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When former SMU linebackers coach Tim Hundley moved on to UCLA, it opened up a huge area of recruiting in east Texas. What coach has stepped up and filled the void? Find out all the answers inside PonyStampede.com!

When former SMU linebackers coach Tim Hundley moved on to UCLA, it opened up a huge area of recruiting in east Texas. Instead of panicking and making a quick hire for recruiting purposes, June Jones turned to SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason.

"Tom is a great coach and we wanted to get him out on the road. He has had tremendous success recruiting top-level student-athletes in the past and I know he'll do the same for SMU," stated Jones.

When first hired by Coach Jones in February of 2008, it was decided that Mason would strictly focus on being a defensive coordinator and not any on recruiting. Now returning to the road, Mason has the ability to find just the right guys to fit his defensive scheme and system.

"Recruiting is one of the toughest and most rewarding parts of being a coach. The hours are long, but when you're able to bring in that top-level student-athlete and then watch them succeed, it's a great feeling," said Mason.

A linebackers coach at Fresno State from 2001 to 2007, Mason played a huge part in the Bulldogs recruiting process. In his time there, he convinced many players to turn down offers from Pac 10 schools to head to Fresno State.

While Fresno is three hours away from Los Angeles to the south and Oakland to the north, Mason has found recruiting in Texas to be a little different. With the release of Scout.com's Top 300 earlier in the week, we found that 57 players from the state of Texas made the list compared to California's 45.

"I continue to be amazed at the level of talent here in Texas. There are so many great players, that, as a coach, you could build a national-championship team without ever leaving the state," stated Mason to PonyStampede.com.

Mason's recruiting resume stretches far and wide across the nation. He served as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Nevada before taking the job at Fresno State. Before Nevada, Mason had stops at Northern Iowa, Boise State, Portland State, Eastern Washington, Walla Walla Community College (WA).

"It's great to get to know kids and their families, but, again, the best part is actually after the recruitment process, when you're able to watch them develop as a player and young man," said Mason.


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