Long Snapper Jake Mann Talks FSU Commitment

When Mike Norvell came to Florida State he made no bones about how important special teams are for the success of his football team. This weekend, FSU gained a PWO commitment from the #1 rated long snapper in the nation Jake Mann. We caught up with Jake to talk about his decision to become a Seminole, and also to get his thoughts on his time in Tallahassee for the Noles season opener vs Georgia Tech.

Back in April, Florida State began recruiting long snapper Jake Mann from Chapel Hill, NC. FSU was the first program to offer the recruit Khol’s kicking calls the top long-snapper in the nation. Soon after, two more PWO’s came in, one from Virginia and one from Arizona State. Despite the interest from other programs, FSU remained the top school for Mann.

Last week Jake decided to make the trek from North Carolina to Tallahassee to watch FSU’s first game of 2020 in person. Despite the loss, Mann came away really liking what he saw as a whole.

“We visited for the first time last weekend for the Georgia Tech game,” said Mann. “Even though we can’t see Coach JP or Coach Baldus we really loved the area and the school. We were surprised to we could snag tickets to the game. We were very impressed with what we saw. It was a great trip. The campus was much more than I expected. The school, and town, were great. I loved what I saw with the stadium, too. It’s a really great place and it was well worth the trip.”

“The game itself was pretty much what I expected for a new staff,” continued Mann. “They’re trying to turn around the program. It seemed to me that a lot of the guys are buying into the new staff.”

FSU’s initial interest is what helped them land Jake’s commitment. His coaches at Kohl’s introduced him to FSU, and from there it just seemed like the place to be.

“My coaches at Kohl’s and Hammer Kicking know the coaches at FSU,” said Mann. “They connected me with Coach Baldus and Coach JP shortly after. FSU was my first offer which gave them a bit of an advantage I think. An April offer is pretty rare, but it showed me they trusted my abilities.”

“The staff at Virginia did a tremendous job through the recruiting process, and at times I thought I would land there,” continued Mann. “But, after seeing the campus last week, and being at the game was great. I talked to the coaches again about their vision. FSU just seemed like the best fit.”

Mann is very conscientious of the high regard Coach Norvell holds the special teams to. 

“I think Coach Norvell has been pretty consistent throughout his head coaching career in making special teams a priority,” said Mann. “At the Georgia Tech game, I even saw them list the specialist on the video board which you don’t see a lot at other schools. One of the biggest reasons I decided on FSU is because I have followed Coach Norvell at Memphis and saw how his players consistently outplayed their star ranking. I think he will have the same effect on the players at FSU, and I would love to be a part of that. I am very optimistic about what this staff will do at FSU in the next 4-5 years.”

Jake’s rated as the best snapper in his class because of his combination of speed and accuracy. For Jake, the accuracy piece is something he’s very proud of.

“Snap speed is a funny thing,” said Mann. “It is important but does not necessarily make or break you as a snapper. My snap speed is in the range of .66 on average, but I take just as much pride in my accuracy. That’s most important.”

Jake’s season got pushed to spring because of COVID. He has some goals he’d like to achieve before he heads to FSU next fall.

“This high school season will be played in the spring,” said Mann. “Honestly, my first goal is to actually have a season. Then, we have some team goals we would like to accomplish. Personally I am trying to work hard in the weight room so I will be able to help the Noles immediately if called upon.”

Stay tuned as we track Mann’s upcoming senior season.

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