2014 South Carolina Gamecocks football preview: Mason Zandi

Zandi looks to break through in RS sophomore season.

Mason Zandi
RS sophomore
6'9'' / 303 lbs
Irmo, S.C.

Recruitment:
2 stars, 155th overall offensive tackle in the 2012 class

Other offers:
Clemson

College Career:
While redshirting as a true freshman, Zandi received praise from the coaching staff for working hard and making progress learning his position. That continued to be the case heading over the course of the off-season, and Zandi played in every game as a RS freshman. While he didn't receive a lot of playing time at his primary position of tackle, he cross-trained as a tight end in a specialty jumbo set, and he received meaningful snaps in that role. He also played a lot on special teams.

Sadly, Zandi's most notable play of the season was one Carolina fans would like to forget, a sure TD reception out of a ruse formation late in the second half against Tennessee that was negated when Butch Jones called a timeout right before the play. Elliott Fry would later miss a FG on the drive.

2014 Outlook:
Zandi is currently listed as the second-team left tackle behind Corey Robinson. With Mike Matulis potentially backing up both tackle spots, it's unclear how much playing Zandi would receive in that role. However, if Matulis starts at right guard, Zandi might play more than we'd think. In any event, the future looks bright for Zandi after Robinson and Brandon Shell graduate. As a two-star recruit, not much was said nationally about Zandi initially, but Shawn Elliott felt that Zandi's size and the potential he showed in his only season of high school football made him worthy of an offer. Early returns suggest Elliott was right.

Trivia:
Won most-improved offensive lineman during 2013 spring camp.

Beat writer's terrible double-meaning lede:
"Mason Zandi shares a surname with famed Iranian fighter pilot Jalil Zandi. Given that Mason is 6'9'', Jalil isn't the only Zandi famed for reaching into the the sky."

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