Three Mason Bulldogs ink NLI to play football at Hope College

MASON, Mich. (WILX) – After leading the Mason football team to its first ever state championship appearance this past fall, Bulldogs’ senior offensive linemen Brennan Miller and Nick Saade and tailback AJ Martel all signed National Letters of Intent Monday to play football at Hope College.

“For the last three and a half years everyone has asked where you going to college, are you going to play sports and honestly I haven’t known until now,” Martel, Mason’s all-time leading rusher said after the signing. “Then I spoke with the people at Hope and I liked it and now I know and honestly it’s a relief.”

Miller and Saade, who combined to go 25-2 in two varsity seasons, helped anchor a formidable Mason offensive front that helped pave holes for Martel and the rest of an explosive Bulldog offense.

Having spent the past two varsity seasons playing in front of Martel, carrying on their friendship and comradery as teammates was a major selling point to all to head to Holland in the fall.

“We have some teammates up there right now from past years and when you play for a championship mentality in high school, the mentality there is kind’ve the same,” Miller said.

“Obviously more comfortable and going there and having these two guys with me, I know I already got part of the brotherhood started,” Saade added.

Martel finished his Mason career 43-6 in four years on varsity, accounting for 4,704 yards and 74 touchdowns, which ranks him second all time in scoring in program history.

Head coach Gary Houghton will not have an easy task replacing these three, Kaleb Parrish, who is headed to play football at Ferris State University and several other key seniors, but the cupboard is far from bare in Mason and there’s confidence the program will continue in the right direction.

“I think we’ve left them in a really good position. We’ve all gone to places together that’s given them the experience and knowledge of what to do,” Martel said. “I think that they’ve learned from what we’ve done the past four years and I think they’ll be great next year.”

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