May 10, 2014
Running back Tre Mason follows offensive tackle Greg Robinson in BCS Championship Game (USA Today photo)
By Phillip Marshall
When former Auburn offensive Greg Robinson answered the telephone call from running back Tre Mason, his former teammate, on Friday, he didn't believe what he heard.
The St. Louis Rams had made Robinson the second player picked in the NFL draft on Thursday. On Friday, they had chosen Mason in the third round. Robinson and Mason were crucial cogs in the Auburn running game that led the nation last season and propelled the Tigers to the Southeastern Conference championship and the BCS Championship Game.
"Me and Greg spoke just like two minutes ago," Mason said in a conference call with reporters. "When I first called him he couldn't believe it. He told me 'stop lying.' I told him just wait a couple minutes and you'll see that I'm not playing."
Sure enough, he wasn't playing. Mason was announced as the 76th pick in the draft. He joined a franchise with a growing Auburn flavor. Trent Fisher, the son of Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, works with the team and was Mason's teammate at Auburn. So were linebacker Daren Bates and wide receiver Emory Blake. General manager Les Snead is an Auburn graduate. Former Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter works in the scouting department.
Fisher said none of those connections nor his familiarity with Mason had anything to do with the decision to draft Mason.
"We approached Tre Mason no different than any other player," Fisher said. "We didn't need to do a visit. Nor did we need to do a workout. The scouts approached him as if it was anybody else. We felt like we knew everything we need to know about the kid."
Fisher said when Mason was still available in the third round, the decision to choose him was easy.
"Obviously the numbers speak for themselves," Fisher said. "He was a guy we just couldn't pass up at that point."
Mason had the most prolific rushing season in Auburn history, running for 1,816 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Against Missouri, in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, he rushed for 304 yards. Next season, he'll play in Missouri.
"That's one of the best games of my career," Mason said. "I did all I could to get that win. I had a good time playing against the team from Missouri. I would love to tell them that I'm sorry for what I did in college, but hey, I'll do it at this level now for them."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: