Nick Mangold: From Alter High School star to Ohio State Hall of Famer

Nick Mangold will be part of the next group inducted into the Ohio State Varsity ‘O’ Athletics Hall of Fame.

Mangold was a multi-sport star at Alter before going on to help the Buckeyes win the 2002 national championship as a freshman.

Here is a look at his early years and his time at Alter as covered in the Dayton Daily News archives.

Multi-sport athlete

The first mention of Nick Mangold in the Dayton Daily News was in 1998 for a 13–14-year-old swim meet, where he finished 11th in the 50-yard freestyle. He was also finished seventh in the 50-yard breaststroke.

Also in 1998, Mangold was mentioned under the individual results of a wrestling meet between Bellbrook and Alter. Chris Dearth of Bellbrook pinned Alter’s Mangold at the 2:30 mark of their 215-pound weight division matchup.

In December of that year, Mangold was listed as finishing a Turkey Trot run with a time of 53:42.

Sophomore year at Alter

Alter High School football coach Ed Domsitz said he couldn’t have predicted he was meeting his best player in a 25-year career when he first saw Nick Mangold.

Mangold said of himself as a sophomore offensive lineman then, “I wasn’t the most proportioned kid. Now I can admit it, I was a little plump.”

Mangold found his way to the weight room, and things started to change. “He got rid of some of the useless weight and put on some muscle,” Domsitz said.

Credit: Staff photo

Credit: Staff photo

Bench-pressing 350 pounds, Mangold worked himself up to being the third-best center prospect in the nation by the end of his senior year.

Junior year at Alter

It wasn’t until 2000 that Mangold, entering his junior year, was mentioned in the newspaper for playing football.

A season preview story listed Mangold as a “key returner” on the Alter team that had a record of 2-8 the year prior.

The accompanying article said, “The offensive line will be the strong point, with Nick Mangold, A.J Evans, Andrew McCloskey, Brian Connell and Paul Koller back.”

Mangold, at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, was also playing on the defensive side of the ball at tackle for the team.

At the conclusion of his junior year, Mangold was named Best Offensive Lineman on the Greater Catholic League (GCL) All-League Team.

He was also named by the Associated Press to the All-Southwest District First Team and All-Ohio Second Team Offense in Division III.

After the football season, Mangold returned to the wrestling team as a heavyweight.

Ohio State Senior Football Camp

Before his senior season in 2001, Mangold attended the Ohio State Senior Football Camp in Columbus.

Clemson and others had made scholarship offers to Mangold, but he was hoping that OSU would as well. A month before the camp, OSU coach Jim Tressel visited Alter and told Mangold that a scholarship would await the center with a good showing at camp.

As the camp went on, Mangold was getting good vibes. “I don’t want to jinx anything,” Mangold said in a 2001 Dayton Daily News article, “but I’m doing real good, from what they tell me. I think everything is a go.”

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

Toward the end of the week-long camp, Mangold was stopped by line coach Jim Bollman and led to Tressel’s office, where he was given a scholarship offer.

Four Dayton-area players came away with scholarship offers from OSU after the camp. Along with Mangold were Centerville’s A.J. Hawk, Wayne’s Ashton Watson and Piqua’s Quinn Pitcock.

Mangold didn’t accept right away; he went on to another camp at Notre Dame before making his decision at the end of the summer.

Senior Year at Alter

At the end of June, 2001, Mangold committed to Ohio State, saying, “being from Ohio and loving the Buckeyes, there wasn’t much I could do.”

“I knew as soon as we were driving away from Ohio State that I was going there,” Mangold said.

“I live and die scarlet and gray,” Mangold said. “Just about everything I own is somehow related to Buckeye stuff.”

In an article previewing the 2001 season, Alter offensive line coach Tom Meyer said, “(Mangold is) one of the smartest football players I’ve ever coached. He pretty much dominates the middle. His work ethic reminds you of somebody fighting for a starting spot.”

Credit: Staff photo

Credit: Staff photo

During his senior year, Mangold was nominated as one of nearly 400 athletes to play in the second annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a national high school football all-star game. Mangold went on to start at center for the East Squad in the game, played in San Antonio, Texas.

Mangold earned first-team All-Ohio honors, was named to the Dayton Daily News All-Area Football Div. III team and earned other honors.

Coach Ed Domsitz said, “It’s tough to look back, but he’s probably the best lineman I’ve had in 25 years (of coaching).”

Ohio State and the NFL

Mangold was a three-year starter at center at Ohio State from 2003-05, earning All-America honors as a Buckeye.

The Jets drafted him with the 29th pick of the first round in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Mangold, 34, played his entire career (2006-16) with the Jets, making the Pro Bowl seven times and was a two-time member of the All-Pro first team.

Credit: Staff photo by Ron Alvey

Credit: Staff photo by Ron Alvey

Mangold thanked the Centerville Wee Elks, Alter High School, Ohio State and the Jets in a letter he posted to social media announcing his retirement from the NFL in 2018.

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