While Coach Mike Sherman and the new Texas A&M staff inherited a large, highly-rated class of commitments in December, it appears the coaches have identified a need for speed on the edge. It's no secret that the Aggies struggled to pressure the opposing quarterback under Dennis Franchione, and Sherman appears determined to correct that by recruiting fast, undersized defensive ends and outside linebackers.
In January, A&M has offered DE/OLB prospects Josh Williams and Jasquies Smith, and just last weekend accepted the commitment of fleet-footed Louisiana defensive end Eric Harper. It appears they may have their eye on another outside speed prospect, Gary Mason from Waxahachie.
The athletic 6-foot-5, 215-pound outside linebacker certainly has the bloodlines, who's cousin is none other than former Oklahoma State basketball standout and Milwaukee Bucks star Desmond Mason. However, Gary Mason is making a name for himself after registering 86 tackles, 15 sacks, and 24 tackles for loss in his senior season with the Indians.
"My strength is my speed," Mason said. "I'm pretty good at containing the runs to the outside and I can rush and get to the quarterback."
Mason originally committed to Guy Morriss and the Baylor Bears this past summer, but with the coaching change and more schools knocking on his door, the Scout.com three-star prospect has opened up his recruitment and is weighing is opportunities.
"I like Baylor and I may end up there," Mason said. "But I feel I owe it to myself to evaluate my options and look at the opportunities."
Mason has standing offers from Baylor, Kansas, UTEP, and New Mexico, but there's a possibility that two other Big 12 schools could jump into the mix.
"My coach says that both Texas A&M and Nebraska recently called asking about me," Mason said. "They got my number from my coach and they are supposed to call this week and schedule a visit. "
Mason said he would be very interested in hearing from the Aggies and the Huskers, but for now he's focused on two schools with offers on the table, Kansas and Baylor. The Waxahachie product took a visit to Baylor this past weekend.
"I like the new coaching staff. I think they are going to get it done at Baylor," Mason said. "I was leaning a little toward Kansas before my visit, but now I may be leaning to Baylor."
Mason has no additional visits scheduled at this time, but is open to taking more visits, especially if Texas A&M or Nebraska calls and invites him to make a trip.
"I think you have to give A&M a look. It's a good school with a lot of resources and a new coach," Mason said. "They would certainly be in the mix, but I'm also very interested in Kansas and Baylor. If the time comes, I'll look at my opportunities and make the choice best for me."
Mason says he has no timetable yet for a final decision.
Sherman going after another DE?
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