One of the keys to scouting high school talent for the collegiate level is identifying potential mixed with current on the field abilities. The projection combines upside with talent in attempt to forecast how a given player could impact a program as a career backup, starter, All-Conference, and/or All-American. College coaches scouting Searcy High School senior quarterback Mason Schucker are seeing nothing but an upward trend on the forecasting report.
Schucker has jumped on the recruiting scene in 2017 with a breakout season but the success on the field has not been an overnight sensation. Schucker cut his teeth making the varsity squad as a freshman with Clarksville enduring two very tough seasons in the win-loss column. As it is turning out, his sophomore season was a foreshadowing of things to come passing for 2,246 yards with 24 touchdowns while posting two rushing scores in 10 games played earning All-State honors.
A move from 5A ball with Clarksville to 6A with Searcy was another adjustment made on the field. In his first season in the Spread offense with the Lions, Schucker threw for 1,793 yards with 15 touchdowns rushing for three more scores in stats posted from 11 games. All the hard work brought All-Conference recognition. After a year in the offense, Schucker is once again showcasing his talents in a big way slinging the ball around the gridiron covering 1,297 yards with 20 scores in the aerial attack with one rushing touchdown in four games played.
Interest is starting to pick up for the 6-4, 200 pound, gunslinger. The big-armed senior has the Lions off to a 4-0 start with a No. 9 in-state ranking per MaxPreps drawing even more attention to Searcy High School. Regional teams like LSU, Central Arkansas, Texas State, and Memphis are watching his progression on the field.
Fresh off an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge with the Tigers, I sat down with Schucker covering his season to date with a recruiting overview.
Mason, how does the Lions’ Spread offense suit your abilities?
“We have some really good receivers. I am more of a throwing quarterback than a dual-threat. Our receivers catching the ball the way they do really helps me out.”
The Lions rolled past Jacksonville on Friday winning 35-20. How did the game go for you?
“It wasn’t one of my best games of the season, but we did enough to get the “W.” That is what matters the most.”
With a team like Jacksonville, or any team for that matter, how are you taking apart their defenses week after week?
“With our offense, we do a lot of reading. If the safety goes one way, we have a route to counter. We go opposite of where he plays the ball. I watch a lot of film during the week to prep for each game. Throughout the week I do my QB drills, footwork drills, and get in extra throwing reps.”
Your stat line has taken a big jump from your junior to senior year. What has been the difference for you on the field allowing you to be more productive?
“Last year I was coming into a new offense. I was not too comfortable with the plays. With a year under my belt, I feel more comfortable and I know what to do with each play.”
Did you attend any college camps over the summer?
“Yes, sir. I went to two LSU camps, Memphis, ULM (Louisiana-Monroe), UCA (Central Arkansas), A-State (Arkansas State), and a QB camp at Arkansas Tech.”
What did you learn that has helped you on the field this year?
“The camps helped me learn how to get the ball out quicker with some of the routes. I learned I did not need as deep of a drop on some routes. The camps also helped speed up my release.”
What are the strengths of your game in the pocket?
“I feel like I am good under pressure and I have good footwork. I have good pocket movement as well. I am not afraid to stand in there and take a hit to get the ball out to my receivers. My arm is strong and I can read defenses well.”
What are college coaches telling you they like about your game?
“This weekend, Coach (Matt) Canada (LSU offensive coordinator) told me he was impressed with my numbers and how well I throw the deep ball.”
How did the unofficial visit to LSU go this weekend?
“It went really well. I was impressed with the atmosphere. The fans are really loud. I was impressed with that. The in-door facilities were impressive. Everything was great. Their campus was pretty nice too although we did not get to see too much of it on this trip.”
Ryan Wrighta.k.a. the Recruiting Guru, has been working in mass media and news markets since the mid 1990’s. Ryan has worked as a sports writer and journalist with articles featured on Scout.com, The Bleacher Report, Sports-at-Work, LA Times online edition, and was the editor for Razorbackers.com in association with Sports Illustrated and FanSided Network. RecruitingNewsGuru.com for more interviews and in-depth analysis on college recruits from across the country.