Mahon projected to start on both sides of the Manalapan line before suffering a season-ending injury. Now healthy and back to workouts, the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder hopes to make up for his lack of sophomore film with a strong showing the spring evaluation period.
"For me, the toughest part would just be not playing," Mahon said. "I missed it. I wanted to help my team.
"I feel very good. My numbers are going up. My squats, power cleans, bench, it's all getting up very high. I feel great, and that's exciting. My back is feeling pretty good. … I'm more of a strength, physical player. I try to be quick in short distances."
Mahon trains twice a week with former NFL lineman Val Barnaby with the hopes of popping out to the many college coaches expected at Manalapan in the next month.
"This spring is very important," Mahon said. "I want to show colleges what I can do after I didn't play. I'm a leader and I'm strong and physical. I'm a good athlete, and I want to show that.
"The competition is very good [where I train]. It's a really tough workout twice a week. It's not easy. Most kids hate them or want to give up, but I like the challenge. Val Barnaby is great to work with. He's been where I want to get."
Barnaby is a former New York Jet and Rutgers Scarlet Knight. The Rutgers connection makes the training more fun for Mahon, who has ties to the program.
Mahon camped at Rutgers last summer, where he worked with current and former members of the coaching staff.
"I learned a lot of things and a lot of techniques," Mahon said. "It was a very nice setup with the Hale Center and the locker room and everything. I've been following them pretty much all of my life. My dad has had season tickets for football since I was little. I like their tradition and their toughness."
Mahon has relationships with both Rutgers coach Kyle Flood and Delaware coach Dave Brock after camping at both places last summer. His family is close with former Manalapan coach and current Rutgers player development staffer Cody High.
"Coach Flood knows me," Mahon said. "He was at a game for [Penn State commit Saeed Blacknall] this year and he recognized me on the sidelines from when I was at camp. That was a good sign. I was astonished that he knew me."