October 6, 2010

Rebels near top for Florida RBs

Tre Mason thinks about the college choice he'll make in a few months, but right now, the four-star running back from Boynton Beach (Park Vista), Fla., is enjoying what's turning into a spectacular senior season.

Mason, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, has led to his team to an undefeated start by rushing for almost 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"I feel like I'm a more powerful runner this year," Mason said. "I feel like I'm breaking more tackles and I'm sure I've gotten faster than last year."

The success on the field, not surprisingly, has led to increased interest in recruiting circles. Ole Miss and West Virginia remain the "two on top" for Mason's signature with Penn State and Texas A&M very much in the mix. Auburn recently jumped into the mix as well, and the Tigers have Mason's attention.

Mason said Ole Miss wants him to visit after the football season "so my trip can be well worth it." That's fine with Mason, who said he plans to take several visits before he makes a decision.

"With Ole Miss, I just look at how Dexter McCluster fit into their offense," Mason said, referring to the former Rebel now making an impact with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. "That's exactly how they said they'd be using me -- as a punt returner, kick returner, running back and slot receiver. The same thing with West Virginia. They know I'm faster than (Mountaineers star running back) Noel Devine and they said I can be the same thing over there."

Mason also said he's noticed Ole Miss' somewhat surprising rushing success this season. The Rebels are No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense, averaging 232 yards per game.

"I like to know how productive they are running the football because I know I'm a running back and I definitely want to lead something, whether it's just the conference or nationally," Mason said. "I talk to (Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks) Coach (Chris) Vaughn a lot and he says the best players there touch the field and he's telling there's nobody there right now who does what I do. He said they have a lot of bigger backs. He said they don't have a game-changer like I could be at Ole Miss. He's saying basically I could come in and play as a freshman."

Park Vista (4-0) plays host to Atlantic Friday night. Mason is ranked as the No. 20 running back prospect in the country by Rivals.com.

BUIE TAKING HIS TIME: Jacksonville (Trinity Christian), Fla., four-star running back Andrew Buie said Tuesday night little has changed in the recruiting game since his senior season began.

Buie, a 5-9, 190-pound speedster, said Auburn, Ole Miss, Louisville and South Carolina still sit on top of his list. Buie visited Auburn for the Tigers' win over Clemson and came away impressed.

"It was a pretty good game and a nice environment," Buie said.

Pressed a bit, Buie said he's hearing most from Auburn and Louisville. Ole Miss hasn't called in a couple of weeks, but Buie said he typically talks to Rebel wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr., every couple of weeks. Asked if Ole Miss' slow September had hurt the Rebels' chances, Buie answered negatively.

"You have to have ball players to win games," Buie said.

MILLER GETTING COMFORTABLE: Fulton (IAHS), Miss., three-star quarterback Maikhail Miller had some struggles early in the season, as did his team. However, Miller has rebounded in a big way and said earlier this week he's gotten quite comfortable to his team's new offense going into Friday's game against New Albany.

Last week, the 6-3, 235-pound Miller completed 14 of 23 passes for 216 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while rushing 31 times for 162 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Miller capped off his seven-touchdown performance with a game-winning 46-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left in the game to beat North Pontotoc.

Miller is also very comfortable with the commitment he made to Ole Miss in July.

"They're offense is doing pretty well, I think," Miller said. "On defense, they need to turn it around, I guess, but the offense has done pretty well."

Miller, known in recruiting and prep circles for his strong arm, said he likes the autonomy Ole Miss has provided quarterback Jeremiah Masoli since the former Oregon star's transfer to Oxford.

"I can pretty much do what he does," Miller said.

Miller said he's visited with several fellow Rebel commitments, particularly wide receivers Donte Moncrief[/db/] and [db]T.J. Worthy and offensive lineman Justin Bell.

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