Junior to Watch: Mike Mangold
School: Lake Worth (Fla.) John I. Leonard HS
Position: Defensive End
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Size and speed: Mangold is 6-foot-3, weighs 250 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds. He bench-presses 330 pounds, squats 405 and dead-lifts 635.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded 95 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Honors: Was selected third-team Class 6A all-state as a senior. Was also first-team all-area. Has been selected all-conference in each of his three years as a varsity player.
Favorite Schools: Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Miami.
Skinny: The excitement of receiving his first scholarship offer led Mike Mangold to make an early – and unexpected – commitment, but John I. Leonard coach Terry Gough says his star player has now decided to keep his recruitment open.
“Pitt called here at school and made him an offer on the spot,” Gough said. “When he got off the phone with them, I asked him how it went. He said, ‘Great, coach. I just committed to them.’
“I think he got caught up in all the excitement of a major program offering him a scholarship. We talked to Pitt the next day and let them know he still likes them very much, but they understand that he’s going to look around.”
So who else may be in the running for the 6-3, 250-pound defensive end?
“He’s got offers from Pitt, Virginia Tech and UConn now,” Gough said. “And there will be many more after this spring. When people see his film, they just rave about him. I think they’ll like him even more when they come down to see him.
“Ever since I’ve known him, all he’s ever talked about is Michigan. His aunt is Lloyd Carr’s secretary or something to that effect. He’s also got an uncle in the Virginia Tech athletic department. I know he likes them, too. I think Miami would also be very much in the picture if they happen to offer.”
Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Vanderbilt have also been showing heavy interest in Mangold.
Gough describes Mangold as “hands down the best defensive player I’ve ever seen.”
“He’s a one-man wrecking crew,” Gough added. “He’s so strong, uses his hands well to get off blockers. And if he can’t manhandle you, he’ll run right by you. He’s got a motor that doesn’t stop. He just creates havoc.”