Growing up in Pocahontas in the northeast corner of the state, Rob Mason has always been an Arkansas football fan and claims he can name about every player from the past decade.
He is now a junior set to graduate from the University of Arkansas next December and as big of a fan of the Razorbacks as ever. You probably know him as the student who went viral for an alleged email exchange with offensive coordinator Dan Enos following last week’s loss to Texas A&M.
Despite questions being raised about the authenticity of the screenshots Mason shared in the above tweet — which has more than 300 retweets and 1,000 likes, plus has been seen more than 450,000 times — Best of Arkansas Sports can confirm they were sent from Enos’ university email account.
In fact, according to a Freedom of Information request, the offensive coordinator responded to four people after the Razorbacks’ disappointing 34-22 loss to the Aggies in which they gained just 174 yards of offense and scored one offensive touchdown.
Three of them appear to be students because their email addresses were redacted for FERPA purposes. Enos’ messages to them were sent while the team was apparently still at AT&T Stadium, as they happened not long after the postgame interviews wrapped up.
In a conversation with Best of Arkansas Sports, Mason revealed that it was one of his friends who had the original idea to email Enos. His friend’s message — asking the offensive coordinator to put quarterback KJ Jefferson under center — was sent around halftime.
The game ended at 2:25 p.m. CT and Enos responded at 3:26 p.m. CT, asking what he would have run against “that structure” of Texas A&M’s defense. While his friend chose not to answer, Mason didn’t plan to go away quietly when he emailed Enos from his own account.
“One of my buddies had just sent it in a group chat, of him saying some of the same stuff,” Mason said. “He kind of left it at that, left it alone. When I saw it, I was just like, ‘I didn’t know you could do that. I have some things I want to say.’ I thought it was kind of a joke. I didn’t even think it was real at first.”
An Email Exchange with Dan Enos
Rob Mason, an exercise science major on a pre-dental track, fired off his message at 3:50 p.m.
Mason: I just wanted you to know that I’m available to call 4th downs for y’all if y’all need it AND y’all don’t have to pay me millions. What a disgrace.
Just 28 seconds later, a response hit his inbox.
Enos: What would u call??
“I had just barely put my phone down and he responded,” Mason told BoAS. “I was like, ‘Okay, I guess it is real.’ At that point, it was just kind of funny. He was kind of a smart aleck to me, too. I feel like I can dish it out too and just kind of went on from there.”
What followed was a back and forth that went on for about 11 minutes…
Mason: A QB sneak. This isn’t hard Dan
Enos: With gaps Defense (four laughing/crying emojis)
What a joke (four laughing/crying emojis)
*Enos: You’re so innovative (laughing/crying emoji)
Mason: I don’t know if you know this Dan, but a QB sneak with a 250 Pound QB is hard to stop even if you know it’s coming. Also, but what you’ve been doing isn’t working if you didn’t notice
*Enos: Thanks Robinson
U should have been a coach!!!!!
Mason: Maybe you stop trying to be innovative and get a first down. If I was a coach, I would have been just as effective as you are.
*Enos: U still have time.
Apply for some jobs, I’m sure you’ll be great (crying/laughing emoji)
Mason: I should have been a coach, you are right. I could get paid millions of dollars and still not have to be good at my job!
Enos: (three crying/laughing emojis)
U sound bitter (redacted).
Mason: I’m bitter that you are terrible at your job. Do you not have something better to do than respond to students right now?
Enos: Just trying to help!
Try and be positive!
Mason: There is nothing to be positive about. I’m sure you are feeling pretty positive after committing highway robbery to this university
*Messages not included in the FOIA response from the UA, indicating Enos had deleted them. They were provided by Mason.
Not Just Another Troll
This is not the first time interactions between fans and the football program have drawn attention. Just a couple of weeks earlier, head coach Sam Pittman deleted his Twitter account because he grew tired of people bashing him about his weight and looks.
When he shared his reasoning for pulling the plug on his account, Pittman also shared how he has to serve as a counselor for his players who deal with social media backlash. That included telling a funny story about punter Max Fletcher.
Rob Mason made sure to say he isn’t your basic internet troll. He had never done anything like this before and kept messages focused on play calling instead of making personal attacks.
“I’ve never been in anyone’s DMs or sending private messages or anything like that,” Mason said. “This was kind of a first-time thing. I don’t ever tweet to try to bash or threaten. I’m not about any of that stuff.”
He, like many fans, was just upset about the Razorbacks failing to convert a fourth-and-1 out of the shotgun for a third time in four weeks.
In fact, if given a chance to talk to Enos in person, he’d continue to reiterate his desire to put KJ Jefferson under center in those scenarios.
“Honestly, sometimes simple is the best way,” Mason said. “We need to stop trying to over-complicate things and just use our quarterback to our advantage. I feel like it’s not that hard.
“I think offensive coordinators have a tendency to do that sometimes. They’ve kind of been known to over-complicate things whenever they don’t have to.”
More Recommendations for Arkansas Football
The third UA student who received an email response from Dan Enos following the Texas A&M loss sent his message at 4:45 p.m. CT and had to wait just 45 seconds for a reply. Their conversation lasted only six minutes.
Student No. 3: Is a QB sneak on 4th and inches too much to ask for?
Enos: Great idea!!
Even vs gaps?? (pondering emoji)
Student No. 3: Well your handoffs aren’t working much better. Might as well try something new
Enos: What u like Bs that structure
Student No. 3: Just try a QB sneak it’s not that hard. At least try it once
Enos: Ok, will do. Thanks!
A fourth person sent Enos an email at 6:41 p.m. and also received an immediate response — albeit in the form of just two laughing/crying emojis.
Here is what he/she wrote:
I was a big fan of the 16’ offense. You were a true innovator.
What happened? Do we need to leave coach Kennedy in Dallas?
It is worth noting that Enos did nothing illegal or wrong in responding to upset fans. However, Best of Arkansas Sports felt it was important to confirm the validity of the viral tweet and let fans judge for themselves how they feel about the emails.
Sam Pittman on Hiring Enos and Travis Williams
Recently, Pittman went on Arkansas football fan Bobby Bones’ podcast and shared some interesting stories, including details about how his coordinator hires this past off season went down.
First, he explained that when former Hogs OC Kendal Briles discussed going to Mississippi State, “I had called Dan Enos and said, ‘Hey, if KB leaves, would you be interested?’ And he said, “Absolutely.” So whenever Kendal decided to go to TCU [apparently after pushing for a raise one too many times], that was quick and fast.”
Pittman, however, interviewed more people for the defensive coordinator position. “I was in Maryland and everybody was saying I was there to get their defensive coordinator when I was just up there to see John [Morgan], our defensive end” who is from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
“I was supposed to meet T-Will in Orlando, and I said, ‘Hey, can you drive to Tampa?’ because they’re tracking the planes.” Travis Williams made the drive and Pittman knew he was the right man for the job after the interview.
“But I did not hire him at that point because I didn’t want to disrespect UCF because it was close to signing day. And then Gus [Malzahn] called me and said, ‘I’m going to lose my secondary coach. Are you going to hire T-Will?’ I said, ‘Yes, but I’m trying to show respect and this, that,’ and he said, ‘Well, go ahead and hire him, because if not, I’m going to lose my secondary coach whom he hired.'”
So Malzahn promoted Addison Williams to defensive coordinator, Pittman hired Williams and that little flurry of coaching musical chairs was finished.
Listen to the rest of the interview starting at 44:00 here:
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