UM a Co-Favorite For DL

Merritt Island, Fla. standout defensive end Mike Mangold recently hit the field for the first time after missing several months because of a foot injury.

Mangold returned in impressive fashion on Oct. 10 against Rockledge.

"We beat them 14-10 and I was really pumped up for it," Mangold said. "I had a great game -- 12 tackles, two sacks, it was great. It just felt really good to get back into the flow of things."

The talented defensive end, who stands 6-3 and 243 pounds, returned to the field with an impressive physique, thanks to many days in the weight room.

"When I wasn't able to play, I was hitting the weights a lot and started to bulk up in my upper body," he said. "I just need to get my lower body like that now. I feel great."

Several college coaches are glad to see Mangold back on the field as well. He's one of the state's most heavily recruited defensive linemen.

"I still get a lot of phone calls, letters, and things like that from various schools," he said. "I still probably like Florida and Miami a little more than the other ones right now. After those two, I'm also looking at N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech."

According to Mangold, he has scholarship offers from all of his favorites. He's been in the process of setting up official visits lately.

"I got N.C. State lined up for December 5th and Virginia Tech wants me to come in for December 12th," he said. "I wanted to take my official there (to VT) for the Miami game but things didn't work out that way. I'll also visit Florida and Miami too."

Mangold said there's a lot to like about both programs. He's been on unofficial visits to both schools and talked about some of the differences.

"Well, a big thing is that my step brother goes to UF," he said. "He lives right there and whenever I go to the games or whatever over there, I just stay with him. He's a sophomore (non-athlete). It's real laid back there and Coach (Bill) Miller and I really get along great. I could definitely see myself there. Miami is another great place. It reminds me more of home since I spent a lot of time in West Palm. I know guys like Vince Wilfork on the team now and I've seen the success they've had. I've really enjoyed the school each time I've been there. Coach Mark and I have been talking a lot. I even talked to Coach Coker the other day."

Mangold said he's not ready to name a favorite yet, especially since he hasn't even taken his visits.

"I'll know more after those," he said. "I'm trying to focus on our season and then deal with the recruiting stuff. It's all pretty exciting and I'm just glad to be in this situation. Florida and Miami are my top two choices but they're pretty even right now."

Canes Time Top Stories