William Mahone felt that he was well-prepared to compete at this past weekend's Nike Camp in Columbus. At the same time, the competition in attendance and the type of drills on display were a step up, even from the level of competition he's used to.
"It was probably one of the best camps I've been to," Mahone said. "I had a really good time. It was well run. There was good competition, and everything."
Running back drills, he expected. Even at 6-0, 205 in the mold of a bigger back, he found some of the blocking drills a bit more challenging.
"It was definitely like a football practice where you get into two-a-days and everything, and I wasn't really ready for that," Mahone added. "It was challenging, and that's what I like. My favorite drill? I liked it all. I feel like I got better, and I learned some things to take back to my team, and make everybody better."
With over 20 offers, Mahone is probably done with his prospect camp and combine schedule. He will visit some schools during their prospect camps, but will not be participating in any camps since he'll be visiting or re-visiting a school that has already offered him.
"I don't think I'll make any more combines," Mahone said. "I think I just need to get to schools, and see the facilities and everything, and mark my schools down in the summer."
One of those schools is Pitt, one of the first schools to offer him. He will be in Pittsburgh for the Panthers' first of three prospect camps with teammates Chris Davis and Demitrious Davis. The Fitch trio has already been to Pittsburgh this spring for junior day, for a spring practice and for the spring game.
"I'm going down there for a one-day camp," Mahone said. "I'm not doing anything, but one of our teammates is going to compete. I'm going to support him and just talk to the coaches, the players, and have a good time down there. I really like it down there."
In fact, the Pitt coaching staff gets a lot of credit from Mahone, as one of the main reasons he has an interest in Pitt.
"I feel like I have a great relationship with all the coaches, and not just my position coach," Mahone said. "It's (head) coach (Todd) Graham, (receivers) coach (Mike) Norvell, (running backs) coach (Calvin) Magee of course. I feel like when I walk in there, they all embrace me, and they know who I am. It's a really good feeling when I go there."
Another reason he has an interest in Pitt, is that there's a sense of trust in the way the Panthers are recruiting him for running back. While coming by to observe Pitt practice this spring, Mahone's coaches came away with a play designed specifically for Mahone.
"Actually, our school is going to use a running play that our coaches were talking about with (the Pitt coaches)," Mahone said. "I feel like they're not going to lie to me, or anything like that. They want me at running back. It's going to be a good deal."
Mahone rushed for 700 yards, averaging 7.7 yards a carry. He added another 200 yards receiving, and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns on special teams. On defense, Mahone finished with 30 tackles, picked off five passes including one that was returned for a touchdown, and also forced two fumbles. He earned second-team all-conference honors on defense, and first-team honors on offense.