Mason Fine
refer to caption
Fine at 2018 C-USA Football Kickoff
No. 8 – Saskatchewan Roughriders
Personal information
Born: (1997-04-19) April 19, 1997 (age 26)
Peggs, Oklahoma
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Locust Grove High School (Locust Grove, OK)
College:North Texas
Career history
Roster status:Active
CFL status:American
Career highlights and awards
  • CUSA Offensive Player of the Year (2017, 2018)
  • 2× First-team All-CUSA (2017, 2018)
  • Second-team All-CUSA (2019)
  • All-CUSA Freshman team (2016)
  • 2× Oklahoma Gatorade HS Player of the Year (2014, 2015)
Career CFL statistics
Passing completions:72
Passing attempts:111
Passing yards:754
Player stats at

Mason Fine (born April 19, 1997) is an American football quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at North Texas.

Early years

Fine, who is one-quarter Cherokee,[1] grew up in Peggs, Oklahoma. He has Cherokee lineage on both sides of his family and is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.[2] According to a 2020 story by Yahoo Sports journalist Jeff Eisenberg, Fine's development as a quarterback began in the summer before his sixth-grade year, during which he attended a quarterback camp at the University of Oklahoma. The young Fine paid special attention to former Oklahoma star quarterback and then-current Sooners assistant Josh Heupel, observing Heupel's throwing motion and paying attention to the advice he offered. During each day's drive home from the camp, he wrote down what he had learned. After the camp, Fine and his father Dale typed up the notes, and he went so far as to place a printed copy next to his bed.[3]

Fine was initially trained by his father, who had never played football at any level. Each day, the two would teach one another proper throwing motion via the notes they took at the aforementioned camp. In Eisenberg's story, Dale recalled, "It was hours and days and months and years of repetition. The motto we went by was that it wasn’t just practice that made perfect. It was perfect practice that made perfect." By the time Mason finished his eighth-grade year, they no longer worked on his mechanics. The following summer, he attended a quarterback camp at which an instructor praised his throwing motion and asked about his quarterbacks coach. Eisenberg noted, "The instructor couldn’t believe it was his dad, let alone that Dale Fine had no previous football experience."[3]

High school

Since his hometown of fewer than 1,000 operated only a K–8 school, Fine had a choice between several nearby high schools, and enrolled at Locust Grove High School in Locust Grove in 2012. The Pirates had just hired a new head coach Matt Hennesy after winning only two games in the previous three seasons. Eisenberg noted that the new coach had to make a decision regarding his new talent—while Fine was the team's best passer, "Hennesy feared putting a 5-foot-9, 135-pound freshman behind a patchwork offensive line." Hennesy decided to start Fine as a wide receiver, but designed a series of trick plays to utilize Fine's throwing ability; Fine threw for more than 600 yards as a freshman despite not playing quarterback.[3] He went on to start at quarterback in his remaining three high school seasons, setting the all-time Oklahoma high school record for passing yards and touchdowns and becoming the first player to ever win the state's Gatorade Player of the Year award twice.[4]


Despite his gaudy high school statistics, Fine finished his senior season without a single scholarship offer, largely due to his lack of size. During a summer camp before his senior season, an assistant for Arkansas State pulled him aside, praising his arm strength and ability to escape a collapsing pocket. However, he then told Fine that his small size made it unlikely that he would ever play at a Division I FBS school, instead offering to recommend him to Division I FCS or Division II schools. Fine would tell Eisenberg, "I was polite and told him that I appreciated it, but inside I was fuming." This coach was not alone in his sentiment; Fine went without an offer even after sending out numerous highlight tapes and attending camps at four other FBS schools. Rice showed strong interest after Fine's junior season, but went with a considerably taller prospect; Oklahoma State recruited him only as a walk-on, and did not make him an offer even after its main quarterback target rescinded a verbal commitment to the school; and when Hennesy called Kansas State's Bill Snyder about Fine, Snyder responded that he didn't recruit quarterbacks under 6 feet tall.[3]

Fine caught a break when North Texas hired Seth Littrell as head coach shortly after the end of the 2015 season. Littrell, a former Oklahoma player who grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was a close friend of Hennesy who operated an Air Raid offense similar to the one that Fine quarterbacked at Locust Grove. Shortly after his hiring, Littrell called Hennesy to ask about available quarterbacks; while North Texas had an incoming graduate transfer from Alabama for the 2016 season, Littrell sought a future prospect. Littrell and his staff were sold on Fine's ability; he would tell Eisenberg,[3]

There were local kids with Power Five offers who were calling us because they wanted to play in our system, but he was better than them. To be honest, we kept laughing because it wasn’t even close. If this kid was 6-2 or 6-3, he’d have been offered by everyone in the country.

Sensing that this was his best chance at an FBS offer, Fine made makeshift lifts for his shoes in order to appear taller for his North Texas visit. For his part, Littrell would say, "He could have shown up in combat boots with four-inch heels and we’d have taken him."[3] On February 3, 2016, Fine signed a National Letter of Intent with North Texas.[5]

College career

North Texas

Fine started nine games for North Texas as a true freshman in 2016, throwing for 1,572 yards and breaking the school record for longest play from scrimmage with an 80-yard touchdown run against UTSA to earn a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.[6] Over his sophomore and junior years, Fine led the Mean Green to 9 victories in each season and threw for a total of 7,845 yards and 58 touchdowns. He earned back-to-back CUSA Offensive Player of the Year awards and broke the school's career passing yards record along the way.[7] Going into Fine's senior season in 2019, he was named as the top college quarterback in Texas by Dave Campbell's Texas Football and received national media attention for the Heisman campaign started on his behalf by the UNT athletic department.[8]


Season Team GP Passing
Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int
2016 North Texas 10 155 261 59.4 1,572 6 5
2017 North Texas 14 324 511 64.0 4,052 31 15
2018 North Texas 13 303 469 64.6 3,793 27 5
2019 North Texas 11 235 380 61.8 2,820 27 7
Career[9] 48 1,017 1,621 62.7 12,237 91 32

Professional career

After going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, Fine had a tryout with the Chicago Bears on August 17, 2020.[10]

Saskatchewan Roughriders

He signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL on December 30, 2020.[11] Fine spent his first season in the CFL serving as a backup quarterback behind Cody Fajardo, who had been the Roughriders' starting quarterback since the start of the 2019 season. On October 19, 2022, it was announced that Fine would be the Riders' starting quarterback for their penultimate match of the 2022 regular season against the Calgary Stampeders.[12] In his first CFL start Fine completed 18 of 28 pass attempts for 196 yards with one touchdown.[13] The Riders were defeated, resulting in Saskatchewan missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016.[14] Fine began the 2023 season as the backup quarterback to veteran Trevor Harris. When Harris suffered a serious knee injury in Week 6 Fine was thrust in the starting role.[15][16]

CFL career statistics

Year Team Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2021 SSK 1 0 5 9 55.6 64 7.1 0 0 78.0 0 0 0 0
2022 SSK 17 2 67 102 65.7 690 6.8 3 3 82.6 9 52 5.8 0


  1. ^ Vito, Brett (June 28, 2018). "10 things to know about UNT quarterback Mason Fine". Denton Record-Chronicle. Retrieved September 11, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Riders sign former North Texas QB Fine". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Eisenberg, Jeff (April 14, 2020). "Too short? Mason Fine is just fine proving doubters wrong". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  4. ^ Hoover, John E. (December 4, 2015). "Locust Grove's Mason Fine wins second Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year Award". Tulsa World. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved September 11, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Mason Fine, Locust Grove, Pro-Style Quarterback". Retrieved August 24, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "C-USA All-Freshman Team". Conference USA. December 6, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Vito, Brett (December 5, 2018). "Fine repeats as C-USA offensive player of year". Denton Record-Chronicle. Retrieved September 11, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Yousuf, Saad (August 20, 2019). "What's in a Heisman campaign? For North Texas and Mason Fine, everything". The Athletic. Retrieved September 11, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Mason Fine Stats, News, Bio". ESPN. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  10. ^ @AlbertBreer (August 17, 2020). "Today's tryout list" (Tweet). Retrieved August 21, 2020 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Riders Sign Former North Texas QB Mason Fine". December 30, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  12. ^ McGuire, Brendan (October 19, 2022). "Saskatchewan swap: Riders bench QB Cody Fajardo for Mason Fine ahead of most important game of 2022 season". 3DownNation. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  13. ^ "2022-10-22 Game Tracker - Calgary Stampeders vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (6287)". Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  14. ^ Press, The Canadian (October 22, 2022). "Roughriders will miss playoffs for first time since 2016 with loss to Stampeders -". TSN. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  15. ^ "Saskatchewan Roughriders Trevor Harris exits game vs. Calgary Stampeders with lower-body injury". TSN. July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 19, 2023.
  16. ^ Shire, Taylor (July 18, 2023). "Roughriders provide update on Trevor Harris; move forward with Mason Fine". Retrieved July 19, 2023.