(photo:Jullie Bennett, al.com)
One of the nation’s best running backs has flown under the radar this year despite leading the SEC in rushing. Outside of Auburn fans and opposing defenses most people didn’t know his name. But that changed Saturday.
Now after his record breaking performance in the SEC Championship game, the entire nation is talking about Tre Mason.
Some have even touted him as a late Heisman Trophy candidate. And why not? Mason entered the game with 1.317 yards and left with 1.621. It was a record breaking performance as he put up the most rushing yards ever in an SEC title game.
However, one game does not a Heisman candidate make. But a season full of great games should qualify. Tre has averaged 6.1 yards per carry this season and had seven 100 yard games including Missouri, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Alabama.
He has outdueled more well known names like LSU’s Jeremy Hill, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon, Georgia’s Todd Gurley, and Missouri’s Henry Josey. And today he is first in the SEC in rushing yards, first in rushing touchdowns, and first in all-purpose yards.
Yet some have tried to downplay Tre’s ability saying that a lot of backs could do well in Gus Malzahn’s read option offense. However, that argument is completely debunked by the fact that 2013 is the second consecutive year the Auburn junior has rushed for more than 1,000 yards. He did it last season in Scott Loefler’s pro style attack. So two different offenses; same result … a 1,000+ yard season.
Still does Tre Mason deserve to be a Heisman candidate? He convinced many Saturday including ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. Herby tweeted Sunday:
Kirk Herbstreit @KirkHerbstreit7h
@MAHamer90: @KirkHerbstreit does Tre Mason get to New York?” I think he will. We’ll see.
Mason’s 304-yard performance against Missouri not only broke the SEC Championship game record but was the second-highest total in Auburn history. His 1,621 yards season total is second only to Bo Jackson in the history of the program. In addition, he broke Jackson’s record this year for all-purpose yards with 2,137 yards and his 22 touchdowns broke the school record set by Cam Newton in 2010.
When Gus Malzahn was asked about his star running back, his response was “He’s one of the best players in college football. He proved that (in the SEC title game).”
I have to agree Coach, because when you break Bo Jackson and Cam Newton’s record … you deserve to win the Heisman.
Tags: AubTigerman, Auburn blogs, Auburn Football, auburn Tigers, Gus Malzahn, Heisman trophy candidates, sec blogs, Track emTigers, Tre Mason