The Recruiting Guy:

PA standout reaches dream through adversity

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Pulaski Academy linebacker Mason Schueck pledged to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Arkansas on June 13, but to do so, he had to overcome two knee surgeries and doctor’s advice to give up the game he loved.

After his ninth-grade season he had constant pain in his right knee, and later while playing AAU basketball the pain because unbearable.

“I got to the point I could barely put pressure on it and it turned out I had a rare disorder called OCD [osteochondritis dissecans],” Schueck said. “A bone disorder where I have a minimal amount of cartilage in my knee which was causing a hole in the bone in my knee.”

Schueck, 6-2, 220 pounds, chose Arkansas over scholarship offers from Presbyterian University and Arkansas Baptist College.

His sophomore season was in jeopardy.

“They told me then it would be a nine-month recovery,” Schueck said.

His first surgery in March 2019 was a success.

“I was bed down for about a month and I was on crutches for about three months,” Schueck said. “They basically had to take out a piece of my knee that was displaced and put a new piece in and then screw in and take some cartilage from my bone and put that into my knee.”

With therapy and rehab, Schueck only missed the first three games of his sophomore season. Then he had a major setback.

“It was a couple of weeks after my sophomore season was over I was working out and tore up what I had surgery on,” Schueck said “I was deadlifting and I felt a big pop.”

Schueck’s first doctor’s appointment was discouraging after being told playing football again wasn’t a smart option. A second opinion was sought and was told playing again was a 50-50 possibility.

He made his way to Chicago to see another surgeon who told him the knee could be repaired. The surgery was in July 2020.

“Turns out it was a three-four week recovery,” Schueck said. “It was basically a miracle. I was pretty much done with the sport. I never thought I would be in the position I am in today. It feels stronger than ever.”

Schueck and his family prayed during the darkest times.

“It’s just a testament that miracles are really are true,” Schueck said. “Hard work and determination really comes in your favor when it’s most needed. At that time, I was at a low point in my life. Football is my love.”

Pulaski Academy Coach Anthony Lucas said Schueck has a great work ethic to go along with strong intensity on the field.

“We have to get him to clam down because he’s so anxious and so fiery, we have to tell him when to turn it on and when to tell him to turn it off.” Lucas said.

Razorbacks Coach Sam Pittman informed Schueck about the opportunity to be a Razorback during a June 1 conversation.

“A quote I live my life by, ‘Dreams without actions are just goals’,” Schueck said. “I’ve been dreaming of playing for the Razorbacks my whole life but if I didn’t work as hard as I did and put the necessary work in towards achieving my goal then this would’ve been just a dream. Work defines your life.”

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