Prep Football: Souths Mason headed to Guilford
LANDIS — His big brother left behind a hard-to-follow legacy, but South Rowan senior Devin Mason is starting to find a comfort zone of his own.
Devin’s older brother, Cadarreus, is someone you’ve heard of. He was a stud player at South, and after redshirting the 2010 season at Division II UNC Pembroke, he became the Braves’ starting middle linebacker. As a sophomore this fall, Cadarreus, who is 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, led UNCP with 80 tackles, and he should contend for all sorts of accolades the next two seasons.
Devin developed at a slower pace than his brother and is quieter than his brother, but the blood and genes are the same, and Devin is looking more studly with each passing day. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he passes all the eye tests now, and he will continue his football career this fall at Guilford.
“Devin was this short, chunky offensive lineman when he was a sophomore, and I used to feel for him having to live up behind a player like his brother was,” South coach Jason Rollins said. “He bloomed late. Between his sophomore and junior years, we started seeing a big difference. We saw him getting bigger and better in a lot of ways. He started sprouting up, getting taller and thicker.”
As you might imagine, growing up as Cadarreus’ little brother had its positives and negatives. There was good news and bad news.
“In a way, it was kind of hard because people expected a lot from me once they knew who my brother was,” Devin said. “But the good part was that I had that big brother to push me, and I could see how hard he worked. Cadarreus has a great work ethic, and I pushed myself to work the way he worked.”
Rollins and South’s coaching staff did their part. They were patient and allowed Devin time to develop.
“The one thing I told him was that he had to be Devin Mason, and that he couldn’t be someone else,” Rollins said. “He took that to heart.”
Since his sophomore year, Devin has added about four inches and 30 pounds and his body has been rearranged in a good way.
Devin made the transition from offensive line to defensive end as a junior and often excelled in that role as a senior for the Raiders.
“Coaches see things, and teams started running away from him this year,” Rollins said. “That’s a good sign a player is doing his job. He was making plays in space, just reaching out and grabbing guys and pulling them down.”
Mason had an offer from UNC Pembroke, and he attended most of UNCP’s games last season to watch his brother make tackles.
It was tempting to be reunited with Cadarreus in college, but Devin has spent most of his life going where his sibling already has cast a shadow, and he’s decided to strike out on his own.
“Guilford was really interested in me, and when I visited the campus, I really liked it,” Devin said. “It just seemed to fit me. And then they made the best offer.”
Guilford’s coaches are excited about Mason’s potential as a tight end.
He rarely played tight end at South because that position was manned by Josh Medlin, one of the best receivers in school history, but Rollins says Mason has good hands and surprising speed and is a prototype tight end.
“In practice, Devin played some tight end and he made catches like you wouldn’t believe,” South assistant coach Hunter Fuller said. “We’d look at each other and say, ‘Did he really just do that?’ ”
Guilford is Division III, so it can’t offer an athletic scholarship, but it was able to recruit Mason with an academic package. He’s a strong student and plans to major in sports management.
Guilford competes in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, an 8-team league of mostly Virginia schools like Washington & Lee, Emory & Henry and Randolph-Macon.
“Devin will do well,” Rollins said. “He’s right where his brother was in the weight room as a high school senior — and he’s still developing.”
it did feel good to see that running away
i went to a lot of his games
6-3 and 220 now
5-10 and 190 then
workout schedule in may and report aug. 1.
hunter fuller see him make plays in prcatice like he did really do that