Locust Grove High School quarterback Mason Fine received a scholarship offer Thursday to play football at Arkansas Tech.
Fine, the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year after setting state records of 5,006 yards and 71 touchdown passes in 2014, also holds offers from other Division II programs like Northeastern State, Central Oklahoma and Adams State (Colorado), as well as one from Division I FCS Austin Peay.
Fine and record-setting wide receiver Jason Pirtle are the subjects of a yearlong Tulsa World project on high school football titled “Mason and Jason: The Pride of Locust Grove.”
Locust Grove coach Matt Hennesy said an Arkansas Tech assistant told him he was interested in a closer look at Pirtle, too.
“He told me he called back and told his guys, ‘He’s a lot bigger than I thought on film,’” Hennesy said. “He wants him to come to camp this summer.”
Hennesy said Rice is very interested in Fine and two Rice coaches are scheduled to be in town to watch practice next Tuesday.
“I’ll be shocked if they don’t offer,” Hennesy said. “They just have a policy that they want to look a guy in the eye and shake his hand before they offer.
“Once he gets that one good D-1 offer like that, Tulsa and all these other places will usually come along and say, ‘If they’re gonna offer him then we’d better offer him.’”
Hennesy said Yale and Drake also have shown strong interest in Fine. Hennessy said Drake is like an Ivy League program that doesn’t offer athletic scholarships.
“(Drake) basically told me he’s the No. 1 guy on their board,” Hennesy said.
“Listening to Yale and Drake was almost identical: they’re both a great fit, they’re both great citizens, both great students and they’re good football players to boot.”
Hennesy also said the publicity Fine and Pirtle have created also has raised college coaches’ awareness of other Pirate prospects like linebacker Trevor Taylor, receiver Tyler Rowland and others.
“We’ve had more schools in (this year) than we’ve had in the three years previous years total,” Hennesy said.
Hennesy said one Division I coach recently flew into Tulsa and watched practices at Jenks, Union, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Oologah and Locust Grove.
“I was like, ‘Well, all right,’ ” Hennesy said.