Canes/Gators Battle for DL

Merritt Island, Fla. defensive end Mike Mangold still has not suited up this season because of a foot injury that happened last spring.

"I re-broke it late in the summer," Mangold said. "It's been frustrating because I haven't been able to do much. But I've been doing real good lately, no pain, and it's getting better every day. I was cleared to jog and I've been doing that just fine. They put a screw in my foot to keep it in place and the doctors said just a few more weeks (before I can return)."

The talented defensive end already has that game circled on his calendar.

"I'll be back for our game against Rockledge on October 10," he said. "I'll be banging some heads. I can't wait. I'm going to show everyone what I got and I think they'll be impressed. I can't wait."

Mangold, who recently transferred from West Palm Beach to live with his mother, is one of the state's top prospects at his positions. He's taken unofficial visits to his top two choices in recent weeks.

"I went to the Florida/Miami game a couple weeks ago and then I went to the Florida/Tennessee game yesterday," he said. "They were both great. The Swamp was awesome. I had a great time but unfortunately, the Gators lost."

Mangold has been talking to coaches from both programs on a regular basis.

"They both call each week," he said. "I had a chance to meet Greg Mark when I was there and he told me that Coach Coker said I have a scholarship if I want it. I haven't really followed up on it or anything but I took that as if I have (an offer)."

Mangold, 6-3 1/2 and 245 pounds, said there's a lot to like about both in-state programs.

"They're both great programs with a lot of tradition," he said. "They both have beautiful campuses. Gainesville is more like a college atmosphere. Florida's got a great young team and I really like Bill Miller and Ron Zook. Miami knows how to win and they send a lot of defensive linemen into the NFL. Plus, I've known Vince Wilfork, one of their defensive lineman, since his days at Santaluces (High School). But I'd have to say Florida's got the edge right now. They seem to be showing more interest."

In addition to the Canes and Gators, Mangold is considering some out of state programs as well.

"I'll probably take my visits," he said. "My top four or five would be Florida, Miami, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, and Pittsburgh. They (all) have offered and they have all been calling."

Mangold said in addition to taking official visits to both programs after the season, he plans on taking a few more unofficial visits during the season to both Miami and Florida.

"I'll be going to a few more Gator games and I'm going to try going to a couple more Miami games," he said.

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