North Texas Daily

Freshman Mason Fine named Mean Green starting quarterback

Freshman Mason Fine named Mean Green starting quarterback

Freshman Mason Fine named Mean Green starting quarterback
September 10
22:45 2016

It has been the theme of the young Mean Green football season – change.

New coaches, new system and now a new quarterback. Graduate Alabama transfer Alec Morris started week one, but Littrell already has put a new man in the driver’s seat of his offense.

That’s where true freshman Mason Fine stepped in. Fine led the Mean Green offense tonight, going 11-for-22 for 108-yards. He was the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Mean Green since Giovanni Vizza in 2007.

And for the time being, he is North Texas’ guy.

“As we end the night, yes, he is [the starting quarterback],” Littrell said.

Fine stands just 5’11 tall, but his presence seemed much larger. The two time Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year brought a new energy to the offense.

The Mean Green ran 84 plays on offense, five more than they were able to run against Southern Methodist University last week.

The youngster knew he was going to be the quarterback halfway through the week. The build up to Saturday allowed him to get his nerves in check and be ready to lead his squad when the time came.

“I was excited for the opportunity,” Fine said. “I was mentally ready, and I was physically ready. I go into every game confident, and with my teammates around me, that just boosts my confidence.”

Fine says his teammates boost him up, and apparently the feeling is mutual. Junior running back Jeffrey Wilson fed off the energy that Fine brought to the table, including his leadership over his upperclassmen teammates.

Wilson finished with 83-yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.

“It’s exciting when he’s in the game,” Wilson said. “He’s a little guy with a big heart. He’s a great kid.”

Fine played the majority of the contest, but was pulled for Morris midway through the third quarter after he was brought down from behind on a low tackle after a pass.

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Freshman quarterback Mason Fine (6) runs the ball against Bethune-Cookman. Colin Mitchell

It was a scary moment for the North Texas fans and the coaching staff, as Fine writhed on the ground holding his left knee. Littrell kneeled at Fine’s head until the freshman got up and walked off under his own power.

“I was happy to see he was alright, obviously,” Littrell said with a smile. “When someone hits your leg or your knee it stresses you a little bit. First thing he asked me was, ‘did I complete the pass?’ I lied to him and said yes. That’s the type of competitor he is.”

Despite bringing Morris into the game, Littrell was adamant Fine will be the man under center going forward. With that in mind, he is still confident in Morris’ ability and what he brings to the team.

With Fine being the man moving forward, he’s ready for the opportunity. His next task is a mighty one – the Florida Gators of the SEC at the swamp.

“I came in here with the purpose to play,” Fine said. “I came here to compete for the starting position. I think this is a start for new Denton. A new start for North Texas.”

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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