Big East a factor in Darius Mann's decision

Darius Mann of Don Bosco (NJ) Prep School recently became University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino's first public commitment in the class of 2005. The hard-hitting safety/linebacker explains why he chose the Cardinals over heavy interest from some other big time programs.

Talk to those in the know and they'll tell you this about 6-foot, 180-pound Darius Mann of Don Bosco (NJ) Prep School:

He's got incredible strength for his size and he packs a punch when he hits.

Mann, who recently made a verbal committment to the University of Louisville, chose the Cardinals over serious interest from Alabama, Iowa, Wisconsin, UCONN and North Carolina, each of whom had also offered scholarships, among others.

"I chose Louisville because of the coaching staff, especially my relationship with Coach Cassity," Mann explained. "I was also impressed with the crowd attendance and the fact that they'll be playing in the Big East with a chance to play in a BCS bowl."

Projected as a safety at the collegiate level, Mann felt comfortable with Cassity's defensive system, a style closly resembling the one he's grown accustomed to at Don Bosco.

"I just liked how he [Cassity] presented his plans to me," Mann explained. "He likes to play man defense and that's how we play here. It's almost a perfect fit.

Mann had narrowed his choices to Louisville, UCONN and North Carolina, and when the scholarship offer came from the Cardinals he knew he was ready to end his recruitment.

"Louisville recruits nationally and they only had two scholarships slotted this year for safties," Mann explained of his decision to verbally commit to Louisville. "Since they were in my top two [along with UCONN] and they offered I figured that I would take the offer before someone else did."

Mann, who said the hustle of the recruiting process "isn't my style," will make his first visit to Louisville next month. He also said his commitment is firm and indicated he wouldn't visit another school besides Louisville.

Mann said he's interested in studying either Business Finance or Engineering in college.

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