December 2, 2010

Four-star running back has Rebels in top three

Tre Mason hasn't visited Ole Miss yet, but on Wednesday, the four-star running back from Lake Worth (Park Vista), Fla., felt like he was lounging in the Grove.

That's a testament to Ole Miss cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn, who visited the 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back in his Florida home Wednesday.

"It was great," Mason said of Vaughn's visit. "He's probably the best recruiting coach I've ever met. He's really down to earth. I wasn't even in Mississippi and I felt at home.

"He definitely wants to get me in there. He wants to get me up for a visit."

Mason, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 193 prospect in the country as well as the No. 42 prospect in Florida and No. 14 running back nationally, will visit Ole Miss on Jan. 22. He said the Rebels' 4-8 season, which included a 1-7 mark in the Southeastern Conference, won't hurt Vaughn's chances of landing his target.

"That just proved to me they need help," Mason said. "That's why they're recruiting me. I don't have a problem with that. It doesn't bother me they had a bad season."

Mason, who said Ole Miss wants to use him in a role similar to the one former Rebel running back/slot receiver Dexter McCluster occupied during Houston Nutt's first two years in Oxford, said after watching the Rebels play on television at times this season, he feels he could get on the field "right away, as soon as I get there.

"I feel like I could play right away," Mason said. "That's real big. That will play a big role in where I play college football. I want to put my talents on display so that I can play at the next level, the NFL."

Mason said he would definitely end up at Auburn, Ole Miss or West Virginia. He said Wednesday he has no leader.

"Auburn was my leader, but Coach Vaughn and (West Virginia wide receivers) Coach (Lonnie) Galloway keep pushing back through. I just have to take my visits. …I'm cool with that. I'm going to take my time and make sure I do it right."

Mason rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior, all the while focusing on other parts of his game.

"Going in, I knew my hands were good," Mason said. "That's always been something that set me apart, but I felt like I worked on my blocking and really got better there."

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