January 25, 2009

Visits complete, Mason set to decide

Tennessee jumped into the race for Nashville (Christ Presbyterian Academy), Tenn., three-star tight end Zaccheus Mason fairly recently.

Ole Miss was in it from the beginning.

Still, the Rebels had a lot of work to do this weekend to match the positive vibes from the Tennessee official visit Mason took a week ago. From all accounts, Ole Miss gave Mason quite a bit to think about.

"It went pretty good," Mason said Sunday morning. "I enjoyed the campus and the atmosphere. I had a lot of fun. I kind of had heard about it from a bunch of people, but this being my first time down there, it was basically what they told me it would be, but I really enjoyed it."

Mason's mother took the trip with him, a significant development perhaps since she didn't accompany her son to Knoxville.

"She liked it," Mason said. "She was more interested in the academic side and she really was impressed by what she saw and what she heard."

Mason was hosted by Ole Miss tight end Gerald Harris, fresh off a two-touchdown performance in the Rebels' 47-34 win over Texas Tech in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas on Jan. 2. The two talked some football, but other topics were on Mason's mind.

"We just really talked about the campus life and life outside of football, really," Mason said. "I had a couple of questions. I asked what the players are like and what's Coach (Houston) Nutt like. He explained a lot and he just told me that Coach Nutt's a great guy. He just shot me straight. I've been hearing that all weekend."

Mason met with Nutt on Sunday. He'll see him again this week when the Ole Miss coach makes an in-home visit.

"He just basically asked me if I was still thinking about Ole Miss and I told him, 'Most definitely,'" Mason said. "I really enjoyed what I saw this weekend and there's a good possibility this will be home for me."

Mason said he'll decide between Ole Miss and Tennessee "by Saturday," adding that neither school had the lead coming down the home stretch.

"I just want to keep it all open," Mason said. "They're both great schools, but I'm going to sit down with my mom and my stepdad this week and we're going to talk it over and I'm going to get some feedback from them on what they thought."

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