ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If Michigan is on offense and second-year fullback Ben Mason takes the field, you likely already know what’s happening.
If he gets the ball in his hands, he’s gonna go full-force, full-speed ahead. If he’s the lead blocker for the tailback, it’s the same.
No matter what, Mason is going to be a problem for defenses, and that’s just the way he likes it.
Mason has just 66 yards on 24 carries, but he’s made the most of every opportunity, notching 6 scores in the process, good for third on the team, overall.
But it takes a certain kind of mentality to come in and do your job when a defense knows precisely what the offense is planning to do when Mason enters the game. For Mason, that doesn’t mean he comes in more angry, wanting it more, or whatever the cliché is.
It’s more that he knows what his assignment is, and he doesn’t want to let his team down when his number is called.
“It’s kind of a feeling of – it’s like the feeling of being on a team,” Mason said. “You have a bunch of people counting on you and you’re not gonna let them down. That’s what I would compare short-yardage football to, just the feeling of being on a team. You have people to the left and the right of you that are counting on you to get the first down. Everyone else is doing their role, you have to do your role.”
But Mason, of course, isn’t just used as an inside bruiser. We’ve seen him get the ball in space, even hurdling a defender against Maryland in Week Six.
When he gets down near the goal line, however, Mason has something of a one-track mind. And that means that, no matter the situation, he’s going to find a way to do his job, and not let his teammates or coaches down.
“My main goal is to get in the end zone, but if I’m gonna run over someone, I’m gonna do it at full speed,” Mason said. “If I’m gonna run around someone, I’m gonna give them the best juke I got.”