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Transfer Mason Brooks brings added experience to Ole Miss’ returning talent on offensive line

Transfer Mason Brooks brings added experience to Ole Miss’ returning talent on offensive line

OXFORD, Miss. — There are some football players who come out of high school with all the accolades that make college coaches drool. They are a zillion-star prospect. They run faster than the wind. They can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Sometimes, those players live up to the expectations; sometimes, they do not live up to the hype.

On the other hand, there are also players who slip through the cracks and are not recruited by the powerhouse schools. Some have just not yet peaked, but after a few years at the college level, they have grown and gotten faster and better.

Ole Miss fans, meet transfer offensive lineman Mason Brooks

Despite being a first-team all-district player his junior and senior seasons at Cedar Park (Texas) High School, he was not heavily recruited. Brooks was rated a two-star recruit, the No. 255 player at his position in the nation and 451st overall player in the country.

After four seasons at Western Kentucky, those evaluations of the 6-foot-6, 315-pound Brooks seem silly.

Following his decision to transfer, Brooks became the the top-rated offensive lineman in the transfer portal with a grade of 88 from 247Sports. What a difference a few years make.

Brooks played in 42 games in four seasons for the Hilltoppers and earned first-team All-Conference USA status. In 2021, he helped WKU to 536 yards per game, 433.7 of them through the air.

Western Kentucky finished 2021 at 9-5 (7-1 in C-USA) with a 59-38 win over Appalachian State in the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl. Brooks helped the Hilltoppers to that 2021 record after WKU had gone 3-9 his freshman year.

Rebels’ offensive line 

The Ole Miss offensive line looks to be a strength of the Rebels in 2022 and Brooks is projected to be a big part of that, with many expecting to see him at right tackle.

Left guard Nick Broeker decided to forego declaring for the NFL Draft and will return to lead the unit. He will be joined by veterans Jeremy James, Caleb Warren and Eli Acker. Jordan Rhodes transferred from South Carolina during fall camp a season ago and saw action as well.

Add Brooks to that group and Ole Miss has a solid foundation up front. He has already caught the eye of Broeker, one of the o-line’s leaders.

“He’s really been looking sharp the first few days,” Broeker said this week.

Definitely entering workouts in like the whole January, February and everything leading in (to spring drills), you know, he’s really impressed. A really good athlete, really long, just kind of looks the part, too. But you can tell the way he plays, he’s really fundamentally sound. Adding him was really good for the room, I think.

Ole Miss LG Nick Broeker on transfer Mason Brooks

As good as he will be for the offensive line group, Brooks is also getting an opportunity at Ole Miss to rise to the NFL level. The Rebels have sent a number of linemen to the pro ranks, most recently Royce Newman who started every game as a rookie for the Green Bay Packers.

It’s how you finish

Although Brooks’ goal is to reach the NFL, he is happy to be an Ole Miss Rebel and knows he still has improvements he can make in his final collegiate season.

“Thankful for everyone who has gotten me to this point, especially my Lord and Savior, and WKU!” Brooks tweeted when he made his transfer destination choice.

This decision was one of the most challenging I have faced. Excited to spend my senior season in the ‘Sip. So much more to prove.

Mason Brooks on transferring to Ole Miss

Brooks has proven one thing already in his college career — success is based on how you finish, not how you begin.

Spring Practices

Fans will get their first opportunity to see Brooks in action Saturday as the Rebels’ practice session is open to the public. The workout begins at 11:15 a.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Saturday practices April 2, April 9 and April 16 are also open to the public.

Spring drills conclude April 23 with the Grove Bowl.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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