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Brian Mann leaves Ferrum in a league of his own

“Honestly coming in my freshman year I didn’t even know if I was going to play.”

FERRUM, Va. – He started his college career in 2016 not knowing what to expect.

“Honestly, coming in my freshman year, I didn’t even know if I was going to play,” said Brian Mann.

But Mann ended his career this past season at the top as the Panthers all-time leading rusher and the all-time leader in all purpose yards. At times, he made it look easy but coming from the infamous single-wing offense in Giles, Mann said the transition was hard.

“At Giles everything was direct snaps so coming in freshman year, I didn’t even know how to take a hand-off to be honest with you. But I worked hard, learned the offense and made the most of every opportunity,” said Mann.

Former Ferrum Coach Rob Grande said he became an effective leader and teammate with the other Black Hats around him that helped him succeed.

“Those surrounding players, and Brian would be the first to tell you he’s one part of that process. A big part of it but so were they,” Grande said.

“Great to see those core group of kids come in 2016 and excel for four years together,” said Grande.

Mann not only excelled on the field but also in the classroom, becoming the first student athlete to ever earn academic and athletic All-American honors, capped off with the prestigious Ferrum College President's Cup award last week.

“I’ve always been the person that if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the field or in the classroom ore work, just anything I want to be the best I can possibly be. Looking back on my career I think I can say I did the best I possibly could. I gave it 100%, I gave it my all,” Mann said.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.