ATLANTA — Tre Mason doesn’t seem the least bit bothered about the prospect of replacing a 1,000-yard rusher in his first college start or running straight up the middle against some of the biggest players on the field.
The Auburn tailback said he’s ready for Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl.
“I’ve been ready,” he said. “I’ve been ready since high school to run between the tackles. That’s what I’m here to do.”
And so it is the freshman from Lake Worth, Fla., who will be asked to replace Mike Dyer, who was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules earlier this month.
“It’s a great opportunity I was given, so I’m just going to do what I’ve got to do to win,” said Mason, who has 19 carries this season.
But the middle of the line could be daunting for a 5-foot-10, 190-pound freshman. No problem, Mason says.
Quan-Bray-Auburn-3-Almond.jpgQuan Bray: Is he the mystery No. 3 tailback? (Birmingham News / Mark Almond)
“Some running backs may be shy between the tackles, but I’m not. It’s not a size thing at all,” he said.
Mason said he and Dyer shared snaps in practice all season, though Dyer got almost all of them in games. Still, Mason has had a heck of a lot more than the other freshman who may join the backfield for the game against Virginia.
Quan Bray, a receiver by trade, has been taking snaps at tailback in the run-up to the bowl game and could be the “mystery” No. 3 running back that assistant coach Curtis Luper teased the media about not long ago.
Certainly, Bray took some handoffs at Monday’s practice in the Georgia Dome, and he’s done enough to impress Auburn’s other rookie running back.
“He’s perfect. He’s versatile,” Mason said. “He could play every position on the field if you wanted him to. He could play defense, too. He’s just a great athlete.”