'13 Intro: Dutchtown ATH Mason Nickens

Dutchtown High School hasn't been around all that long, but the Class 5A program has already earned a well-deserved reputation as a football powerhouse that produces an ample supply of top-flight college prospects. Read further to learn about Mason Nickens, who is one of the best sophomores in Louisiana.

Dutchtown will lose Effrem Reed and Leon Blouin to graduation, but don't shed any tears for the Griffins. There's an abundance of promising underclassmen returning, such as athlete Mason Nickens (5-11, 185, 4.6).

Last year, Nickens started at wide receiver and also saw duty as Blouin's backup at QB. This fall, Nickens will take over as the Griffins' signal-caller, and you can expect another great season for Dutchtown with him under center.

"I was basically an extra weapon to take pressure off Effrem and Leon," said Nickens of his sophomore season. "I ran for seven touchdowns and caught two more, but I'm not sure about the number of catches or yardage.

"(Superstar junior safety) Landon Collins will probably see time at running back, along with Austin Brown and Chris Collins. Shelby Christy, our wide receiver, made some nice, nice, long plays last year. He is a huge target with great range."

Nickens also excels on the baseball diamond for the Griffins.

"I'm basically a utility player," he said. "I play outfield, infield, and catcher. I'm hitting around .338 at the moment."

Last week, Reed emphatically stated that Dutchtown will continue to receive stellar QB play with Nickens calling the shots - quite a compliment coming from the team's senior leader.

And Nickens had plenty of praise in return for Reed, who signed with UL.

"When he felt that the coaches were being too nice to us, Effrem would keep us after practice and make the offense run sprints," said Nickens. "He was great to be around and a great motivator.

"When he was being recruited and was waiting on his first offer, I was wondering what schools were waiting on. Effrem has everything that a program wants, both on and off the field."

Nickens, who grew up an SEC fan, favors the schools in that conference, as well as "ULL, ULM, and Louisiana Tech."

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