Catching up with Shaq Mason

Shaquille Mason learned, perhaps too young, that days shouldn’t be wasted.

Mason, who goes by Shaq and is a member of Georgia Tech’s 2011 recruiting class, recently spoke about a former high school teammate, Dylan Rebeor.

Rebeor was diagnosed with colon cancer last spring. He was strong enough to flip the coin in the semifinal game

He died a week later, the morning that Mason and Columbia Central made it to Tennessee’s 5A state championship game.

“Your day can be any day,” Mason said. “He fought the hardest of anybody I know. He was a strong kid.”

Led by Mason, Columbia Central went out and won the game for Dylan.

“That whole day, we just felt like we had to win it for him,” he said.

From the Herald-Citizen:

Dylan’s fight to stay alive served as inspiration for his team throughout the 2010 season. Columbia Central posted an 8-2 regular season record and then rolled through the postseason with victories over Lenoir City, Knoxville Catholic, Tullahoma and Knoxville West. Because of his medical condition, his teammates would often carry Dylan out to the sidelines or onto the field for the pre-game coin toss. As long as Dylan fought to stay alive, the Lions fought to win a championship.

Mason hopes to bring that same carpe diem attitude to Tech. A 6-foot-2, 305-pound offensive lineman, Mason said he is excited about playing in Tech’s option offense because he much prefers run blocking to pass blocking. He said he thinks he carries his weight well, but will defer to the trainers when he arrives in Atlanta.

Befitting a man of his size, he says it’s more fun to hit than the passive act of pass-blocking. “I like the contact,” he said.

That aggressiveness was highlighted by defensive line coach Andy McCollum when discussing Mason’s skills at Tech’s Signing Day event.

“He’s got great feet, great motor,” McCollum said.  “He’s never on the ground, also played defense. He didn’t come off the field.”

Mason said he hopes to play guard at Tech, though he said he will do whatever he can to help the team. Mason obviously has the size to compete for time on the offensive line. He seemingly also has the strength, bench-pressing 375 pounds last year. He would like to play as a freshman, but he’s just looking forward to the experience.

“I’m just an outgoing person, a humble guy,” he said. “I like to have fun with my teammates. Just looking forward to a great experience.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC

57 comments Add your comment

GTproud

February 8th, 2011
8:59 am

GTproud

February 8th, 2011
8:59 am

Welcome to Tech Shaq. Hope to see you start this Fall and provide some good run (and pass) coverage for Vad Lee.

Oman Jacket

February 8th, 2011
9:11 am

Another great prospect on the flats. Welcome Mr. Mason. I don;t get all the negative posts on the GT class. Sure a couple got away, but overall it was a very solid and well rounded class. Other than 2007, I don’t recall a better group coming to Tech.

Maybe on paper they don’t measure up with FSU or Alabama, but thankfully the game is still played on the field. CPJ is doing a great job of bringing respectability to Tech football. Keep up the good work guys and looking forward to WCU in September!

Todd

February 8th, 2011
9:24 am

Oman – totally agree with you. I just watched A-Rod light up the Steelers like a pinball machine and win Super Bowl MVP. And he had how many Div. I scholarship offers out of high school???

ZERO.

CPJ *IS* right, recruiting is overrated. Just ask UGAg fans about that….

GT1765

February 8th, 2011
9:31 am

Shaq, we’re glad you’re a Yellow Jacket. Welcome to the Flats!!

KDD

February 8th, 2011
9:38 am

Sounds like a great kid. We still seem limited at NT. Maybe we turn our Shaq into our NT. He sounds like he could be a human bull-dozer in the 3-4. Either way, look forward to his success on O or D.

GT1765

February 8th, 2011
9:42 am

@KDD

How about T.J. Barnes? 6-7, 333 lbs?…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eric Thompson, ajcgatech. ajcgatech said: Catching up with Shaq Mason http://bit.ly/exJpyN [...]

GTVegas

February 8th, 2011
9:50 am

These kids are being rated by people who rarely, if ever, actually meet them. There is more to playing football than raw skill. Heart and the mental aspect play a significant role as well. What happens to those two when these kids hit the college field, or even the college campus for that matter, is an unknown. The same goes for the transition to the Pros, albeit on a much smaller and diminished scale as the transition/growth is so much greater going from High School to college.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the value of the rating system as a general guideline, but there is a heck of alot more that goes into a person’s worth than what someone else thinks of them.

As for Shaq, appears to be a good kid coming into GT with the right attitude. I wish him the best as I do all these young men. All we can hope is that they take full advantage of the opportunity this affords them, both on the field and in the classroom.

Time to Step Up

February 8th, 2011
9:56 am

Agree with KDD. “Most important element to every 3-4 defense is a wrecking ball Nose Tackle.”

It’s time to step up, T.J.

NFL scouts will be watching you on EVERY snap!

collegeballfan

February 8th, 2011
9:59 am

I watched the tape on this guy at DT. When the ball is snapped he is the first person in motion. I really believe he will end up on defense.

GT GRAD

February 8th, 2011
10:18 am

Welcome to the GT family!

I hope Shaq has a great experience while at GT on & off of the football field.

BigTimeTECHFan

February 8th, 2011
10:26 am

J.C. Lanier and Anthony Williams are being moved to OL
Opens it up for TJ Barnes at NG
Drummond is moving to LB.

Depth at OL looks good:
Jay Finch
Will Jackson
Ray Beno
Catlin Alford
Phil Smith
Tanner Shirah
Nick McRae
J.C. Lanier
Anthony Williams

Add Freshmen
Shaquille Mason OL 6-1 305 Read above
Bryan Chamberlain OL 6-4 291
Errin Joe OL 6-3 285

Trey Braun OL 6-5 305

Ramblin Man

February 8th, 2011
10:36 am

BigTime,
You really see Anthony Willaims moving to the o-line? This kid was a beast and highly rated at DE and I had heard he had put on considerible size.

Ramblin Man

February 8th, 2011
10:38 am

From what I have seen and heard about Shaq GT could use 7 more of him for both O and D lines. I am really looking forward to seeing what these young guys can do.

Bowling Pin That Won't Lay Down

February 8th, 2011
11:03 am

David Sims at B-Back in the Fall – can’t wait!!

GT1765

February 8th, 2011
11:04 am

Where do we see Macordes fitting in?

The Bees Nees

February 8th, 2011
11:14 am

Love this kids attitude!

Okeefe/Bob

February 8th, 2011
11:19 am

Sims will make a great B back as wil Perkins I believe.Tevin W is an adequite QB but I think Days will run the show,Lee tored shirt and will be the star of the future.Tech has a good future laid out.Can’t wait.defense will be much better,having a year to learn and the new young LBs coming.

GT1765

February 8th, 2011
11:21 am

@Okeefe/Bob

Do you know of any “free” highlight film on Days? I can’t find any, but would like to see a little preview of things to come?

Okeefe/Bob

February 8th, 2011
11:24 am

It wouldn’t surprise me to Macordes as an os linebacker or even grow into DE. He is tall and a really good athlete who can easily gain enough weight to play those positions.I think he is a real sleeper in this class.A good recruit.

Okeefe/Bob

February 8th, 2011
11:35 am

GT1765 Unfortunately I do not. However,there may be some in the archives of last years recruiting class.I will try to researh that. If I find it,I will post here this evening,You can see some film on this years recruits–go to RamblinWreck.com….click onrecruiting Central.Scroll down to bio and film for each recruit.Watch the one onDays brother a LB.This guy is going to be a beast for Tech in the years to come.Actually i think this class is going to surprise a lot of people–at least i hope so.

GT1765

February 8th, 2011
11:40 am

Thanks Okeefe/Bob. I’ll check it out – let post if you find any film on Days.

GT75

February 8th, 2011
12:01 pm

I think Shaq is the biggest sleeper in this class. I read in the playoffs he absolutly dominated a 4* offensive lineman that signed with Tenn when Shaq was on defense. He then dominated another highly recruited defensive lineman in another game while playing offense. I hope he ends up on the defense, but CPJ said he would definitely play offense.

BUZZ

February 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

Ealey ’still on the team,’ but reportedly suspended

reebok

February 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

good attitude on this young man…it would be nice to redshirt him and let him get bigger for a year, but we may need him on the line this season.

GT75

February 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

Read something interesting. Do you know how many 5*s coming out of high school eventually made it to this year’s superbowl? One total, from both GB and Pitt rosters combined. I think this class with the size and speed and espcially character will turn out to be one of the best.

JasonG

February 8th, 2011
1:16 pm

We’re finally rid of the primadona players. Last year Anthony Allen didn’t shut his mouth long enough to learn the B-back position in the spring/summer. He’s a great running back and had he been on the level he was at the UGA game the whole time he would have gone over 1500 yards. This year we will have a team, not just everyone expecting Nesbit to take the whole world on his shoulders and do everything. One of the greatest Tech quarterbacks of the modern era had his senior season ruined by the players around him.

BigTimeTECHFan

February 8th, 2011
1:16 pm

Ramblin Man –
“You really see Anthony Willaims moving to the o-line? This kid was a beast and highly rated at DE and I had heard he had put on considerible size”

Not seeing, CPJ made moves, player agreed to give it a try, sure if it doesnt work out they may move back, oh yea your right Sim’s is moving from QB to RB.

Macordes will be the sleeper, agree may be DE and RS next year but I see him being a force as gunner on special teams, I would also like to see him play QB at about 250 lbs at same speed he is now, that would be sweet, he can smash people.

Can’t wait to see how QB battle unfolds.

Last years class was real good, plus a lot of RS in the class we have yet to see

BigTimeTECHFan

February 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

GT75 – Also Jordy Nelson was walk on at K State.

BigTimeTECHFan

February 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

Key is not how many stars you have, it how bad do you want to be good, and how hard you work for it. Sometime if you get praised with 5 stars you think your already there and don’t work as hard.

KDD

February 8th, 2011
1:27 pm

@GT1765 – Yes, Barnes is big, but may be too tall for NT. Not sure he can stay low enough and hold ground on both C & a OG at the same time. Need same weight on smaller frame & Shaq fits that description. Just my two cents.

Golden White

February 8th, 2011
1:38 pm

I enjoy the blog better when sanity prevails . Thanx guys .

Ramblin Man

February 8th, 2011
1:43 pm

BigTime,
I know all the talk about Sims is him moving to B-back, but I would like to see him or Perkins move to a-back. During the 09 season defenses really had to prepare for a bruiser to hit the middle or outside and I would like to see defenses have to worry about that again. I know Smith and Bostic would be the main guys while sharing carries with Jones, but sometimes these guys have problems sheding the first tackle.

GTfan2011

February 8th, 2011
1:53 pm

I heard that the Williams move to OL was actually not correct. I know someone in the media reported that, but it was either mis-spoken by the coach or mis-heard / understood by the media member. IT was later confirmed that that was not correct.

GTfan2011

February 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

I agree with KDD, Barnes may be at NT simply because he’s the biggest body we have, but Mason’s build actually makes more sense for NT. There is a reason why the best NTs are 6′1″ to 6′3″, because they have ideal leverage against your typical guard/center at that size.

GT Fan No Matter What Happens

February 8th, 2011
2:10 pm

100% agree with Ramblin Man. It seems our A Backs could not shed that first tackle last year to save their lives! Sims may very well work out at A Back. He’s extremely hard to tackle.

Ramblin Man

February 8th, 2011
2:24 pm

Just to add to my point go back and look at some 09 film and watch AA hit the block for Nesbitt or another a-back to shot by. Just my humble opinion and I trust CPJ will put the best offense he can on the field.

MiamiJacket

February 8th, 2011
5:23 pm

Check out the 2010 highlights for Marcordes on Youtube. That kid was a beast at QB. Not sure about the level of talent he played against, but nobody on the field could tackle him. He could wind up being a good one. McNair’s highlights were pretty impressive also. The kid hits like a truck and can run. It’s about time we got more athletic at LB.

surfrider

February 8th, 2011
5:49 pm

Vince. D. use to recruit Qb’s and move them to D…remember Frank Ross, Scott Worner, etc..off Herschel’s 80’s NC team. Maybe CPJ can put in a H.Back or lead blocker scheme to go with option, ala Whisenhunt. Pepper Rodgers comes back to Tech after Kansas and UCLA with promising credentials and we go 6-5, 7-4, 5-6 type stuff. Reason we could’nt throw the ball and come back in a few games and schedule was hard including ND, Bama, Auburn, etc…24 players in the NFL running the Wishbone most of the time including Raible, Hill, Robinson at WR’s but no QB like the ones that came later in the 80’s and 90’s. Those QB’s take Tech to top 10 under Pepper.

Coach

February 8th, 2011
6:27 pm

What a great blog, Doug. Are you guys screening this stuff? If that’s what it takes then do it, or you are going to loose more readers than just me. I’m a Tech fan first and a fan of college football that even enjoys reading the occasional insightful comments of our Athens friends. However, I will not continue to waste my time reading outrageous trash posted on the Tech site or any other.

Go Jackets

February 8th, 2011
6:27 pm

@surfrider

Can you say that in English?

Delbert D.

February 8th, 2011
7:28 pm

Barnes has already had a year at NT. I’m pretty sure they are not going to move him to offense. Miami has several guys his size on the OL, but they don’t use the cut-blocking technique.

Delbert D.

February 8th, 2011
7:40 pm

Ted Washington, probably the best to ever play the NT position, was 6′5″. However, he weighed 375, so should that form factor be scaled down for somebody that weighs less? Maybe. Terrence Cody is only about 6′4.

Okeefe/Bob

February 8th, 2011
8:53 pm

Our problem at A back this year was not the backs.We had plenty of guys that could carry the mail but we came up short on blocking on the edge to break these guys loose.We did not have a wide receiver who could block lie D Thomas last year.He andL cox were both beasts at blocking.I watched some re-runs on ESPN360 last year and saw some defensive backs run away from Thomas and Cox.I think that is where we need the most help on offense–our O line will be ok.

Okeefe/Bob

February 8th, 2011
8:57 pm

By the way.Regarding the above, Stephen Hill couldn’t block me and believe me and I’llgive him 3 shots at me.He can’t catch a pass either—maybe a little “gun shy”?

Go Jackets

February 8th, 2011
9:26 pm

Okeefe/Bob

I say we give Hill 1 more chance (and only one more chance). Then CPJ should just sit him on the bench and give everyone else a chance. There are plenty of guys that would like to try their hand at catching balls and blocking.

Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

Go Jackets

February 8th, 2011
9:29 pm

I see in an earlier thread about David Sims possibly playing a-back. That’s not a bad idea. He could definitely block AND run like the wind…

threetrone

February 8th, 2011
10:28 pm

Shaq’s size and bench press strength make him sound like a Rock Perdoni from the early 70’s. Rock got in the backfield and tackled a lot of guys from some of the major teams like Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia and Clemson. He was a juco transfer from I believe Ferham Juco. It was rumored he had a summer job doing brick work hauling wheelbarrows of bricks. He was on the Bob Hope All American show in his Tech uniform and holding his helmet. The uniform was white pants, old gold jersey and white helmet. I watched this show and the games he played while I was at Tech from ‘69-’73. I remember seeing Rock one afternoon in the Skiles classroom building basement in the School of Psychology standing there in the hall, I guess waiting to go to class. I was outside in the outdoor plaza walking to a class somewhere in Skiles. That’s the only time I saw Perdoni around classrooms. All the other times were when he was on Grant Field playing. I also recall hearing a coach on the flats say “come on Rock” during practice. I think it was Glanville, the D coach, who yelled that.

Jacket Man

February 8th, 2011
11:16 pm

Anthony Williams is NOT being moved to Offense; that was a typo. GT75; you’re 100% correct about Shaq -he did dominate on both sides of the line of scrimmage against guys who signed with major programs; he was unstoppable as a defensive lineman so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up there if JC Lanier makes a good transition to the offensive line.