Ben Mason, a former standout fullback at Newtown High and the University of Michigan, has been dreaming about playing in the NFL all his life.
On Saturday, that dream came true.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Mason with the No. 184 pick overall in the fifth round, kicking off the next phase of Mason’s football career.
“This is really something, I’m really excited, we’re all excited,” Mason said. “The way it works you never know where you are going to go in the NFL draft. I talked to some people from the Ravens at the Senior Bowl but was never given any indication they would select me.
“Right now, I’m going through tons of emotion. I think of all the hard work I put into this since I was 6 years old. It meant a lot to me to get the call and get to this level.”
Mason won Michigan’s ‘Team’s Toughest Player’ Award twice for his play at fullback. Selected as the 2016 New Haven Register/GameTimeCT and Connecticut Gatorade Player of The Year as a linebacker, Mason transitioned to fullback during his freshman season at Michigan.
That season he scored two touchdowns, starting twice in 13 games. His sophomore season, Mason scored seven times in 13 games as a short-yardage back. Mason was a three-time New Haven Register/selection at Newtown.
The Michigan Toughest Player Award has even more meaning for Mason now.
“I can’t wait to get started in Baltimore, the city of toughness,” Mason said. “I’ll be heading to Baltimore for rookie camp and work out.”
Jets draft Windsor’s Pinnock
Jason Pinnock, a former cornerback for Windsor High and the University of Pittsburgh, was also drafted in the fifth round by the New York Jets. He was the 175th pick overall.
As a Pittsburgh senior during the 2020 season, Pinnock set career highs with three interceptions and nineteen tackles. Pinnock started 13 games in 2018 for Pittsburgh, recording 15 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups. In his junior season, Pinnock had 16 tackles, an interception and seven pass breakups in ten games.
Pinnock was a New Haven Register/1st Team-All State selection in 2016 and the Hartford Courant’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior out of Windsor.
Windsor’s Coyle, Hamden’s Black sign FA contracts
Two of Connecticut’s undrafted prospects quickly found homes after the draft concluded.
Hamden’s Tarik Black, a former standout at Cheshire Academy, who had an injury-riddled career as a receiver Michigan and then transferred to Texas as a graduate last season, signed with the Indianapolis Colts.