Mason said he was friends with many Florida State players, including Seminoles running back Karlos Williams, receiver Kelvin Benjamin and defensive backs Terrence Brooks, Lamarcus Brutus and Lamarcus Joyner.
So Mason is looking forward to Monday's Bowl Championship Series title game, indicating that it will be as full of emotion as the annual Iron Bowl game between Auburn and Alabama.
"This is the Florida guys' Iron Bowl because we're playing our state," he said. "This is our rivalry game. This is big to us."
Back at the top
Florida State is unbeaten under fourth-year Coach Jimbo Fisher, and Brooks is proud to be a part of the Seminoles' resurgence as a member of one of college football's top defenses.
"You definitely want to get the school back to the way it was," Brooks said. "But for the most part, we just want to leave our own mark — and I think that's what we took ahold of this year. We just want to just be remembered."
Fisher, Brooks said, uses tombstones as a motivating device, specifically the hyphen that often is placed between a date of birth and date of death. The hyphen represents "your legacy" Brooks said, what you want to be remembered for.
Brooks was asked what the Florida State defense's hyphen would represent.
"Just dominate," Brooks said.