Mahoney visited Tennessee back in September and one thing did stand out to him when comparing both. "I got to see Coach Erickson all the time during my visit," the lineman commented. "When I went to Tennessee I saw Coach Kiffin just a couple of times. Erickson was everywhere we went – except the parties."
As a sophomore Mahoney recorded 35 tackles, eight sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss while playing both the nose and the three-technique defensive tackle spot. "Coach Erickson said that I could play strongside defensive end or defensive tackle," Mahoney stated. "He and Coach Lubick said I'm a perfect fit for their style and their system.
"I get off the ball quickly, have a good first step and I can bull rush too. I need to work on my lateral and backside pursuit, so I can run players from behind better."
Mahoney reported weight room marks of 365 lbs. benching, 525 squatting and 285 power clean.
ASU and Tennessee are the only schools Mahoney visited to date (he canceled a previous visit to West Virginia and is no longer considering them), and that tandem along with Texas Tech are currently his favorites.
"I like Arizona State a lot," Mahoney remarked. "I've been to Texas Tech before and I'm planning to visit them or Washington State this weekend. I don't know a lot about Washington State so I want to compare them to the schools I already know."
In terms of a timetable, there is one factor that is currently guiding his decision.
"I just need to figure out my academics and see if I can graduate in December or in the spring," Mahoney explained. "If I'm only going to graduate in the spring I will probably take more visits."
Regardless of when Mahoney gradates Pierce he'll have three years to play two.