By the Numbers

In case you didn’t know, University of North Texas quarterback, Mason Fine, is one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, and perhaps a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy. Fine’s college success really took off during the 2017 season, where he threw for 4,052 yards and 31 touchdowns. Both totals blew away UNT’s previous records. Fine was also Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Through the first 3 games of the 2018 season, Fine has thrown for 1,143 yards and 8 touchdowns, and ran for 1 touchdown.

Fine’s high school number are just as impressive as his current numbers at UNT. Growing up in a small town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fine posted insane numbers. Throughout his high school career, Fine threw for 13,081 yards and 166 touchdowns. Both totals ranked eighth and tied for fifth, respectively, nationally when he graduated.

Fine’s Challenges

Despite Fine’s impressive high school stats he was not highly recruited, and was only rated a two-star prospect by 247 Sports. A few Power 5 schools showed some interest, but never extended a scholarship offer to Fine due to the size of his high school (Locust Grove only has 455 students) and his physical size. Today, the average height of FBS quarterbacks is just shy of 6’3, and Fine is listed a 5’11 and 180 pounds. However, lack of height does not seem to limit Fine’s abilities. Fine’s lack of size may cause him to flunk the “eye test,” but it has no affect on his in-game awareness and ability to read plays as they develop. Fine won the starting job as a Freshman, after his first game at UNT, and has started every game since.

Outside of Football

Many college football fans may not know, but Fine has Native American blood on both sides of his family, and he is a quarter Cherokee himself. Last season, Fine told the Tulsa World, “My heritage means a lot to me because there are not a lot of Indians around anymore.” Fine even wore a shirt with UNT written in Cherokee under his pads throughout the 2017 season. After football Fine hopes to continue to serve as an ambassador for Native Americans.

“I’ve done more than I thought I would with the platform that I have,” Fine said. “I’ve been able to educate people in this platform. I want people to know more about our culture, where I come from and my heritage. It was a platform that I thought I would never have but since I’ve been down here, I’ve had an opportunity to do that and I’ve been proud of that. I’ve been able to spread, inform and educate. That’s what I want to go into after college — the political field and running for chief one day or studying indigenous law. It’s important.”

Game Time

The Liberty Flames will host the North Texas Mean Green at Williams Stadium this Saturday, marking the first time the two schools will face each other. Both teams sport prolific passing offenses (UNT leads the nation with 457.5 yards per game) and fans should expect a high scoring game. Kickoff is at 6:06 pm, and can be seen on ESPN3 (LFSN TV Production).