It’s infamously known as the "Lester Hayes rule."

Since 1981, finger-aiding adhesives such as Stickum have been banned by the NFL.

If Mason McLaughlin was born in another era and had a fondness for the silver and black, he might have picked the former Pro Bowl cornerback’s brain regarding a certain ailment that has stricken all of us at one point or another.


"I couldn’t catch," McLaughlin said.

No need to panic, though. McLaughlin is not nearly as inept as some of those other sticky-fingered oafs.

When it comes to the not particularly "hands-on" Hudson senior, we’re not talking about Inspector Clousseau or Frank Drebin.

Nevertheless, McLaughlin’s dreams of becoming the ultimate "handyman" like Randy Moss or frequent Stickum-user Jerry Rice, was well, just that: a dream.

Of course, unlike a pair of clumsy fictional police officers, McLaughlin wasn’t the least bit oblivious about his "slippery" situation.

He knew there was no cure for his mysterious carpal tunnel syndrome. Especially when it came to hauling in passes on the gridiron.

"I realized I had to put my hand on the ground," McLaughlin said.

For a brief moment, at least. And then he was able to use his hands as much as he wanted.

He didn’t have to take The Georgia Satellites’ advice either. The nimble 6-foot-3, 240-pound teenager is not required to "keep his hands to himself."

McLaughlin will continue to maul the person in front of him for another four years after recently signing to continue his academic and football careers at the University of Dayton, a Roman Catholic research university that is a member of the NCAA Division I Football Subdivision.

The standout offensive lineman, who earned second-team Division II All-Ohio honors in 2019, picked the Flyers over Valparaiso (Indiana) and Bucknell (Pennsylvania).

At times, choosing one of these schools may have seemed like a "Catch-22" for the versatile McLaughlin, who plans to major in mechanical engineering.

In the end, though, the urban 388-acre campus, along with a persuasive coaching staff, gave Dayton the "upper hand."

"I liked all three schools," McLaughlin said. "All three of them had engineering. I really loved Dayton’s campus.

"(Head) Coach (Rick) Chamberlin really sold me on the team. He has been around for awhile and he knows how to run a program. (Oakland Raiders head coach) Jon Gruden went there and [New Orleans Saints tight end] Adam Trautman just got drafted."

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll is a Dayton alum as well.

McLaughlin, who saw time at right guard, center and right tackle for the Explorers, appears to have a striking resemblance to the Flyers’ favorite "Pope." Like the four-time Super Bowl champion, this expert tactician has an "infallible" grasp of the game.

"He’s a complete technician," Hudson head coach Jeff Gough said. "He didn’t really miss blocks. He’s a great kid, a really hard worker and an awesome player."

McLaughlin’s new team may not have been "awesome" last fall. However, the Flyers weren’t too shabby either.

Dayton finished 8-3 overall, including 6-2 in the Pioneer Football League. McLaughlin may want to upgrade his cardiovascular system as much as possible.

That’s because the Flyers lived up to their nickname by scoring 40 or more points seven times. They cracked the 50-point total in three of those games.

No … uh ... sweat for McLaughlin, by the way.

That’s because his perspiration level reached an all-time high in his final year in the navy blue and white colors.

Believe it or not, that wasn’t such a bad thing. It was quite a fabulous thing, as a matter of fact.

Scrapping their traditional power-I formation, the Explorers decided to floor the gas pedal and go, go, go at a breakneck pace.

The result?

Hudson’s hurry-up offense exploded off the charts en route to a record-breaking season.

The Explorers scored 432 points, gained 4,559 yards, ran 736 plays and had two running backs gain more than 1,000 yards.

As a result, Hudson, which had its seven-year playoff streak snapped the previous year, returned to the postseason.

The Explorers finished 7-4 and shared the Suburban League National Conference title with Wadsworth and Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Did McLaughlin like the idea of seeing his team operate without a huddle? Let’s just say he didn’t particularly love it.

Once he went on his first date, though, it didn’t take long for McLaughlin to fall head over heels.

"I wasn’t quite sure because the first practice was tiring," he said. "There were some moans and groans after the first and second practices. When we scored 41 points in our first game, I bought into the idea and ran with it. To be honest, it was fun. After a while, you forgot how much it stunk running so much."

McLaughlin, along with fellow bruisers Evan Knipp, Chris Slater, Alex Movshin, Kevin Toth and Ryan Pavia, may not have moved too many mountains due to their relatively modest frames.

They sure gave their opponents quite a workout, though. Look at it this way: Try doing the exhausting Spartan 500 workout … well, 500 times.

"The hurry-up is not what offensive linemen are built for," Gough admitted. "They took it in stride and were a huge reason for our success running the football. We would not have been able to do what we did without them."

Very few people expected much from them in the first place.

The Explorers, who reached the state semifinals three consecutive years during the mid-2010s, finished an uncharacteristic 3-7 in 2018.

Word on the street said Hudson wouldn’t be much better last fall. In the end, such disparaging gossip turned out to be utter rubbish.

"We really didn’t have any expectations," McLaughlin said. "The class above us was really talented so a lot of people wrote us off. They were thinking, ‘If last year’s class couldn’t do it, these guys definitely can’t.’ We proved everyone wrong."

McLaughlin hopes to catch more opponents napping when he makes his debut at the appropriately named Welcome Stadium later in the summer.

Unlike a former Oakland Raiders defensive back, he’ll leave a certain illegal adhesive behind. This squeaky-clean lineman is not the least bit interested in "handouts."

Call it the "Mason McLaughlin rule."

"Four guys graduated so that means there are four open spots," McLaughlin said. "I’m going to take it one year at a time and do whatever it takes to play as much as I can."

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, or @FrankAceto_Gannett.