"He has a bright future," Ardrey Kell head coach Adam Hastings said. "He has a ton of potential. He's a bright kid, works hard, [and] has a wonderful attitude. He has a big frame. He understands the game pretty well. He does a really good job using his hands. He has a lot of room for improvement, but he's a real hard worker."
Veal was moved up to varsity prior to his sophomore season and immediately became Ardrey Kell's starting right tackle.
"He does a great job of working within our scheme," Hastings said. "We're a zone oriented team. He does a great job of picking up the technique, which is the most important part to that."
Hastings is considering moving Veal to left tackle for the upcoming football season.
Veal's recruitment is beginning to pick up, with Duke and North Carolina being the two schools showing the most interest at this early stage.
"Coaches like his potential," Hastings said. "He played well as a sophomore. He showed a lot of improvement from the first game of the year to the last game of the year – I don't know if anyone on our team improved as much as he did. [Coaches] see a couple of plays that he has made and they go, ‘Wow, that's a big-time play. That's a Division I football player type of play.' You see his frame and you see that he's just a young puppy."
According to Hastings, UNC assistant coach Gunter Brewer is among the coaches highest on Veal's potential.
"Coach Brewer is real high on where Mason can be at," Hastings said. "Coach Brewer does a great job in the city [of Charlotte] and does a great job here. I know that [UNC] were one of the first to put a lot of interest in him."
That interest led Brewer to invite Veal to a UNC basketball game in December, as well as the Tar Heels' January junior day.
"I really like North Carolina," Veal said. "The coaching staff seems very committed to taking that next step. They've always kind of been right there, but you can tell Coach Brewer and Coach [Larry] Fedora and the staff really want to take it to the next level.
"I really like the facilities. One thing that really stuck out to me is that you can tell that academics are very important there and that's really impressive."
Being among the first schools to show Veal attention could pay dividends down the road.
"It says a lot, because I'm just a sophomore," Veal said. "For them to start to form that relationship, really means a lot to me."
Both of Veal's parents played sports at South Carolina. His father played football in the late ‘80s, while his mother played softball. That family connection has naturally led Veal to grow up a Gamecock fan, but he says it won't factor into his recruitment. "I realize football is only going to take me so far, so I want the situation that's best not only personally but academically and my life beyond football, because that's only going to last so long," Veal said.