Tennessee QB chooses to play in the SEC

Tennessee quarterback Deaunte Mason has made his decision. He has committed to the University of Kentucky. Mason's coach, Tony Brunetti, discusses his star with KSR.

His coach says he has a build similar to Tennessee Titan quarterback Vince Young and has all the skills to be a big-time college quarterback.

Yet Deaunte Mason was being recruited as an athlete rather than a quarterback by most schools other than Kentucky. However, the Nashville standout wants to play quarterback and that's why he decided on Monday to verbally commit to UK.

"Kentucky wants me at quarterback. That is what I have wanted to do all life. It is a dream come true," said the 6-4, 215-pound Mason.

His coach, Tony Brunetti, says he is a dual threat quarterback. He ran for over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns and threw for 31 scores and over 1,900 yards in 2006. This season his Pearl-Cohn team is 6-2 and Mason has rushed for 450 yards and eight scores and thrown for 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns.

"He can run or throw equally well. He can beat you either way," Brunetti said.

Mason runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds now, but ran 4.5 last year when he was on his school's state championship 4x200-meter relay team.

"He has bulked up for football this year and he slowed down a little. Now he's back used to carry that muscle mass. It's hard to bring him down, though. Most of his muscle is in his legs. He has the wheels to carry a load," Brunetti said.

Mason, who also plays guard on the basketball team, is president of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. He also has a 2.9 grade-point average and has already qualified for freshman eligibility.

"I can't explain why he doesn't get the respect he deserves from more schools for the things he does," Brunetti said. "He was an all-state quarterback last year. He's the No. 1 quarterback in our class this year. He's one of the top five quarterbacks coming out of Tennessee. He has a strong arm. He has all you want."

Still, numerous schools, including hometown Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Mississippi, recruited Mason only as an athlete and not a quarterback. That's why Mason says his recruiting decision was easy to make.

"This was not a hard decision. Kentucky was the first real D-1 school to give me a quarterback offer. I am a natural quarterback. Some schools do not think so. They wanted to recruit me just as an athlete. I want to show those schools what I can do and hopefully prove a point when we play them in the future," Mason said.

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