FOXBORO, Mass. — Shaq Mason never quite grew into his name.
The New England Patriots’ fourth-round pick out of Georgia Tech’s full name is Shaquille Olajuwon Mason. As you might have already guessed, his mother, a big basketball fan, named her son after NBA centers Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon.
The 6-foot-2, 304-pound offensive lineman played guard for the Yellow Jackets, but he might project to center in the NFL because of his relatively small stature.
“It was definitely a fun process,” Mason said about playing center at the 2015 Senior Bowl. “The transition wasn’t hard at all. I was actually training at center starting the offseason before my senior year because a lot of my coaches at Tech were like, ‘You know you need to start snapping,’ so I’ve been training at center for about over a year now. The transition wasn’t that hard.”
Mason’s basketball career ended in the tenth grade, but he could wind up playing the position of his namesakes — albeit in a different sport — after all.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports Images