Name: Ben Mason
Weight: 254 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Jersey number: #42
Last year: I ranked Mason #41 and said he would be the starting fullback and a backup defensive tackle (LINK). He ran the ball 1 time for 3 yards and made 7 tackles.
TTB Rating: 74
Mason was probably the most controversial player on the 2019 squad. He came to Michigan as a linebacker/fullback, and prior to last year, he bulked up to play defensive tackle. That seemed somewhat forced – and perhaps frustratingly necessary – because Michigan was both thin at the defensive tackle position and switching to an offense that de-emphasized fullbacks. Early in the season, Michigan messed around with him on the defensive line, and it did not go well. By the end of the year, Mason was basically a “sniffer” fullback, a guy who rarely ran or caught the ball and acted like a pulling guard.
Since last year Mason has dropped 16 pounds and defensive tackle no longer appears to be an option. That was a failed half-year experiment.
I like what Mason brings to the table. He’s tough and loves to hit, and he would have been a stud fullback when it really mattered. The position utilization has dwindled, but it’s a nice change-up in a spread offense. Most teams running a spread use a 10, 11, or 12 personnel, and those tight ends usually hate blocking. Mason gives Michigan a little more toughness at the point of attack, a guy who can effectively kick out a defensive end, wham a defensive tackle, or lead on a linebacker.
Prediction: Starting fullback