Darius Mann helps Don Bosco advance in playoffs

University of Louisville commit Darius Mann had a game for the memory books in helping Don Bosco to a win in the first round of the playoffs over the weekend.

For most Louisville fans that have made themselves familiar with U of L commit Darius Mann of Don Bosco (NJ) Prep view him as a future standout in the Cardinals secondary, but in Friday's 48-14 first round playoff victory over Paramus, Mann displayed his great athletic ability on both sides of the ball.

"I had a pretty good game," Mann told Inside the Ville. "I'm still a defensive guy, but I did have my best game on offense and I haven't been playing on offense very long."

Mann's posted the type of offensive numbers that most athletes would love to post for any game, especially for a playoff game. Playing at tailback, Mann had 7 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while also pulling in one reception for 22 yards. Defensively it was business as usual for the 6-foot, 180-pound athlete as he recorded 13 tackles, including four for a loss.

What makes it even more impressive is that Mann hasn't played at 100% for weeks due to a pinched nerve in his neck.

"It's healing pretty good," Mann explained. "It's almost 100% now, so it feels a lot better."

However, is often the case when offensive players transition to the defensive side of the ball in college, Mann admits that his experience carrying the ball is helping him when trying to stop opposing runners.

"I really think it does," Mann said of the advantage that playing tailback gives him. "It helps me improve my field vision and gives me a better feeling of what's supposed to happen when the other team lines up."

His continued strong play has kept a number of colleges interested as well, but Mann continues to be a solid Louisville commit and is looking forward to helping U of L land verbal pledges from a few more New Jersey prospects.

"I'm excited about my visit. I'm taking a whole bunch of guys with me, so it'll be fun. I'll try to get them to commit or think about committing to Louisville during the trip. I want them to see what a quality program it is."

While Mann remains a solid commitment, it hasn't stopped opposing coaches from mentioning speculation of U of L head coach Bobby Petrino leaving after the season.

"I spoke with Coach Petrino about all of that," said Mann, who speaks weekly with U of L assistant Kevin Wolthausen. "He told me that he isn't going anywhere, so I believe that he won't. I trust his word."

During his most recent coversation with Coach Wolthausen, Mann learned what number he'll be wearing next fall as a Cardinal.

"I want to wear number nine, but that guy (Joshua Tinch) on offense is wearing it and he's really good, so I won't get that until my sophomore year," Mann explained. "I'll wear number three when I get there next year."

Mann also commented on the Cardinals recent No. 8 ranking in the latest Associated Press Top 25.

"They deserve it. Truthfully, I didn't think that they move that high. I thought [the voters] would keep them at around 11th."

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