2018 Season Countdown: #18 Ben Mason

2018 Season Countdown: #18 Ben Mason


August 10, 2018

Ben Mason (image via Detroit News)

Name: Ben Mason
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 254 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Position: Fullback
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #42
Last year: I ranked Mason #77 and said he would be a backup fullback (LINK). He had 3 carries for 4 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 74

I may or may not have underranked Mason last season. On the one hand, I ranked him #77 and he scored 2 touchdowns, which is pretty good for the 77th-most important player on the team. On the other hand, Michigan had two senior fullbacks on the roster who probably could have punched in those two 1-yard touchdowns. Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi were the co-starters at fullback in 2017, but it was always likely that Michigan would plan to groom Mason for 2018, which is exactly what they did.

This spring there was a bit of a stir when it came out that Mason was playing fullback and linebacker, and Mason did an interview where he discussed his preference – according to him, he has none. He was a fullback and linebacker in high school, and he was seemingly recruited for linebacker before moving to the offensive side of the ball. He does not appear to be a strong contender for any of the linebacker positions, which makes sense to me. It’s one thing for a defensive player to moonlight as an offensive guy, but it’s a whole different story when you try to make an offensive guy into a defensive player; the only case that seems to make sense is when you put in a tall receiver with ball skills when it’s time to defend a Hail Mary. Mason should be focusing on offense, even though Michigan may use the fullback less with Shea Patterson behind center. I expect this Michigan team to be a little more spread-oriented and a little less smashmouth-y.

Prediction: Starting fullback

7 comments

  1. Comments: 1145
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:52 AM

    A little bit paunchy if you ask me. And, you can believe me when I tell you that paunchy is a look I recognize.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 397
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:29 AM

      That’s not a paunch … that’s a bubble of aggression waiting to be unleashed! 🙂

  2. Comments: 19
    Joined: 8/20/2015
    Jetski
    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    3 carries, 4 yards, 2 TDs! Those are some Hammering Panda numbers right there!

  3. Comments: 19
    Joined: 8/20/2015
    Jetski
    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    Also with the short list of remaining scholarship wide receivers, do we really expect fewer fullback snaps? I would expect the opposite.

  4. Comments: 962
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Mason is a player I would have loved 20yrs ago. I think it’s telling that our Fullbacks are ranked so high. Reality is, a walking should be able to get us those 1yd TDs, if only we could get that pesky OL fixed!

  5. Comments: 848
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:57 PM

    No fullback should ever be rated this high. They are low impact players and highly interchangeable.

  6. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 253
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:49 PM

    I enjoyed watching Mason. He is really an enforcer for such a young player. Punishing blocker. I suspect as well that FB snaps may be reduced a bit if they want to put Shea in the gun more. And that is probably why Mason did more moonlighting in defense in the spring – not because Brown has a position for him, but because the offense was practicing new stuff w/o FB’s.

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