Sophomore Smith talks wrestling, sense of humor and favorite show
While running out of the tunnel before Central Michigan wrestling's 26-9 win over Buffalo on Jan. 21, one wrestler stood out from the rest.
Mason Smith was wearing sunglasses — inside — before a vital dual meet in conference play.
The Central Michigan wrestler was never a big-name recruit in high school. Now, he's the No. 9-ranked 141-pound wrestler in the nation.
Smith sits at 26-4 in his second season in the lineup. He finished third in last season's Mid-American Conference Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament as a freshman.
After the first dual meet at McGuirk Arena for the 2017-18 season, head coach Tom Borrelli said Smith might be CMU's best wrestler.
Not only does Smith possess a unique sense of humor, but the highest upside to any wrestler on the roster, Borrelli said.
Central Michigan Life sat down with Smith to see what sparked his interest in wrestling and where he gets his sense of humor.
CM Life: What got you into wrestling?
Smith: In second grade, they handed out papers for Clio youth wrestling. I took them home and told my dad I wanted to do it. He told me "wrestling is for (losers)" and I’m not allowed to.
In third grade, they handed out the same papers. This time, I took them to my mom and she signed me up.
How would you describe yourself as a high school wrestler?
I was pretty boring to watch. Honestly, I still am to a degree. I had a pretty good mullet going on my senior year and I bleached it. I had a nice tan going on too. Some people even thought it was a spray tan. It wasn’t, I want that to be known. I put hard work in the tanning bed for that one.
Why did you choose to wrestle at CMU?
It’s an hour away from my house — pretty close to all my family. I knew a lot of people on the team, too. I wasn’t the most highly recruited person in high school. Michigan coaches probably didn’t know my name until I beat their (wrestler) last year. Michigan State’s coach told my dad I wasn’t good enough to be there.
Where do you get your sense of humor from?
It comes from a lot of people. My dad has a certain sense of humor to him. I don’t know if it’s quite the same (as mine).
My brother, Chase, is a goofy guy. He coaches at Clio and wears weird suits — like bright orange. One year he had a kid in the state finals and wore a suit that had $100 bills across it. He’s an odd character.
What do you like to do while you aren't on the mat or in the classroom?
Lay around, sit in bed. I’m a big fan of watching TV shows. My go-to’s are "Psych" and I’m a big "Scrubs" guy — it’s the best show ever made. Check it out, (it's the) greatest sitcom of all-time — funniest show ever.
Who on the team are you closest to?
Well, I live with Logan Parks. We sleep like 40 feet away from each other — you don’t get closer than that. I mean there’s a wall in between (us), but hey, take away the walls and we’re right there.