The Wolverine

June-July 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  COMMITMENT PROFILE Michigan's coaching staff has searched far and wide for talent in their short time thus far in Ann Ar- bor, but it's a player from new de- fensive coordinator Don Brown's old backyard that will be the newest Wol- verine. Sandy Hook (Conn.) Newtown linebacker Ben Ma- son was a target of Brown's at Boston College, and when the coach moved to Ann Arbor the interest in Mason came with him. M a s o n v i s i t e d Ann Arbor in mid- April and, by the time he was ready to announce his commitment just a couple weeks later on May 3, his long-standing re- lationship with Brown is what won out. "I'm in love with the coaches," Ma- son raved. "I knew Coach Brown from Boston College, so that's how I got in touch with them. Coach Brown's style of coaching is … he's so intense. I've never seen a coach like this. "Coach [Jim] Harbaugh, once again, there's no one else like him. He has such a personality." Mason is just the type of player that Brown used en route to leading the Eagles to the nation's No. 1 over- all defense in 2015 (and one of just three better than Michigan's No. 4 unit). While he's not a finished prod- uct — at 6-3 and 230 pounds as a high school junior, he's almost there from a physical perspective — Ma- son brings a tough mentality to stop opposing offenses in their tracks. "He's an abso- lute thumper in the middle of the field," Mid-Atlantic re- c ru i t i n g a n a l y s t Adam Friedman said. "He brings a physical presence, especially against the running game. He comes downhill, sheds blockers and makes plays in the backfield." Mason, who is listed as a three-star prospect and the No. 4 player in Con- necticut, made plenty such plays dur- ing his junior year in high school. He did a little bit of everything in leading Newtown to a 10-2 record, but was at his best where he feels most comfort- able: at the middle linebacker position. He made 113 total tackles, 11 of them for loss with four sacks. He was also a playmaker on defense, intercepting four passes and returning three of them for touchdowns while recover- ing a fumble. He also chipped in at Linebacker Ben Mason Is Great Fit For Don Brown's Defense Mason compiled 113 total stops, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and four interceptions — three of which he returned for touchdowns — as a junior at Sandy Hook (Conn.) Newtown. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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