When he signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Badgers starting next season, the standout athlete still can't believe it.
"I finally relaxed about ten minutes before everything started," Mason said. "It's a great feeling knowing I am a Badger and that I can focus on finishing my senior year strong."
Mason was smiling from ear to ear when he inked his name on the paperwork during a press conference at Madison East High School, officially making him a member of Wisconsin's 2010 signing class Wednesday, the first day of the signing period for high school seniors.
Mason was one of 24 players that signed national letters of intent play with Wisconsin morning, a class that is ranked 33rd in the country by Scout.com, and is one of three wide receivers, joining Ohio's Chase Hammond and Miami's Isaiah Williams.
Mason is the last Madison East scholarship player to play for the Badgers since wide receiver Donald Hayes from 1994-97.
"(Coach Bielema) said congrats and that they are very excited to have me there," Mason said. "He also said good luck with the rest of the season."
The standout player on a Purgolders team that went 2-7 last season, Mason grabbed 56 passes for 866 yards for 14 scores, often fighting off double teams by the opponents. Mason is use to the extra attention, as the senior is averaging double figures to lead his high school basketball team to a 14-1 record and ranked second in the state.
"It's a great feeling to be on top, but it's also a lot more pressure," Mason said. "We are going to make it as far as possible."
Mason won't be alone on his journey to Madison, as his quarterback, Drew McAdams, signed a preferred walk-on deal with Mason to play for the Badgers. McAdams completed 53 percent of his passes for 2,570 yards and 27 touchdowns, while throwing 17 interceptions.
"It's a good felling because I will have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of," said Mason of McAdams, one of six preferred walk-ons to sign as Acceptance of Admission letter with Wisconsin.
When Mason was offered the scholarship by Head Coach Bret Bielema, he was told that UW basketball coach Bo Ryan would allow him to walk on the team if he committed to play football. Although that was his original plan, Mason has decided to focus solely on football at Wisconsin, but can't wait for summer conditioning to start.
"I'm basically signing my life away," Mason said with a laugh, "but I can't wait to work out with them."
Unlike last season when Wisconsin made a big splash by signing four-star wide receiver on signing day, things around the football offices were much quieter this time. The only two big attention grabbers came from a pair of Wisconsin athletes. Originally committing to a grayshirt offer, meaning he wouldn't enroll until January 2011, Muskego's Kyle Costigan was bumped up to a full scholarship offer.
Accepting a preferred walk-on offer was Milwaukee Marquette linebacker Marcus Trotter, who will join his twin brother, Michael, in UW's 2010 class. Trotter chose the UW option over scholarship offers from Western Michigan and Wofford and a preferred walk-on opportunity from Minnesota.
Of the 30 athletes that signed with Wisconsin, 16 are from the state of Wisconsin, including 10 that signed scholarships.
Botticelli Bolts for Minnesota
The only recruit Wisconsin lost out on was Milwaukee Marquette defensive end Cameron Botticelli. After originally accepting a preferred walk-on offer after the Hilltoppers state championship run in November, Botticelli (a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end) switched his decision and accepted a preferred walk-on opportunity with Minnesota.
The news was broke to Badger Nation early Wednesday morning and confirmed by Marcus Trotter and the University of Minnesota.