Posted: 11:16 am Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Palm Beach County’s top senior running back will join the nation’s No. 1 team this fall.
Park Vista’s Tre Mason, who put up 1,643 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, announced his verbal commitment to defending national champion Auburn during a short ceremony at Park Vista High School in Lake Worth.
Mason (5-10, 190, No. 7 on the Big Board) chose the Tigers over Ole Miss, which he visited last weekend. He had high interest from several BCS programs, including Penn State, Michigan and West Virginia.
Mason, who visited Auburn the weekend of Nov. 14, joins a team that includes freshman running back Michael Dyer and sophomore Onterio McCalebb. The Tigers finished an undefeated (14-0) season by beating Oregon on Jan. 10 to win the BCS title.
The national title was a factor in his decision, but Mason said he loved Auburn before the confetti rained down.
“When I first went there, I just felt like it was home right away,” Mason said.
It appears Mason won’t have to wait to play. Auburn, whose 2011 recruiting class is ranked No. 6 according to Rivals.com, has a commitment from Georgia running back/athlete Quan Bray. According to Mason, the Tigers don’t plan to recruit another back.
“[Tigers coaches] said I will definitely be playing in the first quarter against Utah State, our first game of the season,” Mason said.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder projects as a change-of-pace back for the Tigers. Mason, who said he runs as low as a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, says Auburn coaches told him McCalebb “isn’t an every-down back,” and Dyer “needs some help” to keep him fresh. “He needs someone to share the ball with so I was willing to take that role,” Mason said.
Mason said he sees himself producing right away in Auburn’s multidimensional offense.
“It’s very exciting. I know that Onterio McCalebb rushed for 800 [yards], Michael Dyer ran for 1100, and Cam Newton ran for 1500. Since he’s gone, they’re going to need someone else to rush for 1,000, so that’s what I’m hoping for,” he said.
AuburnUndercover has video of Mason’s announcement: