OL Prospect Has New Idea About UM

Prior talking to University of Miami coaches last month, this talented offensive lineman had a lot of doubts about the Hurricanes. However, that all changed and he now lists UM among his early favorites.

Despite being one of the nation's premier offensive line prospects, Carteret (NJ) standout Dan Mazan wasn't always dominating on just the football field. In fact, his biggest personal athletic accomplishment to this point is in baseball.

"When I was 12 years old, I was playing in a baseball league with a bunch of 14 year olds," Mazan told me. "The kid pitching was pretty good and he gave me a curveball. I waited on it and drilled it. They say it went 405 feet. Our field was as big as Yankee Stadium. As I was going home that night, people were stopping by and saying, ‘hey, aren't you the kid who hit that long home run?' It was crazy."

That's right, a 12-year old Mazan cracked a 405-footer over the center field fence.

Two years later, Mazan decided it was time for football. "I started football when I was 14," he said. "It was my freshman year and I was huge so I played the offensive line. I was about 6-2, 305 back then. Then I got serious about it and played my sophomore year at 275. That's when I started going both ways. I played my junior year at 285 and now I'm right around 295."

At 6-foot-3 ½, Mazan is already a full academic qualifier inside the classroom. In addition to football, Mazan throws the shot put (52 ½ feet) and discus (145 feet) during track season.

Ever since May 1, Mazan has been buried with the recruiting process.

"It's all new to me," he said. "I had a lot of schools call last month. Ohio State, Syracuse, Northwestern, Clemson, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Miami, UCLA, and Stanford all called."

Mazan said he has already received 12 scholarship offers.

"Syracuse, Rutgers, West Virginia, Kent State, Maryland, Kansas State, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Temple have all sent me scholarship offers," he said. "I have 12 total right now. A lot of other schools have told me on the phone they'll offer, but I haven't gotten anything from them yet."

Mazan said a few schools do sit atop his early list of favorites at this point.

"I'd say my top five right now would be Ohio State, Michigan, Syracuse, Kansas State, and Miami," he said. "I don't have any one favorite in particular as I want to keep my options open."

Prior to talking to University of Miami coaches on the phone last month, Mazan was not interested in the Hurricanes.

"Miami's always a great team and everything," he said. "But I had a lot of doubts about them before we talked. I went on an unofficial visit to Syracuse and they had a brochure that listed a lot of the graduation rates from teams that played in bowl games last year. I saw schools like Tennessee and Michigan State with something like 33-percent. I thought Miami might be like that too. I thought it was a huge school with tons of students and right in the city. I just didn't think it was for me."

However, that all changed once he spoke to UM.

"Coach Hargreaves was great," he said. "He informed me a lot about the school and it really put Miami near the top. For example, they only have something like 8,000 students and it's a private school. The campus isn't even in the city, and their graduation rates are very high. Over the last 10 years, they've graduated a very high percentage of their student athletes. He basically gave me the facts, which I didn't know about Miami. They're definitely on my list now and I look forward to getting a chance to see the school and meet the coaches in person."

Mazan said he doesn't plan on attending any summer camps because he and his teammates have one major goal on their minds.

"We only have two days off this whole summer," he said. "I'm a leader on this football team and I don't want to take some days off to attend a summer camp that is only going to help me and not my teammates. That's why I won't be going to any camps."

The talented offensive lineman said his team has come up just short the last couple years and he hopes things change this season.

"The No. 1 goal is the same as every year and that's win the division, then win a state championship," he said. "The last two years, we worked real hard only to come up short. My sophomore year, we began 1-4 and ended the season 5-4 and got into the playoffs. When we played the No. 1 ranked team in the state, we were tied 0-0 in the 4th quarter. We were on a 13-play drive deep in their territory and had 4th and inches. Then one of our lineman jumped off sides and made it 4th and 6. Then another lineman jumped and made it 4th and 11. That's what I mean, we've been so close but we just haven't been able to finish the way we've wanted to. Hopefully that will change this season."

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