By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief
The baseball player at left in the image at the top of this post is Mississippi State junior Jake Mangum of Pearl, and right now he is the most famous person in his family, whose surname will sound familiar to many sports fans.
The center fielder and leadoff hitter for the 2018 College World Series-bound team is the son of John Wayne Mangum Jr., the nephew of Kris Mangum and the grandson of the late John Mangum Sr., all three football standouts.
John Mangum Jr. was born in Magee, just up the road from Hattiesburg, and played as a defensive back for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1986 to 1989 and the Chicago Bears from 1990 to 1998. College highlights: All-American in 1989, All-SEC in 1988 and 1989, five interceptions in each of his last three seasons, 16 in his career and Alabama record holder for passes broken up in career. NFL highlights: This is where I take a break for an attempt at humor. I couldn’t find any highlights. Maybe you might know one. At least he player for the Bears, my all-time favorite NFL team. Off the field: He joined CAPTRUST in 1999 in Jackson and is a senior vice president and financial advisor at the financial services corporation.
Kris, John Jr.’s brother, also born in Magee, played as a tight end for the Crimson Tide, the Ole Miss Rebels and the Carolina Panthers. He was with the Panthers from 1997 to 2006 after All-SEC seasons at Ole Miss in 1995 and 1996. Other college highlights: Special teamer on Bama’s 1992 national championship team. All-American in 1996, he finished second among Ole Miss tight ends in carer receptions and third in receiving yards. NFL highlights: Retired as the fifth-leading receiver in Panthers history and third in team history in games played. Off the field: He joined the management team of Magnolia State Bank in 2009 and was named CEO in 2016. The bank has seven branches, including the main in Bay Springs and one in Hattiesburg.
John Mangum Sr., also from Magee, signed with Ole Miss and transferred to Southern Miss, where he was a tackle in the mid-1960s on one of the greatest defenses in school history. He made the Blue-Gray Game in 1965 and the Senior Bowl in 1966 before playing two seasons for the Boston Patriots. He died in 1994 at the age of 51.
That’s quite a football legacy shared among two sons and their father, but in the days ahead, the Mangum family will hail State and Jake during the College World Series in Omaha.
Featured image credit: SEC Network on Instagram