Shaquille Mason was a little-known and lowly-rated offensive lineman who came to Georgia Tech out of Columbia Central High School. He had no other reported offers other than the one from Tech.
He didn't redshirt his freshman year and managed to play in 11 games, including a start in place of the injured Omoregie Uzzi in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. For that performance, he was named to ESPN's ACC All-Bowl team.
So maybe this little-known two-star recruit might be serviceable on the offensive line.
The next season, Mason took over the starting job at left guard in the third game of the season and never looked back. He started the remaining 12 games that season and started to show people he was far superior than that two-star rating he received out of high school.
As a junior, Mason took over Uzzi's starting spot at right guard and his leadership role as well. It's no secret that for the last two years, Tech's offensive line has been led by Mason.
In his first year as the starter at right guard, Mason dominated, leading him to be named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week in back-to-back weeks against Duke and North Carolina.
We all knew what we were getting from him this year. He was the best and most experienced offensive lineman we had coming into this season. Expectations were high. Needless to say, he didn't disappoint.
In spite of not being named first-team All-ACC, he was named to the first-team All-America team by USA Today. So yeah, for being a two-star athlete coming out of high school, he turned out pretty well.
Now that the season's over, Mason has also been selected to attend the Senior Bowl to showcase his talents for NFL scouts.
But there's more to Shaq than that.
Before the season started, Mason's girlfriend gave birth to a little girl, Kamrie Maleah Mason. Matt Fortuna did an excellent feature on the Mason and his family, which you can read here.
#GamedayMotivation pic.twitter.com/TYlo8UHQOf— Shaq Mason (@ShaqDiesel_70) October 18, 2014
Thanks for your hard work and dedication Shaq!