Target 2005: Ronnie Mason

DURHAM, N.C. – Of the eight Division I prospects at Southern Durham, defensive end Ronnie Mason may be the most likely to end up in a North Carolina uniform. And pound-for-pound, he may be the strongest of the bunch.

"If you look at Ronnie, you're not going to find a better physical specimen in all of the country, and he's just going to get better," Spartans coach Gordon Walters said. "He's becoming much more aggressive, which is only going to make him into a better football player. He's very coachable."

Mason, 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, runs a 4.65-40-yard dash and can bench 300 pounds and parallel squat 500. He also carries a 3.60 G.P.A. in the classroom.

"Most people look at guys like me and think, ‘Aw, he's just a football player,'" Mason said. "But I've got brains, too."

When the time comes, Mason will be able to choose from just about any school that he likes. As of now, those showing the most interest are Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Duke and Wake Forest.

"Carolina is a pretty well-developed team," Mason said. "They've got a lot of strong points and some weaknesses. I think it would be a good environment to play football in, too, because of the fan support. I know they've got a lot of good coaches. They're only going to get better and go to the next level.

"I'm looking for good coaches and good support – one's that don't have favorites, but work for the team – just a big family."

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