The Commerce Journal
A&M-Commerce senior linebacker Danny Mason has been named the 2012 Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year, announced late last week by league officials. The 2012 Lone Star Conference postseason football awards were released with Mason and junior wide receiver Garrett Smith receiving recognition.
Mason was named a first team All-Lone Star Conference selection at linebacker in addition to being named the Linebacker of the Year after leading the Lone Star Conference in tackles per game (11.5) and ranking third nationally after tallying 115 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Mason surpassed 15 tackles on three occasions this season, including a career-best 17 stops at Eastern New Mexico and 16 in the season-opener against Southeastern Oklahoma. He also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the season.
Mason, who was also a first team All-LSC selection in 2010, becomes the eighth Lion linebacker to earn a pair of first team all-conference nods, joining Lion greats such as Danny Kirk, Antonio Wilson and Cory Whitfield. He closes out his A&M-Commerce career with 272 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and five sacks, setting personal bests in his final season as a Lion.
Smith made an immediate in his first season for A&M-Commerce, leading the team in both receptions (51) and receiving yards (581) with a pair of touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the Lone Star Conference in receptions per game (5.1) and eighth in receiving yards per game (58.1), sitting among the national leaders in both categories. Smith also became just the 10th player in program history to catch 50 passes in a season, including a career-best nine catches for 93 yards against Abilene Christian.
The awards highlight what was an up-and-down season for A&M-Commerce as the Lions head into the offseason with a number of questions marks. The Lions will be looking to fill a few key roles.