In which BracketCat counts down the 36th day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State fullback Mason Barta.
NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.
#36 Mason Barta
Redshirt Senior | 6-1 | 234 lbs. | Holton, Kansas
- Position: Fullback
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Co-Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Mason Aaron Barta (b. Dec. 16, 1997) is an in-state product whose father, Brooks, Barta, played for K-State as part of Bill Snyder’s first team. Mason originally signed his National Letter of Intent in 2016, but deferred his enrollment to that spring and redshirted in 2017.
He played in all 12 games in 2018, primarily on special teams and in short-yardage situations, and helped the offense to finish third in the Big 12 by averaging 182.6 rushing yards per game, which included a 184.2-yard average in conference games to rank second.
Barta helped to block for 178 rushing yards per game to rank fourth in the Big 12, while he was a part of helping the Wildcats to score 29 rushing touchdowns, the third most in the Big 12 Conference. He also was a second-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree in 2019.
During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Barta saw action in all 10 games, including a start at Iowa State. He hauled in one catch for 8 yards against Kansas.
Barta helped the Wildcats to lead the Big 12 and rank fourth in the nation in red-zone offense (93.9%) and he again picked up second-team Academic All-Big 12 honors.
He should again pair with running (blocking?) mate Jax Dineen in 2021 to form the most intimidating fullback duo in the Big 12 Conference, and perhaps even the entire country.
A four-year letter-winner for Holton High School under his head coach and father, Barta was rated the top outside linebacker in the state of Kansas for the class of 2016 by Scout.
Barta also was named to the USA Today Sports/American Family Insurance All-USA Kansas team as a senior.
He helped to lead the Wildcats to a trip to the Class 4A Division II state championship game in 2015. The team went 14-0 and was the Class 4A state champion in 2012. He totaled 1,718 career rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, including 1,051 yards and 15 scores as a senior.
Barta also recorded 285 career tackles, including 128 during his senior campaign, with eight tackles for loss and three interceptions in 2015.
He was selected to play in the 2016 Kansas Shrine Bowl, also played basketball and was a high school teammate of former K-State linebacker Trent Tanking.
Mason’s father, Brooks Barta, was a linebacker for the Wildcats from 1989 to 1992, earning first-team All-Big Eight Conference honors as a junior in 1991 and Academic All-American accolades as a senior in 1992. He ranks second in school history in career tackles with 436.
Mason’s grandfather, Roger, was a legendary high school coach at Smith Center High School and was the subject of The New York Times’ bestseller book, “Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen.”
Mason Barta earned his bachelor’s degree in business management in December 2019 and now is pursuing his master’s degree in data analytics. Thanks to COVID-19, he now has four more semesters remaining to complete his graduate degree, which is pretty awesome!