2018 Season Countdown: #18 Ben Mason

Tag: Ben Mason


10Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #18 Ben Mason

Ben Mason (image via Detroit News)

Name: Ben Mason
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 254 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Position: Fullback
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #42
Last year: I ranked Mason #77 and said he would be a backup fullback (LINK). He had 3 carries for 4 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 74

I may or may not have underranked Mason last season. On the one hand, I ranked him #77 and he scored 2 touchdowns, which is pretty good for the 77th-most important player on the team. On the other hand, Michigan had two senior fullbacks on the roster who probably could have punched in those two 1-yard touchdowns. Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi were the co-starters at fullback in 2017, but it was always likely that Michigan would plan to groom Mason for 2018, which is exactly what they did.

This spring there was a bit of a stir when it came out that Mason was playing fullback and linebacker, and Mason did an interview where he discussed his preference – according to him, he has none. He was a fullback and linebacker in high school, and he was seemingly recruited for linebacker before moving to the offensive side of the ball. He does not appear to be a strong contender for any of the linebacker positions, which makes sense to me. It’s one thing for a defensive player to moonlight as an offensive guy, but it’s a whole different story when you try to make an offensive guy into a defensive player; the only case that seems to make sense is when you put in a tall receiver with ball skills when it’s time to defend a Hail Mary. Mason should be focusing on offense, even though Michigan may use the fullback less with Shea Patterson behind center. I expect this Michigan team to be a little more spread-oriented and a little less smashmouth-y.

Prediction: Starting fullback

6Jun 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #77 Ben Mason

Ben Mason (image via Twitter)

Name: Ben Mason
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 247 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Position: Fullback/linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #42
Last year: Mason was a senior in high school. He ran 80 times for 719 yards and 11 touchdowns; caught 15 passes for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns; and made 63 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (1 for a TD), and 2 forced fumbles.
TTB Rating: 74

Mason is an impressive physical specimen, as evidenced by the fact that he was a relatively unknown prospect when he walked into Schembechler Hall for a recruiting visit . . . and walked out with an offer. He’s been a big deal in his home state for a couple years, but New England isn’t known for pumping out elite football players. But he fits what Jim Harbaugh wants, and that means he’s a versatile, tough football player.

Mason enrolled early in January and took part in spring practices. He spent most of his time as a linebacker, but Harbaugh revealed recently that he will probably be a fullback, which is what many expected when he came out of high school. Harbaugh also said that the running backs were lobbying for Mason to be a fullback, because after seeing him lead block a little bit during the spring, they saw what he could do. At 6’3″ and 247 lbs. with a violent streak, he could be devastating. This year there probably won’t be a ton of room for playing time, since there are two fifth-year seniors at the position (Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi). However, the spot will open up in 2018, and Michigan may want to groom Mason to be the starter.

Prediction: Backup fullback

15Feb 2017
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2017 Recruiting Grades: Defense

Aubrey Solomon (image via Scout)

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I posted the 2017 offensive recruiting grades last week (LINK), so here are my thoughts on the defensive side of the ball. Click on the player names below for their commitment posts.

DEFENSIVE END: B+
Commits (4): Deron Irving-Bey, Donovan JeterCorey Malone-Hatcher, Kwity Paye, Luiji Vilain
Decommits (0): N/A
Why? Michigan went after some elite rush ends (Jaelan Phillips, K’Lavon Chaisson, etc.) in this cycle, but none showed much interest. Instead, Michigan got home-stater Malone-Hatcher, Boston College decommit Paye, and Canada native Vilain as weakside end types. I thought Vilain improved significantly over the last couple years since moving from Ontario to Virginia. On the strong side, Michigan got Irving-Bey and Jeter, both of whom could end up as a 3-technique tackles. I don’t see dominant players here, but it is a solid group and they’ll get high-quality coaching.

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3May 2016
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Ben Mason, Wolverine

Ben Mason 868x

Sandy Hook (CT) Newtown FB/LB Ben Mason (image via News Times)

Sandy Hook (CT) Newtown fullback/linebacker committed to Michigan on Tuesday evening. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Boston College, Cal, Duke, Pitt, Rutgers, and Wisconsin, among others.

Mason is listed at 6’2″, 247 lbs. and ran a 4.88 forty. As a junior in 2015, he made 113 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 4 interceptions.

RATINGS
ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star ILB
Scout: 3-star, #32 ILB
247 Sports: 3-star, #28 ILB, #765 overall

Hit the jump for more on Mason’s commitment.

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19Apr 2016
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Recruiting Update: April 19, 2016

Sampson Niu 870x

San Diego (CA) Madison LB Sampson Niu

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2017
Salinas (CA) Palma center Drew Dalman was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 265 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Colorado, and Fresno State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #16 center, and #1373 overall. Dalman isn’t an overpowering lineman, but he is quick out of his stance with a low base. He’s the type who fits at center and not anywhere else.

San Antonio (TX) John Jay offensive tackle Matthew Huhn was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’7″, 270 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Houston, and Iowa State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #81 offensive tackle, and #771 overall. He’s a little heavy-footed and not an ideally athletic prospect, so I would slot him in as a right tackle. Based on the way I expect Michigan to recruit, he’s not on par with what I expect at this juncture, but we’ll see how his recruitment plays out.

Sandy Hook (CT) Newtown linebacker Ben Mason was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 247 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Cal, Duke, and Wisconsin, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #35 inside linebacker, and #878 overall. Unfortunately, the only reason many of us – including me – have heard of Sandy Hook before is the elementary school shooting that took place there in December of 2012, in which 28 total people were killed. Anyway, he plays linebacker and fullback for his high school team, but Michigan is looking at him probably as a fullback or a defensive end. He is an underwhelming linebacker prospect, in my opinion.

San Diego (CA) Madison linebacker Sampson Niu was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’1″, 217 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #18 inside linebacker, and #476 overall. As a junior in 2015, he made 90 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He does a very good job of staying low and tackles like a wrestler, but he needs to add weight and strength, as he lacks the necessary bulk and strength to hold up against some of the linemen, fullbacks, and running backs he’ll meet at the next level. He is generally expected to end up at USC.

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Highstown (NJ) Peddie WR Jahan Dotson

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2018
Highstown (NJ) Peddie wide receiver Jahan Dotson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 160 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Rutgers, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #6 wide receiver, and #84 overall. As a junior at Nazareth (PA) Nazareth in 2015, he caught 66 passes for 1,179 yards and 16 touchdowns, plus 1 kickoff return TD and 1 punt return TD. He claims a 4.46 forty. Michigan offers so many prospects that I won’t always suggest you watch every highlight film . . . but this is one you’ll want to watch:

Houston (TX) Dekaney tight end Malcolm Epps, who committed to Alabama in February, was offered by Michigan. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #4 tight end, and #82 overall. He’s listed at 6’6″, 214 lbs. and also has offers from Florida State, LSU, and Texas, among others. Right now Epps is a tall, lanky wide receiver, but his body will fill out and he’ll end up as a tight end. Right now there is no indication that he’ll waver from his Alabama commitment.

Seffner (FL) Armwood running back Brian Snead was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #3 running back, and #54 overall. As a sophomore in 2015, he ran 174 times for 1,227 yards (7.1 yards/carry) and 17 TDs. He’s a strong runner with good speed. Armwood is traditionally a school that churns out talent, but it has not been kind to Michigan over the years.

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Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra CB Max Williams

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2019
Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra cornerback Max Williams was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’10”, 160 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Florida State, and LSU, among others. He visited with a bunch of other California prospects last weekend (see below for the link to the visitors list), but Serra is another program that has not been kind to Michigan over the last several years.

OFF THE BOARD
Anaham (CA) Servite wide receiver Terrell Bynum committed to Washington. Michigan was always on the periphery of his recruitment, so this was not much of a surprise.

Owings Mills (MD) McDonough offensive tackle Jordan McNair committed to Maryland. Even with the hometown discount, this was a bit of a surprise because McNair is a high-level prospect with a lot of suitors, and Maryland’s offensive line development has not been particularly good over the past several years. He might be one to watch down the road, though the Terrapins have a very easy schedule this year, so they might gain some momentum once the season gets underway.

Egg Harbor City (NJ) Cedar Creek running back Bo Melton committed to Rutgers. Melton was a teammate of Michigan early enrollee wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, so I thought the Wolverines would have a good shot here. He was one of my most wanted prospects in the class because I think he has some big-play potential, though he might end up playing wide receiver or possibly in the defensive backfield, too.

Redlands (CA) East Valley defensive end Jaelan Phillips committed to UCLA. Similar to Bynum, Michigan was not heavily involved in his recruitment, and UCLA appeared to be the favorite for a while.

Indpendence (OR) Central defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu committed to Washington. This commitment was a bit of a surprise because he seemed to want to let things play out a bit more, so it will be interesting to see whether he follows through with taking visits elsewhere or not. Michigan has seemingly picked up their pursuit of players with Pacific Islander descent now that Tony Tuioti has been hired as a player personnel guy.

MISCELLANEY
Here’s a list of visitors from this past weekend (LINK).

Holmdel (NJ) Vianney offensive tackle Micah Clark named a top five that includes Michigan at #2, right behind Rutgers.

Brunswick (GA) Glynn Academy cornerback DeeJay Dallas named Michigan to a final ten list of schools. It’s an array of ACC, SEC, Pac-12, and Big Ten schools that also includes the school that he was previously pledged to in the form of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Philadelphia (PA) St. Joseph’s running back D’Andre Swift named Michigan to a top ten.

New Orleans (LA) Brother Martin linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling named a top ten that does not include Michigan. I did not expect him to pick a school outside of ACC/SEC country, but I held on to a sliver of hope since he’s the son of former New Orleans Saint and Detroit Lion outside linebacker Pat Swilling.

Over on Recruiting Season, I added/updated profiles for:

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