"I got a tour of the Vista Del Sol apartments, where I could be staying at after my freshman year. Those are just top of the line. But really this visit was more for my family to get a feel for the school and appreciate the things I have learned to appreciate about Arizona State."
The Valor Christian standout is being recruited by ASU linebackers coach Trent Bray and defensive line coach Scott Brown, and both sat down with the defensive end during the visit for what Mann described as a very productive conversation.
"They were awesome and answered every question I had," Mann commented. "They showed me that they really wanted me. They just rolled out everything for me and everything went very well. They showed me where I could be five years from now as a player and where the program would be. They really addressed my family and the how to deal with the change of playing away from home.
"I really got the feeling that coach Brown was going to be there not only as my coach, but also as someone that cares for me as a person. He made a very good impression on my family. Yeah, there will be times where he will rip on me but that is his job as a coach but at the end of the day he'll pat me on the back and tell me what I need to do to be a good player. I know that he and coach Erickson are players' coaches and that is reassuring."
Another coach Mann has learned to greatly appreciate is his position coach at Valor Christian, Travis Kirschke, who played as a defensive end with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mann said that his coach has been a big part of recruitment both communicating with his suitors as well as advising Mann on all recruiting manners in addition to developing him as a player.
"Coach Kirschke played in the NFL for 13 years which is pretty outstanding because not too many people play in the league that long," Mann stated. "He won a few Super Bowls with the Steelers and has (Super Bowl) rings all over the place. But what I like about him that he doesn't talk down to you even though he played in the NFL all those years. He's really down to earth and loves the game and helps all of our players to get better regardless of their skill level.
"Technique wise we are thought with the best of the best. Everyday we learn to play four-technique or five-technique, different kind of blocks…a lot of the techniques are NFL style and that obviously helps you in college in how to handle the counter, the trap or any other things. The coaches at Arizona State mentioned how much they like my technique and that's because of Coach Kirschke."
As a junior Mann collected 56 tackles and five sacks. He reported a 4.8 mark in the 40-yard dash. Mann was one of the stars on the Valor Christian High School team and was part of a defense which not only won a state championship in their first year playing at the 4A level, but also was featured on a unit that allowed fewer than 10 points a game last season. The Eagles finished 12-3 in 2010 and were also state champions in 2009, their last campaign as a 3A school.
Mann was has also received scholarships offers from Iowa, Connecticut, Air Force, and Colorado State. The defensive end is attracting interest from Oregon, California, Boise State, Stanford and UNLV. The defensive end that he is content with the recruiting attention he is receiving and the reason for that sentiment is quite obvious.
"A lot of players treat recruitment as a game," Mann explained, "and for them it's just about how many offers they can get. That's crazy. The schools I am really interested in I already got the offers from. I don't think there is any point getting an offer from a school that you aren't interested in. I don't feel slighted by the offers I don't have. That's not me.
"ASU is definitely my No. 1 school and I came very close to committing on the trip with my family. I don't know when I'm going to commit and I can't put on a date on it. But I don't feel as comfortable with any other school and I think that says enough. I know I want to first talk to my high school coaches today in practice because I feel obligated in talking to them. They have done so much for me. I want them to be involved and show them that I appreciate everything they have done for me."