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Will the 4-star OL be Georgia football's first recruit from the Augusta area since 2014?

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This Intel representative from Sentell continued Georgia football recruiting has the latest with the 4-star IOL Mason Short. The 247Sports Composite ranks him as the No. 8 IOL in the country and No. 178 overall 2025 prospect. He is ranked No. 13 in the IOL and No. 223 overall in the On3 industry rankings.

EVANS, Ga. – If there's such a thing as an old-school recruit in the modern era, it would be Mason Short.

He's now used to a routine where he goes to bed at around 8:30 p.m. every night. Then he wakes up at five a.m. the next morning to train.

Short is 1.80 meters tall. He weighs about 305 pounds this week. He currently has a body fat percentage of 24 percent after gaining eight pounds of muscle in the last four months.

He has lost three percent fat from his massive body in the last six months.

Yes, this is a 17 year old young adult male. Short turns 18 in May.

He's the one who leaves his phone behind to go fishing. Or for a nice time in the forest.

Short even did a few workouts with natural dumbbells reminiscent of the now 30-year-old classic film “Rocky IV.”

When coaches call or text him and ask, “Are we still good?” Since he left them unread, they just had to get to know Mason first.

“Oh, man,” Short said to them. “I was just fishing.”

They were always “good” with Mason. This simply means that Mason is Mason.

Let's go back to mid-March. After two to three more months of his recruitment process, he began to walk down the tunnel.

The four-star IOL prospect from Evans High School in the Augusta area was scheduled to take a series of official visits.

He would see Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio State.

Then you decide. Then tell the world.

But not quite two weeks ago he decided he couldn't do it. The stocky, 6-foot-2 senior who grew up in Columbia County felt a pang and tingling in his stomach.

He knew where he needed to be and who he wanted to play for.

There would be no wait until late June or early July. There would be no official round of visits in June.

Short was willing to shorten his recruiting process, er, short.

He will announce his decision at the school ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday. DawgNation will stream this event live on its social platforms.

The 4-star IOL seemed content Thursday to be on the verge of putting it all behind him.

He didn't like these photo shoots during unofficial visits. He preferred to be a toadstool and not receive any special treatment.

He would rather be ignored to see what life is really like on each campus he closely considers.

Doesn't that sound like what a young man whose mother taught fifth grade for an entire generation would do?

His father owns a nuts and bolts store in downtown Augusta. Literally.

Short is now ready to get his recruiting to the point where he can only think about one school. So he can focus on his senior season at Evans.

Your team could even be as good as the 10-2 season he was a part of in his first year.

“It all came down to my pros and cons,” Short said. “I did that with my mother. What does the school have? What doesn't the school have? Are you talking about facilities? All of these schools have world-class facilities.”

“Ultimately it comes down to the coaches. The environment. The atmosphere. Can you imagine running down the tunnel, the hill or whatever in this jersey? Whatever it is, you will run down or up. You need to think about that.”

“But getting to know these coaches was key. Not just as a coach, but also as a person. How will they treat you if we don't hire people? You're told a lot as a recruit, but everyone knows that will change as soon as the starting signal for stretch lines goes off. Then you are officially a player.”

“So you have to ask yourself, 'Do I want this guy to not just talk to me about football?' But if I have a problem, for example a personal problem, will he help me solve it? Can he help me cope when my parents are not there? Is this the guy I want to deal with? Also my family. What do you think of him?”

This decision was based on all relationships and his strong Christian faith. Short has planned a special ceremony for tomorrow that will open with a prayer.

The world will see a few more personal elements to his decision tomorrow, but that's all it makes sense to share for now.

Four-star IOL prospect Mason Short from Evans High (Evans, Ga.) has now retired from football at Alabama. Georgia should be considered the main candidate for the future. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

Four-star junior OL Mason Short from Evans High School was one of several elite recruits in attendance for Georgia's final home game of the 2023 season, as the Dawgs defeated No. 9 Ole Miss 52-17 at Sanford Stadium in Athens , Georgia on Saturday, November 11, 2023. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

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Mason Short's decision: Disband the Final Four

It makes sense that Short has already made his bed here once in his recruiting process. He was committed to Nick Saban at Alabama, but most people get the details wrong.

He was hired to Nick Saban's Alabama and was also expected to be coached by former O-line coach Eric Wolford. The package was perfect. That's why when Saban shocked the college football world with news of his retirement, he still didn't resign from the Tide until Wolford was acquired.

Wolford is now the Kentucky line coach. That's why the Wildcats made up his final group. It's a rather old-fashioned way of showing loyalty there.

Why are these schools in his final four? He dismantled them all on Thursday.

  • Clemson: “Knowledge [coach Matt Luke’s] History in Georgia. This is his first year at Clemson. It's something new for me and it's something new for him. Clemson doesn't start recruiting until your junior year. So it's a pretty new process for me, as well as for him. When I went to visit him, he was still learning how to turn left or right down the hall. Which I love. What I knew was that if he wanted me that bad, he would start his legacy at Clemson by coaching me. That's what really stood out to me and how much he wanted me. Only not even that, but trainers [Dabo] Swinney. The players he brings into this program are great people. These are people you can trust to do the right things on and off the field. Ultimately, Coach Swinney and Coach Luke and the staff there will put you in the best possible position in the NFL.”
  • Georgia: “Probably my relationship with Coach [Stacy] Searels. We have a great bond and of course – this story has been pushed on me since I was 15 – Georgia is of course close to me. You know it's only an hour and a half away. And it's just Georgia. You have the story. They have the trainers. The players. They will always have that. If you know that, you simply can't go wrong. You know they're going to bring guys in to make you better, and they expect you to make their guys better. So you'll want to bring people along to help each other. Hold each other accountable. That's one thing I love about Coach Searels. So he has his boys hold each other accountable. Not necessarily that he yells at her 24/7. He will allow his boys to do it. If you mess up a play, he'll wait and make sure his guy tells him, “Hey, you did that wrong,” “Do it right,” and then go to Coach Smart. It's Coach Smart. Great guy. Great coach. That’s just someone you want to play for.”
  • Kentucky: “I know what coach Wolf is [Wolford] can do. Ultimately, that led to my decision. Not just Coach Saban, but also Coach Wolf. I stick to the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of offensive coaches. 20 percent of head coaches. The one you will spend the most time with is the O-line coach. Knowing what I had committed to, I did not expect these aspects of him to disappear when he left the program. I knew he would stay true to himself and his personality and as a coach. So I gave him a chance and put Kentucky in my top four. I trust he can continue to develop and coach me, just like any of his other guys.”
  • Ohio State: “The trainers there. The history of development. The linemen that there are in the NFL, I just love them [offensive line] Trainer [Justin] Frye. The way he trains. Just like he is as a person. Great family. Good atmosphere. I know I’ll be pushed to get better and develop there.”

Short said he probably visited Alabama, Clemson and Georgia the most in his recruiting up to that point.

If Short starts at the home school on Friday, he would be the first UGA signee from the immediate Augusta metro area since Lakeside High safety Rashad Roundtree in the class of 2014. That's a unique little thing for the program as it goes about recruiting under Smart and the search for future “Dawgs” in the state’s third-largest region.

What will one of these O-line coaches be celebrating tomorrow morning? The Mason Short philosophy for playing the offensive line can be summed up in one simple sound byte.

“Be the meanest guy on the field,” he said. “But the nicest guy ever.”

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you can watch special 1-on-1 content with key 2025 prospects like Ethan Barbour, Julian Lewis, Travis Smith Jr. and David Sanders Jr.

SENTELLS INTEL

(Check out the latest Georgia football recruiting news.)