May 3, 2016
ANN ARBOR – One month to the day since Michigan’s last commitment, the Wolverines added another player to the 2017 class.
Ben Mason, a three-star inside linebacker from Newtown High School in Sandy Hook, Conn., announced his commitment to Michigan on Tuesday night.
“I wasn’t planning on making a decision this soon,” Mason said in a Periscope video, “but I really feel like this school is the right one and I’m not going to look back.”
Mason employed some drama in his announcement at Cover Two Sports Café in Sandy Hook. Sitting behind a table lined with hats, he picked up a Boston College visor, then tossed it aside. Mason then grabbed a Michigan visor, but chucked that as well. He picked up a Cal hat and acted like he was going to put it on before ditching it and putting on the Michigan visor to cheers from those watching.
Mason checks in at 6-foot-2 and 247 pounds, is the No. 35 inside linebacker in the nation and No. 4 overall recruit in Connecticut, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings.
“I really like the coaching staff,” Mason said of Michigan in an interview with Scout.com on Sunday. “(Defensive coordinator) Don Brown, I knew him when he was at (Boston College), he’s a great guy. He’s just very passionate the way he coaches and Coach Harbaugh is the same way. He’s a great guy to talk to. Just everything is so great there – the facilities, everything.”
Mason is the third linebacker prospect to commit to Michigan’s 2017 class, to go with four-star linebacker Josh Ross from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and three-star fullback/linebacker Chase Lasater from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mason holds 18 offers, including Wisconsin, Boston College, Cal, Army, Navy and Ivy League schools Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. He had 113 tackles (66 solo), including 11 for a loss, four sacks, four interceptions and one fumble recovery in 12 games as a junior. Mason also had 43 carries for 231 yards and six touchdowns and 24 receptions for 416 yards and nine touchdowns.
Mason is the 12th member of Michigan’s 2017 class. He joins five-star quarterback Dylan McCaffrey, Ross, four-star offensive lineman JaRaymond Hall, four-star running back O’Maury Samuels, three-star safety J’Marick Woods, three-star running back A.J. Dillon, three-star defensive lineman Phillip Paea, three-star running back Kurt Taylor, Lasater, three-star tight end Carter Dunaway and three-star cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.
Prior to Mason, Samuels was the last to commit to Michigan, on April 3. Michigan’s 2017 team class is ranked No. 7 nationally by 247 Sports. Ohio State is No. 1, Oklahoma is No. 2 and Alabama is No. 3.