To call Mason Gentry’s rise meteoric might be an understatement. In February 2012, Gentry literally couldn’t figure out how to put on football pads. A year later, he’s a signed, sealed and delivered Division I football recruit at SMU.
As noted by the Dallas Morning News, Gentry’s rise may be the most impressive of all the ascension stories in national football recruiting class of 2013. At 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, Gentry certainly had the size to play major football. Yet, until his senior year he had never had the passion to do so.
Finally, a group of Gentry’s friends convinced him to give football a try, even if it meant going through embarrassing ordeals like learning to put on one’s football pads for the first time.
“I didn’t know how to put pads on or my helmet on,” Gentry told the Morning News. “I had to have my buddies help me.”
In the past, Gentry had focused on baseball, hoping to develop into a super-sized Adam Dunn-like first baseman. The teen had always planned to play out his entire varsity baseball career, yet his success in football was so stratospheric that he eventually agreed to push baseball to the side so he could focus on college football and the additional commitment it will require.
“Once I started figuring out how good I could be, I chose to play football,” Gentry told the Morning News. “Since I’m new to football I chose to focus on just that.”
A Georgia native who moved to Plano during his junior year, Gentry has taken quickly to the Dallas area and said that SMU’s location played a factor in his commitment. So did the Mustangs’ development of Margus Hunt, a fellow newcomer to football who has gone from a novice to top NFL draft prospect in five years at SMU.
Whether Gentry can follow in Hunt’s footsteps remains to be seen. He has the size to do so … not to mention friends to thank to even get the opportunity.