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story.lead_photo.caption Myles Mason - Photo by Dudley E. Dawson

One of the more intriguing stories of Arkansas' 2018 class was the recruitment of safety signee Myles Mason and how offensive coordinator Joe Craddock was able to convince Mason to take a trip to Fayetteville thanks to a previous relationship with defensive coordinator John Chavis.

On Dec. 14, Craddock visited Hewitt-Trussville High School in Alabama to talk to Mason and extend a scholarship offer. A day later the then-Mississippi State commitment made an official visit to see the Hogs.

"That's not normal for a player to meet a coach out of the blue and get an offer and then fly up the the next day for an official visit," Hewitt-Trussville Coach Josh Floyd said. "I just think Myles was impressed with the vision that Coach Craddock was trying to show about Arkansas and I think that got him excited."

Mason, 6-2, 205 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, eventually committed to the Hogs on Jan. 22 after visiting Fayetteville on Jan. 19-21 on his own dime to spend time with newly hired defensive coordinator Chavis and safeties coach Ron Cooper.

He pledged to the Bulldogs and former Coach Dan Mullen on Oct. 26.

"He had been excited about Mississippi State, but he had been committed to the whole staff and there was some uncertainty there because he was just getting to know those guys and they did a good job of recruiting him too," Floyd said.

A prior relationship with Chavis while he was at Texas A&M helped Mason's interest in the Hogs, but Craddock was persuasive enough to get Mason to plan a trip to Fayetteville.

"He is a very genuine coach and he seemed very excited about recruiting me," Mason said. "With all of the coaching changes, and I had already been talking to Coach Chavis so I felt like, why not."

Mullen leaving Mississippi State for Florida offered the Razorbacks an opportunity and Craddock and the Hogs took advantage.

"I think that helped with that situation going on, but I definitely was impressed that Coach Craddock got him to visit," Floyd said.

Mason's father, Larry, played at Southern Miss and Troy before playing in United States Football League, Canadian Football League and NFL, including with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.

Floyd, who coached at Shiloh Christian in Springdale before being hired at Hewitt-Trussville in 2014, knows what the Razorbacks program has to offer after growing up a Hog fan.

"I think if Arkansas can ever get them on campus they have a shot," Floyd said.

Mason and his family were impressed by the facilities at Arkansas and the job opportunities after graduation.

"He and his parents came back talking about all the Fortune 500 companies that we have in Arkansas," Floyd said. "They were very, very impressed with that."

CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming rates Mason a 4-star plus prospect. He chose the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida State and others.

Mason recorded 41 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 pass breakups and a forced fumble while also having 30 carries for 277 yards and 5 touchdowns as a senior. His film shows a rangy, hard-hitting safety, but also the skills at running back to play on the major college level.

"Myles definitely has the ability to play running back as well," Floyd said. "He's a big, physical runner with great acceleration. Myles also has great hands and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. I think he can play either side of the ball at the next level."

Email Richard Davenport


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Sports on 02/09/2018

Print Headline: Mason sold after Fayetteville visit

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