Football: Manalapan’s Dan Debner Commits to Yale and Teammate Joe Mendez Commits to Bryant University
A pair of Manalapan standouts, senior defensive back Dan Debner and senior linebacker Joe Mendez, each verbally committed to FCS programs on Monday.
Debner, a Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore selection, will continue his career at Yale, where he becomes the second member of the Braves' senior class to commit to the Bulldogs, joining first-team All-Shore defensive end Kyle Mullen. Mendez, who was a second-team All-Shore selection, verbally committed to Bryant University in the Northeast Conference.
Debner finished second in the Shore with seven interceptions, including two in the state final against the Vikings, while registering 28 tackles, breaking up eight passes and blocking three field goals for a defense that allowed 12.5 points per game. He now gives Manalapan three players who will be part of the Harvard-Yale rivalry, as former star Anthony Firkser is now a tight end at Harvard.
Debner also was a contributor on offense, where he ran for 250 yards and three touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, he had 400 return yards, primarily as a punt returner, for a team that won its fifth straight Class A North title and its first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V title to make history. Mendez made 80 tackles (49 solo), with nine coming for a loss, along with three sacks and an interception as a leader in the middle of Manalapan's defense.