On the surface, it appears three-star Merritt Island (Fla.) defensive end Mike Mangold is getting more “open” the longer his recruitment rolls on.
Mangold (6-3, 250, 4.65) gave an early commitment to Pitt, but has since backed away from that verbal and is considering several top schools.
“No one team has the edge right now,” he said. “Everybody has a pretty equal shot. The main ones I’m looking at are Miami, Florida, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Pittsuburgh.”
Mangold made an unofficial visit to Gainesville this weekend.
“I just got back from watching Florida and Ole Miss,” he said. “It was a tough loss. Florida’s struggling with all their young players, but I think they’ll be alright. It wasn’t all bad, though. I got to spend some time with my brother. He goes there.”
Another family connection exists at Virginia Tech, where his uncle is athletic director, so Mangold’s recruitment could be one of the more interesting in the South this year.
Mangold has yet to take any other unofficial visits. He says he may attend the Miami-Florida State game this coming week.
“I’ve been focused on getting in shape and getting back on the field,” he said, “so I haven’t been doing a lot of stuff with recruiting.”
Coming off surgery to repair a hairline fracture in his foot, Mangold will play his first game as a senior this Friday.
“I had the injury since last year, and they decided it needed to be fixed,” he said. “They went in and put a screw I it. I feel a lot better now. The doctors have cleared me to play this week, so I’m pretty pumped up.”
As a junior, Mangold recorded 95 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.