Posted: 12:56 pm Thursday, May 20th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
Park Vista RB Tre Mason is not naming favorites, but singled out three schools with which he is comfortable at this point.
“I like Florida, Ole Miss and Rutgers,” he said. “That’s not my top three, but those are people I have a really good relationship with.”
The hitch with Florida, of course, is that the Gators have not offered him a scholarship. The other two have — along with Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Duke, Central Florida, Louisville, Minnesota, Maryland, Marshall and others.
Mason, along with offensive linemen Cody Preble and Mike Matulis, will be Park Vista’s first BCS signee.
Mason (5-9 3/4, 190, 4.38, No. 7 on The Big Board) said he has had encouraging conversations with Florida running backs coach Stan Drayton and receivers coach Zach Azzani (Azzani is the Gators’ primary recruiter for this area).
If Florida offers Mason, it would easily be his biggest offer and likely would open the floodgates for other prominent programs to pursue him. Once a player gets a Florida offer, the Lane Kiffins of the college football world usually perk up and pay attention.
However, Mason said he would not necessarily commit immediately to a Florida offer.
“If Florida came through with an offer, I know other schools will offer,” he said. “But I love Florida’s program and everything they have.“Our relationship is really good. I know their running backs coach, Coach Drayton, really likes me and Coach Azzani does. When I went up there for an unofficial visit, Coach (Urban) Meyer seemed to like me, too. I feel like they’re probably going to be the next to offer.”
Park Vista coach Brian Dodds also believes the Gators will eventually offer Mason.
Most likely, Florida has other running backs rated ahead of Mason and that is why the Gators have not offered. Still, he could get a late offer like Dwyer’s Robert Clark did last year (although some suspected that Clark’s offer only materialized because the Gators were trying to secure Matt Elam).
Mason playing for Florida does not seem far-fetched. He at the smaller end of the scale for his position, but his speed and pass-catching ability could make him a good fit in the Gators’ spread offense.
In the past two regular seasons, Mason rushed for 2,848 yards and 40 touchdowns in 20 games. He led the area with 1,460 rushing yards last year.