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Freshman outfielder Chase Mason no longer with Nebraska baseball program
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Freshman outfielder Chase Mason no longer with Nebraska baseball program

Will Bolt: You can tell early what kind of team you have

One of the headliners of Nebraska baseball’s freshman class is no longer with the program.

Outfielder Chase Mason has left the team and is no longer listed on the Huskers’ online roster. An NU spokesperson confirmed Mason’s departure.

The move is a blow to a 2021 class ranked 20th nationally by Perfect Game and to Nebraska’s outfield that could turn over entirely next spring. Mason arrived as consensus top-200 prospect and was the third-highest rated player that the Huskers brought in last year behind pitchers Drew Christo and C.J. Hood.

Mason — formerly a standout quarterback in nine-man football in South Dakota — will pursue a college football career elsewhere. He got his first football looks as a junior in the fall of 2019 when he accounted for 416 yards and six touchdowns in the Class 9AA title game, then missed most of his prep senior football season after suffering an ACL injury. He had FBS offers from South Dakota State, South Dakota, Fresno State and Wyoming while Kansas State had interest in him as a tight end.

“I felt the best playing baseball,” Mason told The World-Herald last spring. “I just wanted to see how far I could go in baseball and ultimately felt like it was the right thing to do. It came down to knowing I could enjoy baseball every single day.”

Mason got long looks from professional baseball scouts and attended the MLB draft combine in June, wowing evaluators with his combination of elite power and speed. He ultimately wasn’t taken in the 20-round event and made it to Lincoln, where he spent much of the fall recovering from a knee injury. While he hit multiple tape-measure shots during intrasquad games, he also struggled in his first looks against college pitching and finished the Red-White series 0-for-10 with nine strikeouts.’s scouting report of Mason described a potential 25-homer, 25-steals player but also detailed an “unrefined approach and severe swing-and-miss questions” for someone who hit below .300 in local legion ball a year earlier. Mason, a standout multi-sport athlete who also did track and basketball, had never focused on baseball for more than a few months during the year while attending Viborg-Hurley High School.

Mason isn’t the only prep quarterback Nebraska has landed of late. Current NU infielder Jack Steil was a state title-winning QB in Minnesota. A 2022 NU signee, catcher/infielder Mikey Pauley out of Overland Park, Kansas, officially joined the Huskers this week over football scholarship offers from Kansas and Kansas State.​

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