Home US Sports NCAAF Jaren Mangham, Lance Dixon hope to pick colleges before season

Jaren Mangham, Lance Dixon hope to pick colleges before season

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David Goricki, The Detroit News
Published 4:02 p.m. ET June 14, 2018 | Updated 4:03 p.m. ET June 14, 2018

Detroit Cass Tech four-star running back Jaren Mangham plans to work on his cooking skills this summer while also taking an official visit or two before his senior season begins in the fall.

Mangham said he plans to narrow his college choices this weekend, and Michigan State is definitely in the mix.

MSU head coach Mark Dantonio successfully landed Mangham’s best friend in former Cass Tech cornerback Kalon Gervin, who enrolled early this past January and is working hard on getting some playing time his freshman year with the Spartans.

“Michigan State is recruiting me as a running back and they will be on my list once I narrow it down today or tomorrow,” Mangham said. “Coach Dantonio is a great coach, one of the best coaches to ever come through the collegiate level. He just knows how to coach them up, knows how to talk to players and that’s important.

“Kalon loves it up there, says it’s like home. He says the coaching staff has been showing him love, the same love they did when they were recruiting him. I’ve been up there a couple of times to see him and he’s come down a couple of times to see me, too. We’re pretty close, been best friends since my freshman and his sophomore year.”

Mangham spent the majority of his youth in Texas, living in the Houston area before moving up north to start high school. He said Texas, Texas A&M and TCU are also are in the running.

Mangham will be taking an official visit to Colorado next weekend, working on setting up visits to Oregon, MSU and possibly Tennessee. Michigan did not offer Mangham, who has 53 offers, including Alabama and Clemson, who are no longer in the mix.

“My main focus for this year is to help my team get better and win another state championship, go out with a bang,” said the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Mangham, who has 4.6 speed and is fully healthy after playing with an ankle injury last year, suffered in the season opener. “It’s completely healed. I feel great, a lot faster and more explosive. I feel like I’m back to myself, just 10 times better.

“I feel my strength is how I’m a downhill runner, have great hands and I’m a one-on-one matchup problem, feel like I’m a leader who makes everyone better around me.”

Mangham expects to play some outside linebacker during his senior year. He has been recruited for multiple positions, including linebacker, defensive back, wide receiver and running back.

He apparently knows his way around a kitchen, too.

“It’s a hobby of mine,” said Mangham of his cooking. “I cook Alfredo, steaks, and I can make some cakes, too. I enjoy it.”

It sounds like Mangham will have a summer to remember. He plans to make his choice before the start of the season.

While Mangham is still considering schools from a number of Power Five conferences, West Bloomfield four-star linebacker Lance Dixon will be playing in the Big Ten. It’s just a matter of which Big Ten school.

Dixon recently returned from an official visit to Penn State and plans to take an official to Wisconsin on Friday.

“The best thing about my visit to Penn State was probably the family atmosphere there, it was my first official visit,” said Dixon, who is now 6-3 and 205 pounds, growing an inch and putting on 10 pounds since helping West Bloomfield reach the Division 1 state title game last fall. “I have offers from about 30 schools, narrowed it down to Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State.

“I like that Michigan and Michigan State are close to home; love the coaches, too. I like Michigan’s defensive coordinator, Coach (Don) Brown and I like Michigan State’s linebacker coach, Coach (Mike) Tressel. I hope to make my choice before the season.”

david.goricki@detroitnews.com

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