"I believe this will be better than Christmas," said the 6-4, 215-pounder. "I don't know about everybody else, but this will be bigger than Christmas."
And like a kid waiting for Christmas, Ryan has not only been anticipating the South Carolina game, but the first day of practice leading up to that much-anticipated game.
"Since I have been here I have been thinking about two-a-days and practices and coming in here and showing these coaches what I can really do," he said. "These past couple of weeks I have been thinking pretty hard getting my mind-set. I have a job to do. I have to come in here and do what I have to do to help this team out."
And the determined youngster came in for the first term of summer school to make sure he was ready to make his mark on the team. Reflecting back on it, Ryan agrees that was a wise choice on his part.
"I thought when I got here I was in shape. Honestly, I did," said Ryan Mason. "Then I started working out with the Bulldog (weight and conditioning) program and it, shall I say, redefined my terms of being in shape."
He learned very quickly what all freshman or newcomers discover when they experience an SEC workout program for the first time.
"The tempo is much quicker and faster than I expected it to be," he said of the summer workouts. "Basically, it was the running events that we did. And we had to have them done at a certain amount of time. You have to put forth the effort."
He quickly adjusted to the routine, though.
"I feel like I was in shape by the end of June, beginning of July," said Ryan. "I now have no problem with it at all."
Now, it's Christmas come early for Ryan.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.