In a week with tons of Alt-League news, the USFL did announce some signings throughout the chaos that is the Alt-football universe. Between the Bandits moving to Memphis, the Breakers hiring John DeFilippo, the USFL “losing” 18 players, and the XFL draft, what got lost in the mess was the Panthers adding to their Offensive Line. On November 17th the Panthers would sign Api Mane, a Center out of FIU to add some competition to their Offensive Line room.
Mane comes to the Panthers after spending time with Florida International and Kansas during his college career. Never a full-time starter at KU, Mane was on the Rimington watch-list in 2020. After four years at Kansas, Mane transferred to FIU in hopes to boost his draft stock for the 2022 draft. Despite some interest from the 49ers in pre-draft visits, Mane has had limited opportunities in the next stage of his career.
Despite a less than stellar pro-day, Mane is resilient football player with who has overcome a lot of adversity especially in 2021. The 6’3 center lost both parents and continued to push on during the season. Often praised for his leadership at Kansas, Mane brings a breath of fresh air for a team that had over seven miss-snaps in the early parts of the 2022 USFL season.
Due to the miss-snaps with Sean Pollard it was only fitting that the Panthers continued to upgrade the Offensive Line for 2023. With the signing of Mane, the Panthers have brought in three more Offensive Linemen in an effort to solidify the position that often times had Panthers Quarterback running for their lives. Hopefully, between Ka’John Armstrong, Gene Pryor, and Api Mane the Panthers Offensive Line and Quarterbacks should have a more consistent group for a promising 2023 season.