Get to Know Your Monarchs: Josh Mann Q&A
By ODU Athletics
During fall camp, ODUSports.com featured one Monarch a day in a "Get to Know Your Monarchs" segment. That will continue during the season, as we get to know junior center, Josh Mann.
Josh Mann/C/Virginia Beach, Va.
Q. What are you studying here at ODU? Mechanical engineering. I really liked math and science in high school, so I figured it was a good career choice. It’s definitely a good degree to have.
Q. What was the most memorable part of the game Saturday night against Howard? First off winning. We were 0-2 going into the game so just getting the win was the best part by far. Also, seeing the crowd so pumped up during the first home game of the year. It was really cool getting to see the white out.
Q. Being an Virginia Beach, native what are some of your favorite things to do around the area? Definitely hang out at the beach and the pool. We’re a pretty close team so we like to just hang out and chill.
Q. What has it been like playing in every game during your college football career? It’s been crazy. My freshman year I didn’t start so I just saw limited action, but last year when I stepped into the starting role it was definitely an adjustment. I had to focus more on my responsibilities. This year I’m settling more into my role and it’s just a matter of refining all my techniques.
Q. What are some of your favorite community service projects to do as a team? I know Coach Wilder is really big into the blood drive and I really like getting involved in the community. I like going to the children’s hospital and anywhere that we can meet our fans and interact with them. I like being able to make a difference in our community.
Q. What was the best part of your high-school football days? It was just fun. I had a lot of fun playing high school football. I had a lot of great friends that I was able to play with and it was just a good time.
Q. What do you think about the move to Conference USA and FBS? It’s really exciting and we’re all really pumped up about it. Coming out of high school, I wanted to play for a C-USA school or an ACC school. The fact that we’re actually here is really amazing.
Q. What do you do on bus rides to make the time go faster? I just listen to music. I actually really look forward to the bus rides. Our weeks are so busy that the bus ride is our chance relax and take a nap.
Q. What is a hobby you have besides football? I’m actually really big into art, which might surprise some people. I like to draw and create art on the side. That’s a big part of my life.
Q. What were the most memorable moments of playing for ODU these past two seasons? I’ve liked getting to play with a lot of good friends, and the fans are just awesome. Whenever we play at Foreman Field that’s always a memorable experience. I try to never take that for granted.
Q. What was it like walking out on the field Saturday night? It was crazy. We had a new entrance where the band lined the whole field and we got to run to the student section and that was pretty cool. It was kind of a far run for a big guy like me. I was lagging in the back but it was awesome. It was the first home game so it was great to see all that support on our side.
Q. How are you personally preparing for the game Saturday against The Citadel? I’ve been working hard on my technique, just trying to tighten it up during practice. We watch a lot of film; basically all our free time goes to watching film, covering their techniques and tendencies. So I’m preparing just by learning as much as I can.
Q. What is one of your most embarrassing moments either in practice or in a game? I can tell you my most glorifying moment! I scored a touchdown in practice about a week and a half ago! There was a fumble and I ran it into the end zone. It was kind of embarrassing because I thought I was running fast but I was actually running really slowly.
Q. Who do you feel has mentored you the most and invested into you as a player and as a person over these last two years? I couldn’t pick just one person, but when I first got here the center was Jeremy Hensley. He was the senior center, I definitely learned a lot from him. He was a great center and mentor to learn from. I still watch his tapes from when he played. Both my coaches are great. They stay on me and make sure I’m focusing on my technique and they keep me grounded.
Q. To date what has been one of your favorite football games to play in and why? The one that jumps out at me is the JMU game last year when we beat them and unofficially won the CAA championship. Their stadium and their atmosphere was insane. Also, getting to play at ECU during their season opener. Those were both really fun.
Q. If you could trade places with any other sports star whom would it be and why? My new favorite football player that I’m really watching is Jason Kelce, he’s a center for the Philadelphia Eagles. I like getting to watch centers around the NFL and see what they’re doing. He’s killing it right now, he’s really good, so I would love to trade places with him. He has a crazy beard and I’m growing mine out too, it’s going to go all season long.
Q. What got you interested in football? I’ve been playing for as long as I can remember. I started playing when I was six years old. I grew up watching it since my dad was a fan and then I became a fan through that. I just love the sport.
Q. What advice would you give to yourself as a young football player? Just keep having fun. We get to a point in college that we spend so much time on it and it starts dominating our life. You have to remember that at the end of the day it’s still a game and it’s still fun.
Q. Did you play any other sports growing up? I did, I played basketball, baseball and I wrestled a little bit but football has always been my favorite sport by far.
Q. Which one would you prefer: being inducted into the Hall of Fame or having a Super Bowl Ring? That’s a tough one! I’d say a Super Bowl win. Football is a team sport and winning that is the highest team honor.
Q. When you came from high school to playing in college what was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome that? The speed of the game is much faster here than in high school. The plays are also much more complex. The biggest thing for me was the blitzes and stunts. It’s a lot more complicated in college.
Q. How do your teammates push you to become a better person and a better player? I have a great group of teammates. Especially the offensive line, we keep each other accountable and we’re each other’s best coaches and motivators. We keep each other straight and help each other out.
Q. What was the most appealing thing about ODU during the recruiting process? They were the first school to offer me and that meant a lot to me. I’m from Virginia Beach so it’s only 30 minutes away, so it’s awesome that my family can come see me play and I can still see them; and that’s really cool for me. I love the coaches, the facilities and the huge fan base so it was kind of a no brainer.
Q. How is it joining a fairly new football program and being able to help shape it for the players now and the players to come? It’s pretty unique. It crosses my mind every now and then, because right now we’re really focused on the games going on. It’s really going to be cool to look back years down the road and see what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve helped build.
Q. What is your favorite part of game day? I like the Monarch March. It’s really cool seeing all the fans as we’re walking into the stadium, and of course coming out through the tunnel. That’s a really cool feeling.
Q. Where has been your favorite place to play an away game? I’d say either JMU or ECU. Those were both huge games. I really liked ECU because that was the biggest crowd any of us have played in front of and it was a really crazy atmosphere.
Q. Do you have any pregame rituals? I listen to a set play list that I have. It’s a set regiment to the time I have to get ready. So I’d say definitely the play list that I listen to.
Q. What is one thing you’d like to say to all the 12th Monarchs out there? Thank you for the support, we can’t thank you enough! The reason we’re at where we are is because of your support. ODU moving up conferences, talks of the new stadium, and this program growing so fast, it’s all thanks to the fans. We can’t thank them enough.