Mason In New York For Heisman Ceremony

The Auburn junior running back has been picking up lots of yards and awards.

After spending Thursday night in Orlando at a college football awards show, Auburn junior running back Tre Mason joined the other finalists for the Heisman Trophy festivities Friday in New York City where the winner of the award will be announced on Saturday.

Mason is projected to finish as high as No. 2 in the voting behind the heavy favorite, quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State, the team the Tigers will face on Jan. 6th in the BCS Championship Game.

The other finalists for the 2013 Heisman Trophy, which is presented to the top player in college football, include 2012 winner Johnny Manziel, a quarterback from Texas A&M, along quarterback Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois, quarterback A.J. McCarron from Alabama and running back Andre Williams from Boston College.

Pictured left to right on Friday in New York City are Tre Mason, Jordan Lynch, Jameis Winston, Andre Williams and Johnny Manziel.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony televised by ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. CST on Saturday.

Mason was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year on Monday by the Associated Press and received the same honor from the league's coaches on Wednesday.

On Friday the running back was named to The Sporting News All-American team long with Auburn cornerback Chris Davis. Center Reese Dismukes was named a third team All-American while defensive end Carl Lawson and offensive guard Alex Kozan were selected to the Freshman All-America squad.

Asked about being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and getting to play for the national championship vs. the Seminoles in Pasadena next month, Mason said, "It's a blessing. I have a great team and a great offensive line. They work their tails off every day. Those guys open up some of the biggest holes that I have ever seen.

"This is a blessing to have those guys in front of me and the players around me, and having a coach like Coach Malzahn," the junior added.

Mason left is shown with fellow Heisman candidates at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Mason is averaging 124.7 rushing yards per game at 5.7 yards per carry and his team is leading the nation in rushing with an average of 335.7 yards per contest.

As a team the Tigers are averaging 505.3 yards per contest. "Our offense is very versatile," Mason said. "There are so many different ways we can get players the ball."

Last Saturday the junior rushed for an SEC Championship Game record 304 yards as the Tigers defeated Missouri 59-42 in Atlanta setting the stage for the national championship matchup vs. FSU.

With 1,621 rushing yards this season, Mason is in striking range of Auburn's single-season record of 1,786 yards set by Bo Jackson during his Heisman Trophy winning season of 1985.

Mason, who reached the 1,000-yard mark on his final carry of the 2012 season, said on Friday in New York his goal for the 2013 season was to boost his rushing total to 1,500 yard as a junior. "I surpassed that and it is a blessing," he said. "I could't do it without the rest of my team and the Lord."

With 22 rushing touchdowns, including four vs. Missouri, the running back set a school record for a single season, surpassing the record set by Cam Newton in 2010 when the QB won the Heisman Trophy.

Mason poses with portraits of Auburn's three Heisman winners--Cam Newton (left), Bo Jackson (center) and Pat Sullivan (right).

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who helped recruit Mason to AU when serving as offensive coordinator, noted that the running back has improved considerably since he arrived on campus in 2011.

"He is bigger, he is stronger," Malzahn said. "He is a tough guy. I can't say that enough how tough, physically and mentally tough, he is. He doesn't back down from anybody or any moment."

Mason has a streak of five consecutive 100-yard rushing games with 168 vs. Arkansas, 117 vs. Tennessee, 115 vs. Georgia, 164 vs. Alabama and 304 vs. Missouri.

The Auburn star was asked what his prediction is for the national championship showdown vs. FSU, but declined to give one. "We are just going to give it all we have got and we are going to try to come out with a win," he said.


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