Mason County head coach David Buchanan has a strong core of talent returning from his team that finished 11-2 last fall. Among the returning players are seniors to be Andre Turner, Dustin Grutza, 2-sport star Chris Lofton, Jordan Murray and Bryan Sweet.
I recently visited with Coach Buchanan and discussed the talented group.
According to Coach Buchanan, defensive end Andre Brown may turn out to be the best of the bunch.
"He is still figuring out how good he is," said Buchanan. "He could be the prospect of the group."
Turner, (6'2, 232) who was an all-state honorable mention selection following his junior campaign, has a full schedule this spring. He has already made unofficial visits to both Louisville and Kentucky and will be making a trip to Blacksburg, Va for a NIKE Camp on May 17th.
"He plays extremely hard and has great strength and quickness," continued Buchanan. "He's a dominating type of player."
In addition to Louisville and Kentucky, Cincinnati, Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee and Marshall have also expressed early interest in Turner.
Quarterback Dustin Grutza is a 3-year starter at Mason County and has all the attributes of becoming a solid signal-caller at the next level.
"He throws the ball well," Buchanan said of his 6'3, 185-pound quarterback. "He's a very, very good athlete with great speed. He is a very good decision maker and a wonderful leader."
He has all ready taken visits to Indiana, Kentucky and Cincinnati. Louisville and Wake Forest are also showing consistent interest in Grutza.
We have also learned that Dustin was recently extended an invitation to participate in the Elite 11 quarterback camp in Stanford, CA. The invitation further proves that Dustin is a high quality quarterback.
Chris Lofton is a name that most Cardinal fans are all ready familiar with due to his accomplishments on the hardwood. Lofton was named MVP of the 2003 Kentucky Sweet Sixteen Basketball Championship after guiding Mason County to the state crown last month.
I spoke with Chris about his play on the football field and if he had decided to play basketball or football in college.
Lofton lines up at both wide receiver and safety at Mason County and at 6'3, 185-pounds, has the size to create havoc for opposing defenders.
While sources close to Chris have told us that he will play basketball at the next level, Chris told me that he is enjoying his time on the football field as well.
Lofton told me that he is great catching the ball and that has helped him to establish himself as a legitimate football prospect as well.
Coach Buchanan agreed, "He has great hands and is very strong."
Louisville, Kentucky and Wake Forest are among the programs that are showing interest in Lofton.
Jordan Murray and Bryan Sweet will anchor the linebackers for Mason County this fall. Buchanan told me that both Murray (6'1, 190) and Sweet (6'1, 180) should have strong senior seasons, which will cause many Division I programs to take a closer look at the combo.
According to Buchanan, none of the players have any favorites, but he does expect that to change once schools start to extend offers, which shouldn't be to long from now.
Mason County will open its football season on August 23rd in the Breathitt County Recreation Bowl in Mount Sterling, Ky.