The Heisman Finalists: Tre Mason’s rapid ascension

Auburn's Tre Mason has rushed to the Heisman scene at the right time. Photo: USA Today Sports, edited by Crystal Ball Run.

Six finalists for the 2013 Heisman Trophy were announced Monday evening. Crystal Ball Run will be taking a look at each finalist.

AJ McCarron | Jordan Lynch | Johnny Manziel | Tre Mason | Andre Williams | Jameis Winston |

Tre Mason, Auburn running back

1,621 yards rushing, 5.73 yards per carry, 22 rushing TD, 124.69 yards rushing per game

Heisman Moment: Ran for 304 yards and 4 TD in Auburn's SEC Championship Game victory over the Missouri Tigers. 

This year's Heisman race has been a bit lackluster. There have not been a lot of signature moments as many of college football's biggest stars have tripped up when they've had a chance to stake their claim as a true contender. Tre Mason was solid last year for Auburn rushing for 1,002 yards on a bad team. This year, Gus Malzahn has completely turned Auburn around and Tre Mason is the feature player in one of the most dynamic offenses in college football.

Mason started slowly, as did the Auburn offense, averaging just 68 yards on limited carries in the first three games. The turning point of the season for Mason, and Auburn, was the LSU game. LSU handed Auburn it's only loss but the Tigers didn't give up in that game and Mason proved he could tote the load full-time as he ran the ball 26 times for 132 yards. Over the last ten games, Mason averaged 141.5 yards per game and scored at least one TD in every game.

What's most impressive about Mason is that he has had his best games when Auburn has stepped up in competition. Against #14 LSU he ran for 132 and 2 TD, against #20 Texas A&M he ran for 178 yards and 1 TD, against #23 Georgia he ran for 115 yards and 1 TD and against #1 Alabama he ran for 164 yards and 1 TD.

With his performance against Alabama, he became a legit Heisman candidate. Then on the biggest stage in the SEC Championship Game, Mason ran rough shot over the Missouri Tigers and broke the SEC Championship Game record for rushing yards in a game with his second carry of the second half. 

It will be interesting to see where Mason finishes in the Heisman ballots. If I had a vote, he would be number two with a bullet. Will his late rise and lack of media hype hurt him in the long run?

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.