Jordan Mason to start at B-back for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech opens its 126th season Saturday against Alcorn State at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Jackets return 15 starters from last year's 5-6 team. Alcorn State is the four-time defending Southwestern Athletic Conference East Division champion. Tech is 88-34-4 all-time in season openers. The Jackets are 8-2 in season openers with Paul Johnson as coach. Tech opened the 2015 season against Alcorn State with a 69-6 win. The 2015 season opener marked the last time Tech scored 28 points or more (34) in a quarter.

Georgia Tech redshirt freshman Jordan Mason will start at B-back for Saturday’s season opener against Alcorn State.

Coach Paul Johnson said Tuesday that Mason would start in place of KirVonte Benson, who will be held out of the first quarter of the game for a minor infraction of team rules, pending a meeting that afternoon regarding his academics. Wednesday, Johnson affirmed that Mason will start.

Mason will be one of two or possibly three redshirt freshmen to start Saturday in their first college games. Cornerback Tre Swilling was named a starter in Tuesday's depth chart, as was offensive tackle Zach Quinney, but Quinney's spot in the starting five is not secure.

Mason, listed at 6-foot-1 and 212 pounds, has impressed teammates in the preseason. A-back Qua Searcy touted him as “a baller” and said that he thought he gained more than 200 yards in the team’s scrimmage against the scout team last Friday.

“He’s a tough runner,” quarterback TaQuon Marshall said. “He’s a big, physical dude. He’s just hard to bring down. Just every time I see him run, I’m like, dang, that dude, he’s really big.”

With Jerry Howard also returning, along with Benson, a second-team All-ACC selection last season, Johnson said that the depth at B-back is “probably the deepest it’s ever been, as far as players.”