Mann Still Pumped About Commitment

Dave Mann knew he had to make a change if he was going to achieve his dream of playing Division I football.

Dave Mann knew he had to make a change if he was going to achieve his dream of playing Division I football. While he performed well at Fairburn (GA) Our Lady of Mercy High School, few college recruiters ventured into the tiny school and the exposure wasn't what he could receive at a better program.

"I think it was literally two weeks before school started that I transferred to Lithonia," said Mann. "I was going to Our Lady of Mercy, a real small school, and as far as football opportunities it wasn't even close. It was better for me to transfer to Lithonia.

"I finally convinced my mom to let me transfer right before school started, and I think it's the best decision I could have made. I was still an unknown and it was kind of late in recruiting, some of my other teammates already had a bunch of offers, but I was able to be seen enough to get offers. I think things worked out well."

Mann made a difference in his lone season at Lithonia. Lining up mainly at defensive end, he tallied 35 tackles and nine sacks while also splitting time offensively.

"I thought I played well," he stated. "In the middle of the season, probably around game five or six, I had to shift around and start playing some other positions due to injury... I started going both ways at tight end. It was a big change for me, going to blocking, pass-sets, but it wasn't that bad. Overall, I think I had a good year."

Early in October, Mann, who had already taken an unofficial visit to NC State, officially visited the Wolfpack when they hosted Virginia Tech. With an offer from the Pack already on the table, Mann wasted no time in reaching a decision as he verbally committed shortly after the trip.

"It was a great experience," said Mann. "It was my first official visit that I ever took. It's something that I never would have got to experience at my old school. We drove up there Friday... it was great. The players were amazing, and I hadn't even committed yet. I can't even describe how much fun it was.

"I remember going up and some friends were talking to me before about how it might not be a good trip if they didn't beat Virginia Tech, but it was a great game and an unreal experience, and after the game the players and coaches made me feel at home. I knew it was the place for me."

After committing, Mann instantly became a Wolfpack fan, following the team through the highs and lows of the 2010 season. What did he think of NC State's 9-4 season?

"It's funny because I remember when I committed people were like, 'Okay, NC State, that's a pretty good school,' and now they come up to me and it's like, 'NC State? They've got a real good team,'" said Mann. "Probably the best feeling I had was when we beat West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. That was a real good feeling for me because they were recruiting me too along with NC State... they had offered me too and were on me hard.

"It was just a fun year, watching games every week. Games like losing to Clemson by a point made me mad, but then beating North Carolina for the fourth-straight time and the win over Florida State on Thursday night. Honestly I though they were good enough and should have been undefeated. They really could have won every game. It was a fun thing to watch."

Now that Mann is in the fold he is hoping to bring some help with him to Raleigh. Lithonia teammate , a three-star linebacker who is being recruited by several SEC and ACC schools is also considering NC State and is slated to visit the Wolfpack this weekend.

"Ced, he's a real good player and a big-time recruit," said Mann. "He was already at Lithonia and has a bunch of offers from teams like NC State, Arkansas, Clemson, Ole Miss, and North Carolina. He's a great athlete.

"I've been talking with him for sure about NC State because I hope he goes there with me. Coach Reed and coach Tenuta came up last week to talk to me and Ced, and I know they want him to go there. I know he likes NC State and Arkansas a lot... he said he had a blast on his official visit to Arkansas. I hope he has a fun time when he goes up to NC State."

NC State defensive backs coach Mike Reed is handling Mann and Cooper's recruitment. What does Mann thing of Reed?

"He's a great guy," he stated. "That's one of the reasons it wasn't even a second thought for me to commit because of my relationship with him. He has such a good relationship with the players... I saw that when I was there on my visit, and he just connects with you. I don't know if many coaches do that. He's great."

With Signing Day just weeks away, Mann is ready to make his commitment official. Over the next few months he will start to get his body to where it needs to be as he hopes to be able to play as a true freshman. Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Mann would like to add a few more pounds prior to his summer enrollment.

"Right now I'm just trying to get as big as possible," he said. "That's taking a little more time because I don't have their workout yet so I will probably get that in the spring. My target goal is to get up to 250 pounds before I go off to State. I think I can get there."

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