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Monday, December 17, 2012
2015 DT Daylon Mack ready for attention

By William Wilkerson

Daylon Mack is about to embark on one of the craziest times of his life.

As one of the top sophomore recruits in the state, the Gladewater, Texas, defensive tackle is quickly becoming a household name. Texas and Texas A&M have already offered.

Physically, he’s ready for the challenge, the attention that comes with being as good as he is. But it’s his mental stability, derived from strong parenting, that has him eagerly awaiting life’s next chapter.

“I feel like I am ready,” Mack said. “My parents tell me to focus on my grades and make sure I talk right. They don’t want me to talk with a bunch of slang. I feel like I am ready.”

Ask Gladewater head coach Jerrod Baugh to describe his phenom and one of the first things he’ll reference is Mack’s understanding that he has to get things done in the classroom in order to get things done on the field.

That focus has paid off, Baugh said, as Mack is an A-B honor roll student.

“Really good kid,” Baugh said. “His mom and dad have done a really good job of raising him. He’s really well mannered. I would be surprised if he isn’t completely qualified by the end of his junior year. That’s another reason why these guys have already jumped on him because of the work in the classroom speaks for itself also.”

Having that focus between the ears should serve Mack well in the long run, and for whichever program he decides to choose. Because that understanding will allow him to fully relish in all that he is capable of accomplishing, which is really unthinkable at this point.

The proof of that is in the scholarship that Texas offered him on Dec. 6. It wasn’t until August, remember, that the Longhorns started offering juniors before February of their junior year.

“My reaction was really surprised,” Mack said. “Texas is one of the schools that are in my college choices that I am thinking of. That’s major. I think I am the first sophomore. I know that they have started to offer juniors but that made me feel real good that they offered me as a sophomore.”

So what makes Mack, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound road-grader with 4.9-second 40-yard-dash speed worth the scholarship? He seems to think it’s his athleticism.

“I feel like I can do a lot of stuff that other big guys can’t do,” he said. “I feel like I am faster than most of the other guys and I have a quick motor. I am really good with my hands and I squat a ton. I don’t know my max squat, but I did 545 the other day like five times.”

The Longhorns did themselves a favor by offering Mack as early as they did, especially with the Aggies having offered him a while back. He’s enthralled with the direction of that program.

“They are a good football program,” Mack said of Texas A&M. “They’ve been winning and have the Heisman. When I went up there [for the Sam Houston State game] the crowd was really involved in the whole game.”

Mack said that he spoke with Kevin Sumlin at the game, who offered him his scholarship.

“That felt real good coming from the head coach,” Mack said.

The fact that the Aggies now play in the SEC is a big reason why he’s strongly considering Texas A&M.

“Ha, it helps them a ton being able to play in the SEC and still able to stay in Texas,” he said. “That’s major.”