Mason Vinyard -- out of Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif. -- is viewed by some as a top-50 tight end, but he signed his letter of intent on Wednesday to play on the other side of the ball at Washington State.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, ESPN reports that Vinyard ran a 4.62 40-yard dash and a 4.10 20-yard shuttle, both of which are listed as the top for TE-H, which is more of a blocking TE than a route-running TE.
The idea of him being an aggressive player is nothing new to him as he played plenty of defensive end in high school and spent a lot of time in the opponent's backfield. As an end, he proved that he has the ability to drop back into coverage and keep up with the receivers as well as fight his way into the back field to disturb the opposing quarterback, which means he could be headed for Rush linebacker.
Listed as a composite three-star player, Vinyard has plenty of opportunity to advance in the system and play an interesting role for Mike Leach and staff. He has the size, ability, and experience to play on the defensive side of the ball, but it would it really be a surprise to see Leach at least try to get him involved as an intriguing weapon in the pass-heavy offense?
Vinyard also held offers from SDSU and SJSU.
Very versatile athlete that has great potential. Showed off swim and bull rush techniques from defensive end, and was devastating with a speed rush. Could easily handle running with inside receivers when asked to drop into coverage, even on vertical routes. It's easy to see Vineyard gaining 25-35 lbs and playing rush end, but it's hard to tell what the staff has in mind for him. He doesn't quite fit the mold at any defensive position as we've seen it, but we do know the coaching staff is all about speed on that side of the ball and Vineyard has loads of it.
Rankings (at tight end)
ESPN - ★★★
Rivals - ★★★
Scout - ★★★
247 Sports - ★★★
Measurables (via 247 Sports)
Position - Defensive End
Hometown - La Mesa, Calif.
Height - 6-foot-5
Weight - 200 pounds