The Georgia Tech football team has had a tough offensive season but running back Jordan Mason has been one of the bright spots this season.
As a true freshman in 2018, Georgia Tech running back Jordan Mason was phenomenal for the Yellow Jackets when on the field. He rushed for 659-yards and seven touchdowns on 108-carries over the course of the season that saw him go from a backup to the Jackets main-option following KirVonte Benson’s knee injury. That season created big expectations for the sophomore in 2019 even with a change in offensive scheme.
Through seven games, those expectations are being met, if not surpassed. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound back from Gallatin, Tennessee has been one of the few signs of consistency on the Jackets offense through the first seven games and his been a bright spot to say the least.
Mason, isn’t getting the ball all that much in reality, only averaging 13.5 carries per game but with those 13.5 carries per game, he’s making the most of the opportunities, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He also has six touchdowns on the season, one less than his final tally from 2018. With those numbers, Mason is on pace to surpass his totals in carries, yards, and touchdowns from last season.
Additionally, one thing we’ve seen out of Mason this year that we didn’t see last year is Mason being used a bit more in the passing game. Last season, Mason had just one reception for two-yards. This year, however, he has seven receptions for 43-yards, an average of 6.1. It’s not a major part of his game but does make a bit more versatile.
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While we’ve seen him become more versatile, we’re also potentially seeing Mason coming more into his own as a running back.
Over the past two weeks for the Yellow Jackets, Mason has had his two best performances with the Jackets. Against Duke, Mason carried the rock 18 times for 106-yards. At the time, it was his season high and first 100+ yard performance of his Tech career. Last week against Miami, Mason one upped himself with a 140-yard performance on 20-carries against the Hurricanes. He also had one touchdown in that performance. With the touchdown, Mason has scored a touchdown in five of the Jackets seven games this season.
For most of this season, we’ve been touting Mason as a future NFL-caliber running back and as a potential star on this Georgia Tech offense. We’re not the only ones high on Mason as many others around not just The Flats but the country are realizing his potential. Following his performance against Miami, Pro Football Focus’s college division made note about Mason, themselves.
For those that don’t know a Pro Football Focus grade of 90.6 is phenomenal and usually means a player is playing at the same level as others who are deemed or perceived as the best in the country. Two numbers really pop out from that PFF graphic; Mason is averaging 5.06 yards after contact, which is truly astounding and shows just how tough of a runner Mason is. To pick up an average of 5.0 yards after the first defender hits you is tremendous and will go a long way in his future and the success of the Jackets offense.
The second number is those 55 missed tackles. Now, Mason isn’t a flashy runner, he’s not going to juke out defenders instead he’s going to run right through you. With 55 missed tackles, that means he’s averaging 7.5 forced missed tackles a game. When considering he’s only getting 13-15 carries a game on average, that is once again outstanding and really speaks to the type of player and runner Mason is.
Overall, Mason has been Georgia Tech’s best asset on offense in 2019. His ability to be consistent despite not always getting carries (only carried the ball a total of 13 times against Temple and North Carolina combined) has been a key to Georgia Tech’s limited success on offense. If the Jackets hope to continue the offensive success they’ve been finding in recent weeks, Mason will need to continue that consistency. Additionally, Mason only appears to be getting better with each week. Over the last two weeks, he has 38 carries for 247-yards and one touchdown. Those 247-yards are nearly 50% of his total yardage on the season.
On pace for 960-yards and 10 touchdowns, the Yellow Jackets should keep feeding Mason in the seasons final weeks. Mason should continue to be a fun player for Tech fans to watch in 2019 and his potential in 2020 could truly be through the roof with another year under his belt and a Tech offense that should be much more confident and stronger in 2020.