McLane Mannix's grandfather played huge part in Mannix's freshman season
“We were really close for some reason,” said Nevada freshman McLane Mannix. “There was a special bond between me and him.”
McLane Mannix and his grandfather Carroll had a tight relationship.
“He was very involved,” said the wide receiver of his grandfather. “My junior year I played at Waco in Baylor’s stadium and he was at the game. He had a box up there. I could hear him screaming up there at the top. He was 94 years old and still screaming and playing golf. He was very active.”
Carroll clearly loved football as much as McLane does and was looking forward to watching his grandson during his freshman season.
However, last summer as McLane arrived in Reno, his grandpa’s health began to deteriorate.
“I actually went down there that Saturday. He passed the next Monday. It was a week before the Northwestern game, and Coach Norvell let me fly down there. I got to see him for the last time and talk to him. Last thing he told me was go be a Freshman All-American and I took that to heart and I did everything I could to achieve that.”
McLane has a theory as to why that was the last thing his grandfather told him.
“I guess he just wanted to be a spark to me for my freshman year. We kind of talked and I was kind of a backup then. I didn’t know how much I was going to play. He just used that to fuel my fire and go out there and play.”
His grandfather’s last wish became a reality. McLane was named one of three Freshman All-American wide receivers by the Football Writers Association of America last season.
“I knew if I got that I fulfilled my promise to him. After every game I thought about him and just that goal of being a Freshman All-American. I thought about him and putting in that work every week to reach that goal for him.”
And reaching that goal for his grandfather?
Well for McLane, there’s no better feeling.
“It feels great. The last thing he told me was go do it and then I achieved that dream for him. I feel like he’s just sitting up there smiling with a huge smile on his face.”