Meet Ohio State Mason Arnold’s Long Snapper
Ohio State’s special teams have been quietly and consistently good this season. That’s true despite the fact that seventh-year senior snapper Bradley Robinson knee injury while covering a punt against Iowa.
Ask Bengals fans how expensive an injury in this position can cost. When Cincinnati’s Clark Harris fell in the season opener, a tight third string Mitchell Wilcox took over and delivered a floating snap that allowed the Steelers to block an extra point that would have won the game for the Bengals. Instead, they fell in overtime.
But the USO had Mason Arnold ready when Robinson was injured. Arnold, a sophomore from Tampa, Fla., was ranked No. 6 in the nation as a senior by Kornblue Kicking. He was also a wrestler at Carrollwood Day High School and won a state championship during his undefeated senior season.
His first start for OSU came in windy conditions at Northwestern, but the Buckeyes have shown no downside so far with Mason snapping the ball.
Meet the Ohio State Buckeyes
Get to Know the Ohio State Mason Arnold Long Snapper
What does the recruiting process for a long snapper look like as opposed to, say, a star quarterback?
When I was recruited, it was in the fall of 2020. So my last year, it was a recruitment dead period, no visits allowed, nothing at all. This was obviously during COVID season. Recruitment was very slow for specialists in my class, simply because you weren’t allowed to visit. Nobody was allowed to see you in person playing for them. This made recruiting in general very difficult for my recruiting mandate. I haven’t really started getting front wheel drive I think October 2020, and it was pretty tough. I trusted God throughout the process, and that’s all I have to say about it.
Being a specialist is unique, so I imagine recruiting a specialist is also unique. Then throw that in the middle of COVID, that must have been crazy.
It was very difficult, yes. As a specialist and recruited as a specialist, you obviously have to go to different camps and so on and perform well in certain camps. This is how you get your name out there and say you’re “one of the best guys in the country.” Coach Matt Barnes, when he was here, he reached out to me and my family, and I thought that was such a blessing.
How did you spend your time when the world was shut down due to COVID?
I feel like I was able to get closer to my family. I feel post-COVID — I have a twin sister, by the way — and I feel like post-COVID and through COVID, my sister and I have grown so close. We just became such best friends. She’s still my best friend, and she lives with me here and goes to Ohio State. She transferred from the University of Florida last year and she wanted to be here with me because we are so close and best friends.
How have you bonded during the pandemic?
The whole school was virtual so you weren’t allowed to go to school. So we were at home, hanging out, watching movies and doing whatever. She is my best friend. That was it.
What’s her name?
You hear about twins sharing, like, a mental link. Is it really a thing?
Oh yeah. I believe him. I know people joke about it all the time, but we think of a lot of the same ideas, and we think of a lot of things on the spot. I think it’s hilarious. But it is very true, yes.
Do you have other siblings?
No. Just my twin.
Was there ever a time when it was hard to be a twin? Where you thought, ‘Oh, no. Sophia is too present.
I wouldn’t say that. I feel like we always had each other’s backs in every situation, and no matter what happened between us, we always backed each other up and always stood up for each other. I love him for that.
Does she play sports?
She is not. She’s just a student here at Ohio State University.
But does she ever help you with your long snap?
No. I never really take him on the pitch when I go to practice. It’s usually just my dad and me. But my sister is a big supporter for me. She helps a lot. She’s a big part of my support system, and I can’t thank her enough for that.
Who else is in your support system?
So I have my mom and dad, Gina Arnold and Scott Arnold. My parents love them both so much.
It’s so cool that you’re so close to your family.
Love my family.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
My family, we are big fans of horror movies. So I would say watch a horror movie with my family.
Who is the jumper?
I would probably say my sister.
Do you have a favorite horror movie?
You know, what’s always good but wasn’t so good this year was the Halloween movie. But those that came out a few years ago? “Halloween” movies are always great. Michael Myers. I love those.
So is Halloween your favorite holiday, or is there another you love even more?
I just love Christmas because we bring the whole family together. Christmas decorations are super festive. I love this season so much, just because the family is together and Florida is a little cooler.
What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Off the top of my head, years ago when I was still a kid – I’m a big “Star Wars” fan – and my mom gave me a full, life-size replica of Darth Maul’s lightsaber, the double-sided lightsaber one. I remember getting it from my parents, and I thought it was the coolest gift ever.
And what’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
I wouldn’t say I gave lavish gifts, but maybe a cute picture I printed out of my mom and me, or wrote to her, like a special note or something. Certainly something more sentimental than material.
Do you have hobbies?
Well, since moving to Ohio and living here, I’ve realized that everyone loves golf. I’ve never golfed in my life, and last summer my friends here and I played a lot of golf. They taught me how to play golf, and I think it’s a new hobby that I’m really enjoying now.
Do you have pets?
I do not have pet. When I was younger, when I was in high school, my sister and I had a little bunny. So cute.
What was his name?
Bun Bun. I loved Bun Bun.
Now, I’m sure being from Florida, you’ve probably seen a crazy animal in the wild, right?
Most likely. I was paintballing once in the woods, and I saw a water moccasin. It was a bit scary. And we alerted the staff at the paintball venue we were at, and he came out with this big machete.
Paintball Style: Perform Rambo style on your opponent or hide and shoot?
If you’re not looking to get out very quickly, you need to take cover and take your shots wisely.
I like your way of thinking.
Since taking over long slam duties, have you received a VOID deal?
Nothing yet. We did our thing with Express thanks to CJ (Stroud). It was very good. But nothing for the moment. Going to work every day here and doing my job. That’s all I can do now.
Are you a fashionista who knew exactly what you wanted to do with that $500, or do you need some help?
Actually, my mom was in town for it, so I went to the mall with her, and she kind of knew what I liked…so she picked out the best suit that looked good on me, and it was all.
Have you ever worn it elsewhere than to go to the stadium?
That time will come.