex-teammates were there. I’m excited to play against a lot of my friends and it’ll be good. It’ll be a good challenge, it will be a good game. We’re excited, I’m sure they’re excited and hopefully the fans won’t be too harsh on me! There’s no bad blood from me but I’m looking forward to going back up there.” Manchigiah says.

While trying to set an example for his new one.

In Vermillion Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports