Mahone Talks Decision - Part 2

Scout.com 4-star running back William Mahone announced Friday he would make his college pledge on Aug. 7. IrishEyes.com was first to get the early reaction on the announcement and then spoke with the Ohio running back at length about his upcoming decision. We continue our talk with Mahone about his upcoming decision.

IrishEyes.com continues our conversation with running back William Mahone who is set to make his college announcement on August 7.

Part One: Link

As for the four programs Mahone will choose from, we asked him to give a brief description about each of them.

"Penn State is a tough nose football team," he said, "a grind it out football team determined to get back to where they use to be."

When asked if the unknown coaching future of legendary head coach Joe Paterno could play a factor in his decision, Mahone felt confident about the programs future plans.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that as you would like to know who your coach is going to be, "he said. "But they've made it clear that once coach Paterno is gone, someone on the current staff is going to step up and there will be no change really. I trust them in that sense, but it would be nice to know you have a head coach there for years to come and you know he is at his peak."


William Mahone
Scout.com
As for Pittsburgh, Mahone feels things are hot for the Big East program.

"I feel the new staff at Pittsburgh is on fire and ready to win and run the Big East," he said. "They are doing their job in recruiting and they are just on fire."

While Michigan State does not really look to be in the running. It did not stop him from saying positives about the Spartans program.

"Michigan State is on a roll as they won the Big Ten last year and I feel they are going to keep the success going," he said. "Coach (Mark) Dantonio is a really good guy who knows what he is doing and I feel they are going to keep rolling in the Big Ten."

As for the Irish, Mahone is a believer in the future success of the Irish under coach Brian Kelly.

"Notre Dame is definitely on the come up," Mahone said. "They've done a great job of recruiting. Brian Kelly has won every place he's been at and done the most he could every place he's been at. So, he's doing something right with his teams and I feel he's going to just keep rolling."

One question that has been asked a lot since Kelly took over at Notre Dame has been centered on being able to get a top running back in a spread offensive attack. When asked, Mahone feels the spread is the best fit for him.

"The spread offense puts you in space, kind of like my high school," he said. "It puts you in space to do more things and some people have broken it down to me that a lot of NFL teams are starting to spread it out a little bit.

"That is how you're going to get your yards and be able to work in space and do things. Every offense is nice, but I feel the spread is better for me as a running back."

Another factor in his decision has been his study of the offensive recruiting class at each school.

"I did look at the recruiting classes and also looked at the offensive linemen in the class too," Mahone said. "I feel like I can't go wrong with the O-linemen each school has. It's just good to know you have a good O-line with you and that you can run behind.

"I know some linemen around here like Anthony Stanko, who is going to Penn State, has been in my ear about going there. So, it is good to know who you are going to run behind."

One area that seems to be in favor of the Irish is academics.

"Personally, I want to study either business or communications in college," Mahone said. "I know Notre Dame has the best business school. But I also know with every school that I've picked they are going to make sure you graduate and get your degree.

"I had to eliminate several schools that I felt did not put an emphasis on academics or have a good support system in place. So that is not really a concern. Notre Dame is known for their academics so I guess they have an edge there and Penn State too. But I know anywhere I go I'm going to succeed and get my degree and everything."

One area William has not put on the back burner is his preparation for his senior season. Despite the interest in his ability, this fall will be one of first.

"This will be the first year I get to start at running back at my school," Mahone said. "I'm probably preparing harder right now because it is our senior season and we are projected to go far in the playoffs this year. This year has been different as I feel I've really hung in and worked harder and I'm really just ready to get this thing started."

However, the recruiting side of things has been like an amusement park ride.

"It's been exciting and hard at times," he said. "The past year has been a rollercoaster with some ups and downs. But more positive than negatives. It's been a great experience and has made me a better man and a better person in life going through something like this. It's been a great time."

The one person who has been the biggest influence in his life and during the recruiting process has been his mother. Mahone spoke about him mom and the role she plays in keeping him on the right path and staying humble.

"I would say my mother has been my biggest focal point, as it's been just me and her," he said. "She just said it is my decision, but she puts her input in on what she wants me to do and the fact I have to go to school and I have to deal with everything from a football and school standpoint. She is very helpful and helps me think of everything I need to think of to decide what school I want to go to.

"Her advice to me has been to just stay humble and to take my time, as much time as I needed to think about things and focus on my school work. She also stressed to take everything in stride and to take one step at a time and don't look ahead or count any school out."

Mahone also feels others around him have helped keep him humble. However, he's always felt he would be in the current position he's in right now.

"I feel the people around me have helped me a lot," he said. "I don't try to make something bigger than what it is and I've never been the type of person that just brags about things. To be honest, I've always wanted something like this to happen and have worked for it. I just didn't know if it would be in football or basketball, but if this wasn't happening, I'm not sure what would be happening because this is what I've always dreamed of and thought would happen.

"I can't say I'm surprised, but it feels good and I've stayed humble from my upbringing and everything like that."

To close out our conversation, Mahone was asked to sum up the whole recruiting process and what he would tell younger players about the experience.

"I'd tell them don't do anything crazy in the begging if you get that big offer you wanted," Mahone said. "You need to visit the schools and don't think about it too much. It should be in the back of your head and just take it in stride and listen to your heart and what God has planned for you.

"Don't make any decisions off of anyone else or any other people who may want you to go to certain places because people will try to influence you. I would also remind them to just have fun."


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