April 23, 2009

Mason close to Badger verbal?

With a chance to play football and basketball just down the street on the University of Wisconsin campus, 2010 standout Marquis Mason appears close to accepting a scholarship offer from Bret Bielema and the Badger coaching staff.

The following is a question and answer with the 6-foot-5, 215-pound wide receiver from Madison East High School:

The Badgers gave you a scholarship offer, can you recall how it all went down?

Mason: I was in Coach Bielema's office talking about football and he just came out told he that Wisconsin was going to offer me a scholarship. He said he'd seen enough and wanted to offer. Then, he mentioned that he knew Bo Ryan was recruiting me and that he would also allow me to walk-on to the basketball team.

What was your initial reaction?

Mason: I was speechless. I wasn't expecting it. For him to say that, I was honestly speechless.

Have you spoke to Coach Ryan about Coach Bielema's offer to play both sports?

Mason: I recently called Howard Moore, but he's yet to get back to me. They were at a few of my basketball games this past season. I'll be speaking with him soon.

What was your plan for this summer? Was your main focus on obtaining a football scholarship or were you kind of focusing on basketball (AAU)?

Mason: It was going to be a little bit of both. With this offer it kind of changes things for me. I'm still going to play AAU this summer. It won't be as much basketball as in the past, but I'll be playing as much as I can. I was planning on going to Wisconsin's football camp this summer; I'll still be going even with an offer.

If I'm correct, up until last season, you never played football. Is that right?

Mason: Yes, sir, that's correct. It kind of just came natural. Obviously, I didn't expect to do as well as I did. Going into the season I really didn't know anything fundamentally about the sport. I didn't know most of the formations or routes initially. For Wisconsin to even be considering me after one season, it's pretty amazing.

Has the staff talked about where you project at the next level? Do they see you at wide receiver or tight end with your size?

Mason: From the discussion we've had, they see me playing wide receiver. They think that fits me perfectly.

Looking back on last season, what did you do well on the football field?

Mason: I'm very explosive. I think I'm explosive after I catch the ball. I only dropped six passes last season, so I'm pretty consistent. When I get into the open field I feel as though I can take it to the house.

Have you ever tested your 40-time or vertical?

Mason: Yeah, last fall I ran a 4.54 in the 40. I'm a basketball player and like to finish at the rim, so I won't have a problem going up to get the ball.

Do you have a timeframe in mind as to when you'd like to make your decision?

Mason: Probably in the next couple weeks. My family still needs to sit down and talk about the situation. We're going to have a big discussion in the next few days.

Were any other schools recruiting you to play football?

Mason: I've been getting a lot of stuff from Ohio, Purdue and Penn State.

Does this offer from Wisconsin pretty much seal the deal?

Mason: Yeah, it pretty much seals the deal. Regardless of football or basketball I wasn't planning on leaving the state, so with this offer I know it's where I want to be. I've been a Badger fan my whole life so it's only natural that I'd pick them.

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