Mahoney a Difference Maker

Keller (TX) Fossil Ridge linebacker Brandon Mahoney gave his verbal to Oklahoma in late April and has just completed spring football. In a quest to bring you the inside scoop to the future Sooner class, Sooners Illustrated made the call over to his high school coach Tony Baccarini to find out some in-depth information on Mahoney.

In late April, Keller (TX) Fossil Ridge linebacker Brandon Mahoney made the decision that Oklahoma was the place he needed to be. In fact, he called his verbal commitment an opportunity that he just "couldn't pass up."

Now with that behind him, Sooners Illustrated wanted to find out more about the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Mahoney so we made the call over to Fossil Ridge coach Tony Baccarini to get the real deal on his star linebacker.

"He (Mahoney) brings a lot of energy to the game. He plays the game hard and with a lot of passion," Baccarini said. "He's a speedy linebacker who plays sideline to sideline."

Baccarini said that at the middle linebacker position Mahoney has started 24 total games, and the Fossil Ridge team has won 20 of them. During that timeframe, Mahoney has tallied up 93 solo tackles, 87 assisted tackles, five sacks, eight quarterback hurries, and five interceptions (two returned for touchdowns).

And apparently Mahoney has improved on his game even more so. In fact, this spring Baccarini said that during practices, the coaches had to try make practice adjustments because of his strong play.

"He had a great spring, but we had a tough time handling him," Baccarini said. "We had to scheme around him on so many plays because he reads the ball so well."

With that said, Baccarini said that Mahoney could play on the next level as outside linebacker because of his speed and quickness.

"Though he plays read-first, he gets his reads so fast," Baccarini said. "He gets to the spots he needs to be and makes the plays. I think he could play outside linebacker in college. He's got everything he needs, the size (6-3, 210) and the speed (4.59 in 40-yard). I actually think he will put on more weight because he definitely has the frame for it."

But when it came down to Mahoney choosing Oklahoma, Baccarini was not even aware that he was going to take a trip to Norman. In fact, the decision almost caught him by surprise.

"I know he had made a trip down to LSU, but I didn't know he was visiting Oklahoma," Baccarini said. "But I remember when he came in my office and said, ‘Coach, I think I want to commit to Oklahoma.' To me, he saw a great program that is known for good defense. Plus, I think he saw a good chance to play."

Even more so, current Oklahoma defender and Fossil Ridge alumnus R.J. Washington just so happened to be at the school some time around when the commitment happened.

"RJ walked in my office when he heard about and told me that he had nothing to do with it," Baccarini said.

Mahoney chose the Sooners over other schools like Texas A&M, Kansas, and Arizona to name a few. Now the commitment is behind him and Baccarini said that recruiting is done for Mahoney.

"When a guy like Mahoney gives his word it is completely solid," Baccarini said.

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