Senior offensive lineman Shaquille Mason is the anchor and leader of a stout Georgia Tech offensive line. The 2013 First Team All-ACC selection was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List by the Football Writers Association of America.
At 6-foot-1, 311 pounds, Mason has worked himself into being an important cog, and is the undisputed leader of the Georgia Tech offensive line. Since starting in 11 games as a true freshman, Mason has been a mainstay on the o-line playing in 27 straight games the last two seasons and starting in 25 of them. The last two seasons Georgia Tech has averaged 305.5 yards rushing yards per game (5.5 YPC).
Mason becomes the fifth Jackets’ lineman to be up for the Outland Trophy in the past six years. Other Yellow Jackets that have been named to the Outland Watch List are Omoregie Uzzi ( 2011 & 2012 ), Sean Bedford (2010), Andrew Gardner (2008) and Vance Walker (2008). In 1998, center Craig Page, was actually a finalist for the Outland Trophy. However he lost out to offensive tackle Kris Farris from UCLA.
Despite Georgia Tech’s success rushing the ball over the past few years and Mason’s obvious impact on the games, the Yellow Jackets o-line still seems to not get the proper recognition nationally that they deserve. In an article on ESPN.com by David M.Hale, Mason was asked if he felt that Tech’s offensive line was undervalued despite being one of the best in the ACC year in and year out. Mason responded:
“It is undervalued, but we don’t look at it that much. At the end of the day, football is football. I’m an O lineman, and if I move a defender from Point A to Point B against his will, my job is done. That’s the mindset around the whole nation. It’s undervalued, and we get a lot of flack about it, but at the end of the day, it’s just football.”
Maybe now with Shaq Mason being the fifth Jackets’ lineman to be on the Outland Trophy Watch List in the past six years, Georgia Tech can get their proper respect for putting together one of the toughest offensive lines year after year in the nation. People actually try to discredit the Yellow Jackets o-line and not give them their proper due because of the fact that they run the option offensively. You can bet however, that opposing defenses in the ACC know how tough this offensive line is, and can vouch for how worn down they feel by the end of the game.
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