The road to becoming a college football player is a long and challenging one. From early-morning workouts, late-night practices, and grueling summer conditioning, it takes a lot of time and dedication from the player whose dream it is to play at the next level. But, what can too easily be forgotten is the commitment it takes from a player’s family. The people closest to them—moms, dads, aunts, uncles, or grandparents—give up their own time and money to help make their player’s dream a reality. Their sacrifices take place behind the scenes of a player and can often go unnoticed.
But for Cass Tech’s
2019 RB Jaren Mangham
, this is not the case. In fact, his family is always on his mind. Mangham remembers everything his family does for him, and uses it as his motivation.
“My mom, dad, and my granny, they are my everything,” said Mangham. “When I need an extra push, I think of them and all of the sacrifices they have made for me.”
This motivation has definitely worked, as Mangham has become one of the top prospects in his class. He already has 20 offers from Division I schools such as Michigan State, Maryland, Cincinnati, Missouri, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Colorado, and UCLA.
At 6’2 213-pounds, Mangham is an absolute stud with the ball in his hands. He is a powerful runner, able to break through tackles and rarely going down on first contact. He also has tremendous speed and athleticism, which allows him to play multiple positions on offense. Even when he doesn’t have the ball, he is more than capable of providing support as a blocker, whether in pass protection or running downfield.
Cass Tech assistant coach Dennis Parker thinks Mangham’s powerful running style and versatility set him apart from other players.
“He is a very good receiver out of the backfield and is a downhill runner with power,” said Parker. “Yet, he is also deceptively elusive. Very versatile,” said Parker.
Size and speed aside, Mangham thinks his biggest strengths as a player is his knowledge of the game and a high-energy motor that results in big plays for his team.
“I know a lot about the game,” said Mangham. “I know what to study and what to look for in opposing teams. I also have a motor in the game. If you need a big play, I will make that play for you.”
In order to be able to keep making big plays when they are needed most, Mangham has been working tirelessly to get better this offseason.
“I have been working on my speed and my explosiveness the most this offseason,” said Mangham.
Parker thinks that the work Mangham has been putting in is becoming very noticeable.
“He has really transformed his body to become lean and explosive,” said Parker. “He has excelled at camps this summer against top competition from around the country.”
Because of everything he has seen from Mangham this offseason, Parker has high expectations for him this fall.
“He, along with Aaron Jackson and Teone Allen, will be our leaders on offense,” said Parker. “He will receive more touches of the ball in diverse ways. Expect to see him in the backfield, as an H-Back, and in the slot.”
As Mangham continues to grind this summer with the goal of leading his team to another State Championship in 2017, he will keep his motivation—his family—at the front of his mind.
“I know I won’t be able to repay everything that they did for me, but I will try my hardest to repay them,” said Mangham. “They never quit, so neither should I.”
Cass Tech opens their season with Ohio powerhouse Pickerington Central on August 25th
at the Toledo Glass Bowl.