December 23, 2008

"From the Desert to the snow"

College of the Desert running back Leonard Mason inked his letter of intent to play football at Colorado State last week. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Mason was ranked the number 54 player in junior college this season and was named All-Conference and All-State after topping the 1,000-yard mark.

With his football season over as well as his community college graduation (Physical Education) past, Mason is hanging out with his family and readying for the move to Fort Collins.

"I'm just waiting for me until it is time to get out there," Mason said. "I should be out there Jan. 20. Right now I am just trying to spend some time with my family and training. It will be a big change coming from Cali - but I had that doubt when I went to Palm Springs, practicing in 115 degrees.

"From the desert to the snow."

After high school he attended Citrus College in Glendale, Cal. for a year and led the team in rushing, while placing fifth in the nation on the ground with 1,200 yards and added another 250 in receiving yards. During Citrus' first day in pads of Mason's sophomore year he fractured his leg and decided to transfer. This season he rushed for over 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in leading College of the Desert to a 9-1 mark before getting beaten in their bowl game by Santa Ana.

"I just feel more like a complete player this year," Mason said. "I feel like I pushed my game up in all levels - my blocking is way better."

Mason said he still talks to the Colorado State coaching staff on a nearly daily basis. He was also an interested observer when the Rams beat Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl last week behind 300 yards of total offense from current Rams' tailback and graduating senior Gartrell Johnson.

"It (Johnson's performance) made me feel way better just to see what I can do for next year," Mason said. "I visualized myself doing the same. I think he went out the way you should go out the last game."

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