Another Saturday, another loss for Georgia Tech, who this week fell 41-23 to the Duke Blue Devils. The 2019 season is shaping up to be one of the worst in Tech football history, but amidst all the issues on both sides of the ball, one player has been consistently great: running back Jordan Mason. If you ignore the Temple game in which he got injured, Mason is averaging 83 rushing yards and a touchdown per game this season, quite an impressive feat considering he’s playing on the 121st ranked offense in the country. Mason has been the best player on the Jackets’ offense this season, and this week against Duke was no different (I’ve included clips of his best runs against Duke throughout the article; there isn’t much to analyze, he’s just a pure athlete).
Mason came to Tech as a 3-star running back recruit out of Gallatin, Tennessee. After redshirting in 2017, last season he became the co-starting B-back in Week 3 after Kirvonte Benson got injured. He finished 2018 with 659 rushing yards (3rd on the team) and 7 touchdowns. This year he’s the undisputed first-string running back, tallying 75 carries through the Jackets’ first six games. The other players competing for time in the backfield - junior Jerry Howard, true freshman Jamious Griffin, and redshirt freshman Dontae Smith - have combined for 37 carries this year. As long as Mason stays healthy, the starting job is his.
It really goes without saying, but Mason has an incredible combination of speed and power. I don’t have stats on his yards after contact, but it seems like he almost never gets taken down by the first tackler. His balance is incredible for someone standing at 6’1 and 219 lbs, and right now he seems to have the best shot of any Tech player of getting a shot in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started showing up on “draft watch” lists next season, since he has the frame and skill set to play on Sundays as a Jordan Howard type of running back.
This season isn’t going how any Tech fans would prefer, but it’s important to keep focusing on the positives. One of the best parts of this season so far has been watching Jordan Mason make defenders look silly as he runs through their arm tackles. It’s crazy to think that he’d be getting even more rushing attempts if the Jackets weren’t forced to pass the ball due to playing from behind every game. Let’s hope the rest of the team can get their act together next season, because Jordan Mason is doing his part and deserves to be on a winning team.