A Tough Son Of A Gun

Mason Walters hand hurt a little bit, but it wasn't bad enough to come out of the game. Especially a playoff game. So the 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman stayed in the trenches, playing center, helping Frenship High advance to the third round of the Texas state playoffs.

Walters practiced all week and played in the third-round contest as well, where the Tigers season came to an end.

"It didn't hurt that bad," Mason Walters stated. "A week after the game it was still swollen, so I went to the doctor and he said I snapped the bone that connects the wrist to the pinkie, my fifth metacarpal. They went in and put two screws in it, and I haven't had any trouble with it since then."

That kind of toughness is one of the many reasons why Walters holds scholarship offers from some of the nation's best programs, including ones he received from Notre Dame and Texas this past weekend. LSU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Arizona, Baylor, TCU, and Stanford have also extended full-rides.

Walters has played center for Frenship the past two seasons, but would rather play left tackle on the next level. He last played that position as a freshman. Walters could also play guard in college.

"I have a little bit of versatility because I think I can play any position on the line," Walters said. "I'd like to play left tackle, but when I get to a school I'm going to play wherever they tell me to."

Walters isn't quite sure what position Notre Dame sees him at, just that he is in their plans.

Before this weekend, Walters had been receiving some mail from Notre Dame, and he got an invite to yesterday's junior day. He couldn't attend and went to Texas' on Friday and Saturday instead. Walters was caught off guard by the offer.

"I think my Dad got the number for one of the coaches, and he said you need to call this number tomorrow. I called him on my to Austin.

"I talked to (assistant coach) Rob Ianello," Walters continued. "He talked to me about how they kind of seen my film and all the coaches have seen it and talked about it, and he was supposed to give the phone to (head) coach (Charlie) Weis.

"Weis said I was the kind of athlete they look for and offered me a scholarship. Then he talked to me about the program and let me know their way of recruiting. After that I talked to the o-line coach (John Latina). I talked to him for a little bit and they seemed excited about recruiting me.

"Notre Dame has pulled in quite a few good recruits over the last few years, and they look like a program going up after a rebuilding year this year. (Latina) talked to me about their offensive philosophies and talked to me about their recruits and potential playing time once I go there. I could work my way up through the ranks and not red-shirt."

This past season, Walters did not allow a sack. He reported a bench press of 320 pounds and a 3.2 GPA. He doesn't know too much about Notre Dame, and plans to visit this summer at some point for the very first time.

"I'll see how long the plane ride is, and see what the family is like at Notre Dame, and if it feels right who knows," Walters explained.

"I'm looking for a family, a group of guys I can get a long with, a family I can get with."

Walters has thus far only taken trips to Texas and nearby Texas Tech. He has already decided to graduate early from high school and enroll in college for the spring semester.

"I feel like it will help me get experience and deal with time management of college, Walters said, adding that he hopes to verbally commit somewhere by the end of the summer. "Get a few classes out of the way, and I can learn the program, the philosophies, and gel with the guys. And I think I can work real hard during that off-season and have a chance to play a little bit as a freshman."

Walters has been told that colleges like his long arms, athleticism and good feet. He failed to mention toughness, but that is no doubt one of the qualities they like too.

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