In Michael Mann's young life, this week will surely go down as one of the most interesting. The 6-5 235 pound defensive end, along with his Valor Christian High School teammates, has spent the week preparing to defend their 4A state football title and win their third straight state championship. (Valor won the 3A title two seasons ago.) Mann, who has posted 3.5 sacks and two interceptions this season, is part of a Valor defense that has only allowed six points a game this season.
Along with his preparation for Saturday's state championship game, Mann has also had to reassess his college football plans. Mann, who committed early to Arizona State University in July, had to feel good about the Sun Devils strong start to the season that saw them go 6-2 and win against USC. A late season meltdown in Tempe saw the Sun Devils lose four straight to mediocre opponents and prompted the firing of Head Coach Dennis Erickson. With Erickson's dismissal, Mann was forced to look at his college options. Earlier this week Mann confirmed his commitment to the Sun Devils but he said he would, "need time to sort through things."
Previous to his early verbal to the Sun Devils, Mann was courting interest from Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Air Force, Michigan and Tennessee as well as Ivy League schools and the University of Iowa.
Whether it is ASU or another school, the defense will gain a versatile defender who can play in the front seven with his hand down or up as linebacker.