BYU sophomore Masen Wake entered the 2020 season as largely an unknown, as he tallied just three carries for six yards as a freshman.
This year, though, he’s getting all sorts of attention, and not just in the Beehive State, but nationally, too.
That’s because the 6-foot-1, 250-pounder has made a habit out of hurdling and trucking defenders in an effort to get extra yardage for himself or for a teammate as a blocker. It started in the second quarter of the season opener against Navy as he hurdled safety Evan Fochtman, and now it’s almost become surprising when he doesn’t try to leap over his defender when he gets the ball.
Masen Wake leaving bodies and hurdling midshipmen. He’s 250 guys.— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 8, 2020
Nice play action arrow route for Wake. Makes one miss and then gets yac pic.twitter.com/hUp8VsQoiF
Wake’s hurdles have shades of former Cougar greats such as Taysom Hill and Chad Lewis, and Lewis has been among those who have taken note of the Lone Peak High School grad.
Masen Wake getting better with every hurdle!! Hit it bro!! pic.twitter.com/ZcBs8dCciY— Chad Lewis (@Chadlewis89) October 3, 2020
Perhaps less noticed than the hurdles are the times when Wake has trucked defenders as a blocker, but he’s done that plenty, too.
Masen Wake lead block on the Tyler Algeier TD run pic.twitter.com/9b3cmsfDER— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) October 3, 2020
Last week on a podcast with Justin Ayers, Wake was asked about the hurdle Lewis noticed, a play which also saw Wake truck and bounce off multiple defenders for a big gain against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 2.
“Yeah, so just growing up, I’ve always been kind of a big kid, so all of the little (defensive backs) once I get to that second and third level, they usually just shoot down at my legs because they don’t want to hit me high because I guess I’d run them over,” Wake said.
“They got smart with that so I had to counter and I just jump over them, and usually they go pretty low so I don’t have to jump very high so I can keep running, but that’s just always been a part of my game, just trying to be untackleable and just make plays.”
On this week’s #JustinAyersPodcast-— Justin Ayers (@Ayers4President) October 9, 2020
I was joined by @BYUfootball fullback @masenwake22 to talk about his hurdle that went viral. This man has hops! It was an excellent conversation and I hope you’ll check it out! #BYU
Link—> https://t.co/oVybxHpH73 pic.twitter.com/xkWYyrLo2o
Most recently, in BYU’s 43-26 win over Houston on Friday, Wake hurdled a defender in the third quarter on a 19-yard reception from quarterback Zach Wilson, after which ESPN play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti said, “He’s well known for it and he goes high once more,” and then told of how the hurdle has long been in Wake’s repertoire.
After Wake’s hurdle last weekend against UTSA, Twitter personality PFTCommenter (Eric Sollenberger), who has 780,564 followers, posted the video with the comment, “Not sure how i feel about fullbacks hurdling tacklers instead of (maintaining) padlevel and stomping (them) into the center of the earth,” to which Wake replied, “I’m sorry i disappointed you.”
Wake appears to be having fun becoming somewhat of an icon, however, as he’s retweeted a bunch of tweets that sing his praises.
How do you want to be remembered? pic.twitter.com/daCIZVkaY9— Masen Wake (@masenwake22) October 11, 2020
Defenders, though, are surely not feeling the same way.