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Mack Marrin credi: Claire Hoverson

 

Nearly 100 pounds separate St. Thomas Academy grads Danny McManus and Mack Marrin, but both will be playing college football this fall.

McManus, at 5-10, 178 pounds, will head to Dartmouth at the end of August. The 6-2, 275-pound Marrin left for Drake this weekend.

St. Thomas Academy’s football team long has been known for its stout defense. McManus and Marrin, both from Mendota Heights, were two key cogs on that unit for three years.

Coach Dave Ziebarth certainly will miss them, but he knows they’re poised for great things at the next level.

“I am excited for both of these guys. Danny and Mack were both tremendous players for us and have the potential to be outstanding players at the schools they are headed for,” Ziebarth said. “I am probably not the only one bummed out on their leaving. I wish we had them both for another year.”

Ivy League brotherhood

McManus, recruited as a cornerback, will be the third family sibling to go through Dartmouth’s football program. Eldest brother Tim McManus captained the 2011 team and has since graduated. Ryan McManus will be entering his junior season for the Big Green.

Both Tim and Ryan have been wide receivers at Dartmouth. Growing up with two older brothers as wideouts, Danny found himself defending them quite a bit in the front yard.

“It was humbling,” said Danny, who also played varsity hockey at St. Thomas Academy his junior and senior seasons.

The family connection was a definitely a factor in Danny’s decision to play at Dartmouth. His brothers spoke highly of the coaching staff and facilities, as well as the postgraduate career opportunities that come with an Ivy League degree. And he’ll get to play with Ryan again.

“To be on my brother’s team was one of the greatest experiences I had in high school,” Danny said. “To be on his team again for two more years is going to be very helpful for me to get in the groove with the school. He can help me out and it will be a great time.”

Danny is a little smaller, but he uses his quickness and agility to his advantage.

“Danny has had two older brothers play at Dartmouth also, and I believe Dartmouth is getting the best of the three in Danny — and the other two are awfully good,” Ziebarth said.

Mack attack

Size might differentiate between Marrin and McManus, but they share a similar strength: speed. Marrin, a big defensive end for the Cadets, quickly closes in on opponents.

“His ability to move at such a big frame is what makes him effective,” McManus said of his former teammate. “He’s so big, but he’s also quick and fast.”

Maintaining speed and agility at that size takes a lot of work. Marrin has to stay on top of his conditioning. He’s been doing some speed training before heading to Drake.

“If I’m not running, I’m definitely going to get slower,” Marrin said. “I have to stay on top of it.”

Drake wants to put Marrin at defensive tackle. That’s fine with him. He just wants to make an impact.

“I want to make a difference on the field,” Marrin said. “I want to play right away.”

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