By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Mason Jones spent the last few falls electrifying Oliver Woodard Stadium by making catches. On Wednesday, the Cullman senior was one, officially becoming the latest member of Birmingham-Southern’s 2014 recruiting class.
Flanked by family, coaches and an administrators, Jones set his college intentions in stone by signing on with the Division III Panthers.
“It’s incredible and life-changing for me,” the wide receiver said of his big day. “I’m really excited to get down there and continue my athletic career, as well as my academic career.”
There’s rarely been a dull moment during Jones’s high school days. The senior is most well-known for his gridiron exploits, but he also spent various stretches as a member of the school’s math, baseball and bass fishing teams.
Having taken advantage of the wealth of resources at his fingertips as a Bearcat, Jones is confident his transition to college life will be smoother than most. He plans to major in kinesiology, eventually transfer to Life University in Atlanta and pursue a career as a chiropractor.
“Coming from Cullman High School, I’m prepared for anything thrown at me,” Jones said.
One such object that will certainly be thrown his way once he makes the short trek south this fall is a football.
Roping in the pigskin was never much of an issue for Jones at the prep level. He made the most of his role as the Black and Gold’s top receiver this past fall, turning 65 receptions, 770 yards and a trio of touchdowns into a Class 5A All-State honorable mention selection.
Jones was at his best in some of the Black and Gold’s biggest games. The speedster hauled in 10 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown against Hartselle and accounted for nine receptions and 122 yards versus Athens, including consecutive catches of 18, 27 and 7 yards on Cullman’s game-winning drive.
Just for good measure, Jones put the dagger in the Golden Eagles by pulling double duty on defense and intercepting their last-ditch Hail Mary heave.
The ’Cats wound up defeating Walker, Hartselle, Russellville and Athens in the same season for the first time in school history and vaulted veteran coach Mark Britton to the top of the program’s all-time wins list. They closed out the campaign with an eighth straight trip to the second round.
“Being a part of such a record-breaking team was amazing,” Jones said.
Due to a nasty concussion suffered late in the Black and Gold’s regular season finale, Jones was unfortunately forced to miss both of the squad’s playoff games. Though his prep career was cut short, he’s determined to make the most of his second chance.
“To me, to get back on the field’s going to be incredible,” Jones said. “I’m excited to get back out there and to show everyone that’s not the end of my career. That concussion isn’t the way to go out.”
Britton joined offensive coordinator Kenny Gleaton and wide receivers coach Jake Johnson in wishing Jones well Wednesday as he sealed the deal on his commitment. He called the outgoing senior a “great leader for us, on and off the football field.”
“I think Birmingham-Southern is getting a great young man, not only athletically, but with character,” Britton said. “Mason’s a great student-athlete, so we’re really excited to see him get this opportunity.”
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at email@example.com.