Mann Helping Panthers Restore the Roar

By Eric Johnson - Sports Reporter


We saw him make big plays Friday nights in Giles infamous single wing and now he's doing the same in the hills of the Blue Ridge at Ferrum on Saturdays.

Freshman running back Brian Mann has turned heads and opened eyes in the backfield of the Panthers.

"I wasn't expecting on coming here as a freshman and having a season like this", said Mann.

Frankly his size isn't that intimidating, which had some of his teammates wondering how he would do this season.

Quarterback Harvey Taylor said, "I was like this is a little guy? I said I don't know how he's gonna fare against some of these bigger guys."

But what the 5'10" 175 pound back has done this season, is very intimidating. The seven time USA South Offensive Rookie of the Week has rushed for more than 100 yards in all but one game. In October he even topped 200 yards in back to back weeks, which set a school record for both rushing and all purpose yards.

"How it unraveled was not anything that was scripted", said Head Coach Rob Grande.

"It's just the process of his hard work and the team just coming together."

With 1402 yards rushing thus-far, Mann not only leads his team and the conference, but the freshman back also leads all of Division III football.

"A good 80% of it is your mental ability and just being ready for the game, watching film and stuff like that", added Mann.

"I think my vision is probably one of my best assets of running the football."

With Saturday's game ahead of him, Mann is just 42 yards shy of breaking the school record for most rushing yards in a season that was set by former Panther and NFL back Chris Warren.

But whether or not it happens Saturday Mann says, "Right now I'm not really worried about the record. All I want is to be 7 and 3 at the end of this week."  

Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved