Gentry, new to football, commits to SMU

For a player who’s played all of one year of football, defensive end Mason Gentry (Plano, Texas/Plano West) has done pretty well for himself.

Gentry, at 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, already had the size to be a dominant lineman, but regardless of size, few can come in and be an instant threat. Gentry went from being a player constantly asking questions into an all-district standout and a success story, and Monday night, he continued to build on his budding football resume by verbally committing to SMU.

Gentry became the Mustangs’ 25th commit of the 2013 recruiting class. He was recruited by both defensive coordinator Tom Mason and defensive line coach Bert Hill. Gentry went on an official visit to the University Park, Texas, campus over the weekend.

“I’d drove by the campus and had been to one football game, but I’d never really been to the campus,” Gentry said. “I really liked it, and I really liked the way they ran their practices. The way they run it is probably the best way for me to move forward and progress.

“Plus, the school obviously is top-notch. I’m looking into majoring in business.”

Gentry, whose player host was defensive end Kevin Grenier, has an extensive baseball background. A move-in from Buford, Ga., Gentry shined in the Peach State as a first baseman. It wasn’t until he was coaxed by friends to play football.

“Until this year,” he said, “I’d never put on football pads or a helmet until the first practice.”

Gentry got the hang of playing on the defensive line – and quickly. He called his first game “pathetic,” and in his second game, he lined up against ESPN 150 offensive tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands), a Texas commit.

Since then, Gentry has emerged into a major contributor on the line, and he looks to learn even more from the SMU coaching staff.

“My second game, against Kent Perkins, that wasn’t too much fun,” Gentry said, “but it got a lot easier once I learned the game. I got to play Kent again in the first round of the playoffs, and I thought I did pretty good. Once I got the hang of it, it got really easy for me.”

Along with the SMU offer, Gentry said he had offers from Purdue and Louisiana Tech. He also was receiving interest from TCU, Tulsa and Colorado State.