David’s life has changed forever because of listBy simply including his name on their list of the best of the class of 2012, Rivals.com has changed Derek David’s life forever.
When the nation’s top recruiting website slipped the sophomore linebacker into the No. 2 spot on the Texas list behind Austin High receiver Cayleb Jones, David became a marked man—in a good way.
Since that listing came out just last week, Texas A&M Coach Mike Sherman has already invited him to come play with the Aggies.
“Coach Sherman told me he’s the best high school defensive player he’s seen since he’s been back in college,” said Rockdale Athletic Director Jeff Miller. “We’re biased for our kids, but sometimes you take for granted how good they are.
“Being on that list made them watch his tape. Right then he was discovered. Derek was known, but not to the level he is now.”
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound David led the Tigers with 93 tackles last season, edging out older brother Logan by one.
It was hard to miss his aggressive style of play and he was named the District 24-3A newcomer of the year.
“He surprised me,” said Miller. “He didn’t make those sophomore mistakes that you expect. He decided he was going to go out there and become a good linebacker rather than just rely on his natural ability.”
David’s emergence gives the Tigers two Division I caliber players on next season’s roster along with lineman LeRaven Clark, who has been offered by everybody but A&M.
Miller has filled his coaching void by hiring Walt Mangan, formerly of Hamshire-Fannett.
The Tigers had been one coach short since Trevor Marshall resigned early in the school year.
Mangan, 45, was hired away from Kemp in 2007 to get Hamshire-Fannett’s football program back on track as he had done at Kemp, leading the team to its first non-losing season in eight years.
Mangan, who is known as a strict disciplinarian, will coach football and become a softball assistant.
“Anytime you can get someone with his experience and success it’s a plus,” Miller said. “He’s a perfect fit for us.”
The kicker in all this is that Mangan was the softball coach at Brenham when current Lady Tiger coach Kristen Gunter was an All-American player there.
Mangan was 274-99 in softball and won seven district titles including a trip to the state tournament.
Mangan’s son Kyle started at middle linebacker for Texas A&M last season as a redshirt freshman so Mangan is happy to be a hop, skip and a jump from College Station to watch his son play on Saturdays.
Mangan’s oldest son—6-foot- 4, 245-pound Wesley—played tight end at McNeese St., the 2009 Southland Conference champions.
Mangan also has a five-year old son.