RECRUIT SCOOP: Klein's dual-sport star nearing college football decision presented by CertaPro Painters
At 6-foot-7, Klein's Mason Tharp stands out on the football field.
The dual-sport athlete excels at basketball as well, but football is where his future lies, especially with the emergence of the tight end position on the college and pro level.
"I grew up playing tackle football in the second-grade," he said. "I played all the sports from baseball to lacrosse to basketball. Basketball helped with my footwork and conditioning. It's a great break from the grind of football. Baseball and lacrosse helped with my hand-eye coordination."
Tharp was always one of the bigger kids growing up, but really didn't see his football dream becoming a reality until that first offer.
"That's been the dream to play college football and people have been telling me that I was going to get there," he said. "I just didn't believe it. When I got that first offer from Kansas, I was so excited because it started happening. I was also nervous about what the future would hold, but then it just started heating up."
Tharp has pulled offers from across the country from Arizona State, Michigan State, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, Texas State, Utah and Virginia just to name a few.
"I was going to visit a bunch of schools this summer but the virus put a dent in that plan," he said. "I have been able to do a lot of thinking and I just want to make the right decision. I'm pretty close, though."
"I'm looking for a great atmosphere and a school know for sports," he said. "Of course, academics is a big part and the relationships with the coaches and players. Any playing time is a plus, but I'm realistic that playing as a freshman is pretty tough."
The tight end position has become one of the more important positions on the field.
"You can see college teams and the pros using them more," he said. "They didn't used to be this big. Of course, I loved watching Gronk, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Darren Fells. My pass-catching is my strength because I'm such a mismatch. I'm also learning how to use my body more as a blocker. I enjoy that too."
Tharp, who's sister plays soccer at OU, is an avid outdoorsman.
"I love to hunt and fish, but the football and basketball seasons get in the way," he said. "I love being outdoors and have never been into video games."
The first-team, all-district selection is preparing for his senior season with hopes of a district title.
"Our district is probably one of the toughest in Texas," he said. "The competition is great and it's helped me become a better player. We really get up for Klein Oak. They are our biggest rival."
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