With UGA’s Zach Mettenberger dismissed, Lassiter High’s Hutson Mason projects to be No. 3 QB as freshman

[RELATED: UGA lands commitment No. 6 for 2011 football recruiting class: click here]

Lassiter High’s Hutson Mason projects to be UGA’s third-string quarterback before taking his first step on college campus.

Mason, who shattered many of Georgia’s high school passing records this past season, will be only UGA’s third quarterback on scholarship when he reports to the team in June.

Zach Mettenberger was dismissed by UGA coach Mark Richt on Sunday, leaving behind Aaron Murray and Logan Gray at the position. Also, cornerback Branden Smith took direct snaps at QB during spring practice.

Hutson Mason: Cobb County legend two snaps away from SEC play (AJC photo)

Hutson Mason: Cobb County legend two snaps away from SEC play (AJC photo)

“Zach is a really good friend of mine,” Mason told the AJC. “It’s a sad thing. I don’t really want to comment on anything else. He’s a good friend, and every time I went to Athens, I stayed with him. Zach will get an opportunity to play again (somewhere else). He’s a good quarterback.”

The 6-foot-3, 192-pound Mason was Georgia’s lone QB recruit this past February. However, he will be one of four quarterbacks expected to join the Bulldogs this summer, with the other three being walk-on (non-scholarship) quarterbacks.

“It’s definitely a door that is open for me,” Mason said. “It’s another door open for Aaron and for Logan. It’s an unfortunate thing. But at the same time, it’s a job now and we all three have to look out for ourselves. … I’m just going to have a lot more motivation every time I work out and when I’m learning the playbook. I’m absolutely excited to get to Athens and to see where everything will lead me.”

When Mason signed with Georgia, he expected to be red-shirted during his first year. However, Mason confirmed to the AJC on Sunday that Richt nor the other coaches have yet to indicate his role for next season — even before Sunday’s shocker.

“With the whole Mettenberger situation now, it probably depends on how the other guys do, and how I come in and do during the summer,” Mason said. “That’s why I am ready to learn as much as I can now so I am as prepared as possible. I’m not going to be able to know the whole playbook, but I think I will responsible for knowing the formations and the protections, and thing like that …

“I was guessing I’d be redshirted, most likely, if both Zach and Aaron stayed. However, if one of them had lost the job, and the other transferred, I might not have been redshirted. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I was just worried about things I could control, and let the coaches make their decisions.”

Predictions for UGA's No. 3 QB spot for next year

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Mason was the AJC’s Class AAAAA Player of the Year in 2009, setting state single-season records for passing yards (4,560) and touchdown passes (54) at the Cobb County school. He seemed a little overwhelmed on Sunday with the possibility of being Georgia’s third-string QB within two months.

“It’s the game of the football. I’ve got to be ready, no matter what, for next year. If I am the third-string guy, then I am two plays away from being in. I’ve got to be ready at all times no matter where I am on the depth chart.”

Mason said he hadn’t talked to Mettenberger or any UGA coaches on Sunday evening.

“No, I haven’t talked with Zach. I wasn’t going to call him. I know he’s going through a hard time right now. It’s really none of my business. If I come across him or see him (when the time is appropriate), I’ll definitely wish him the best. But I’m not going to call him or anything.”

Click here for Tim Tucker’s breaking news and UPDATES on Zach Mettenberger’s dismissal from UGA

39 comments Add your comment

jp dawg

April 18th, 2010
8:07 pm

jp dawg

April 18th, 2010
8:10 pm

I feel like an idiot for doing that. But now we have to get at least two qb’s in the next class. Logan will be gone after next season leaving only 2 qb’s. I’m thinking we should get at least Christian Lemay and hopefully either Marshall or Uzomah.

Lemay will redshirt for a year but he’ll still have a great opportunity to play early especially if Murray turns pro after his redshirt sophmore or junior year

Sugar Hill Dawg

April 18th, 2010
8:12 pm

Stafford played his first year on campus – you never know!

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 18th, 2010
8:41 pm

I am so glad the ACC is bad at football and the kids are too smart to get in trouble. There has been more excitement in the SEC off season than during the Football season. WOW how could this kid mess his life up so bad so quickly? I hope he finds a school to take him.

Michael Carvell

April 18th, 2010
8:56 pm

I haven’t talked to anybody @ UGA, but my gut instinct tells me that Richt will find a JC quarterback from out West with two years of eligibility. It will be a QB who can also play another position, such as WR, TE or special teams, and also be a solid No. 2-3 QB. Or it could be a minor-league baseball player ready to return to football. I just can’t see Richt not protecting himself at QB. I’m a huge fan of Aaron Murray, but I can’t see AM making it through an entire SEC season without being injured or banged up a little. Aaron is very aggressive with his scrambling, always trying to make something happen. If Richt was willing to risk a scholarship on an obscure kicker last year to handle only kickoffs, you have to think he would protect himself at his team’s most important position. Anyone have any candidates in mind?

mike

April 18th, 2010
9:31 pm

Love Hutson Mason. He scores(55 td’s), is accurate (72%), and protects the football (5 to 1 td to int ratio). Big size too. He’ll be the starter soon, Murray has been an interception machine this Spring, and both Gray and Murray didn’t throw the long ball with accuracy on G-Day.

mike

April 18th, 2010
9:33 pm

I agree Murray is injury prone, Murray has had an injury the last two years in a row.

Home boy

April 18th, 2010
9:40 pm

does anybody know what mett did that warrants a dismissal? drinking. fighting , disturbing the peace does not justify being dismissed. did he rape someone? i am confused and disgusted. i am rapidly losing interest in this team it reminds me of the janet years. whats up coach. you don’t fire your best qb for petty reasons. enlighten us

UGA Fan

April 18th, 2010
9:46 pm

Mike Rozier jr., maybe? Played in Boston’s minor leagues for a few years

Gillislee

April 18th, 2010
10:00 pm

Which Dawg alumni paid to get Mason on Parades All American team?

Hutson Mason :

ESPN150 – Nope
Rivals 250 – Nope
Scout – 54th ranked QB in the country

SCAR Fan

April 18th, 2010
10:09 pm

I am a SC grad and fan but if I were a UGA fan, the thing that would worry me most from this article is Mason saying “I am good friends with Zach” and “every time I went to Athens I stayed with him”. People of sketchy character usually associate with other people of sketchy character…

lakerga

April 18th, 2010
10:23 pm

scar fan you are so far off on your comment Hutson is about AS GOOD A PERSON AS YOU COULD EVER WANT IN A FOOTBALL PROGRAM. He is a humble hard working kid who has never been in trouble a day in his life. he teaches bible study, is involved in atheletes in action and is a very very christian young man. I am proud to say i know him and its dumb a** comments like yours that give boards like this a bad name. So get your facts strait or keep your comments to yourself.

Rob Dawg

April 18th, 2010
10:38 pm

Lakerga – what possible connection do teaching bible study and being “very very christian” (not just “very christian” which I guess isn’t good enough) have with playing QB? This is about football, not religion.

Stuck in SC

April 18th, 2010
10:48 pm

Hey SCAR Fan…..You should know about sketchy character with your QB Garcia. You should worry about your own team. He should have been kick off the team 2 years ago. And from what I hear you need to keep him away from 5 points or yall may have a “True Freshman” QB starting by the nane of Connor Shaw!

lakerga

April 18th, 2010
11:07 pm

his football was not challenged but an assumption was made about him as a person. and sorry about the spelling. Maybe he should say nothing to the press and then nothing can be assumed.

Hawk n the Ham

April 18th, 2010
11:15 pm

I bet Jason Heyward can play QB too! :)

RedandBlack

April 18th, 2010
11:24 pm

With what I saw during the G-Day game last week and Mettenberger now gone, then I would say that Mason will be pressing both Murray and Gray by the end of the season. I saw no arm strength from Murray that impressed me at all. His decision making was worse than his throwing ability. I believe that Logan Gray will be starting the season and Hutson Mason could be a close second in talent and ability come September. However, for some reason I think that Richt and Bobo are going to play Murray due to some prearranged agreement. Something really just does not seem right about the talent evaluation at QB in Athens.

I am still floored that the unfortunate incidents down in South Georgia would lead to this now for Mettenberger. No drugs, No property damaged or stolen, no other people injured, and now no second or third chances. Totally inconsistent behavior. Mettenberger just clearly outplayed every other QB one week ago at G-Day and now he is gone.

Well, Mason has the opportunity now to make an immediate impact once he gets to Athens. I really believe that he will and we will all be impressed. Good fortune to him and the Georgia Bulldogs!! Woof, Baby, Woof!! Go Dogs!!!

CONFEDERATE DAWG

April 18th, 2010
11:35 pm

WE NEED MORE QUINCY CARTER!!!!!!!

jp dawg

April 18th, 2010
11:36 pm

the problem has been that the state of Georgia really hasn’t had a major D1 qb in quite a while. Mett has been the best QB out of this state in years, possibly since David Greene or DJ Shockley. Georgia produces alot of talent at many positions but QB and WR have not been 2 of them. Hopefully we can straighten that out in the future.

SWAMP DADDY

April 19th, 2010
12:29 am

MIKE YOUR AN IDIOT, HATE TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE, BUT MASON WILL NEVER START AT UGA UNLESS MURRAY GETS HURTS. PERIOD. HE IS A QB WITH NO ARM AND COMPLETED ABOUT 85 PERCENT OF HIS PASSES WITHIN A 3-7 YARD RANGE. I HAVE SEEN HIM PLAY IN 2 GAMES LAST YEAR AND ANYONE THAT HAS SEEN HIM KNOWS HE HAS NO ARM AT ALL. HE PLAYED IN A DINK AND DUNK OFFENSE AND THREW ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF THE TIME. UGA DOES NOT RUN A WEST COAST TYPE OF OFFENSE AND ANY TOP QB UGA LANDS THIS YEAR WILL BYPASS HIM ALSO. SAY HELLO TO ANOTHER JOE COX, JUST WATCH AND SEE, HE WILL NEVER DO CRAP AT UGA! ENJOY THE BENCH AT UGA MASON, YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF PINE TO WARMUP!!

I HOPE UGA DOES PLAY HIM AND MY GATORS WILL CLEAN HIS CLOCK LIKE WE HAVE DONE TO YOU GUYS 17 OF THE LAST 20 TIMES! YOU WANT TO SEE A REAL QB, CHECKOUT BRANTLEY WHEN HE RUNS AND THROWS ALL OVER YOU GUYS YET AGAIN. STICK TO BEATING GT FROM THAT CRAPPY ACC CONFERENCE, THATS ALL YOU GUYS ARE GOOD FOR. LEAVE BCS GAMES TO BAMA AND US!!!! SPURRIER OWNED YOU AND NOW MEYER IS YOUR DADDY AS WELL!

GO GATORS!!!

Mettenberger

April 19th, 2010
1:33 am

Hope, I get with a team that I can come back to Athens and beat you dawgs. If not, you guys can look at me being drafted in the first round in a few years. Because I was the best there.

ReptilesRule

April 19th, 2010
1:38 am

Is Nick Stephens still available? They called him “pic-nick” at UT. Now THAT’S funny!

ReptilesRule

April 19th, 2010
1:42 am

BTW Swamp Daddy, love the enthusiasm but please tone it down. We’re one twisted knee from being in the same boat as these guys and we don’t need any bad karma.

Jen

April 19th, 2010
5:00 am

Murray>Brantley

Dawg fans CHILL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron Murray is a great QB, a team leader and a winner from a big time program….Mett had a great arm but lacked leadership and maturity.

Hutson Mason will always be a back up……what was he, a half star recruit?….maybe he can mature and learn better skill set……..but doubt it.

astrouga

April 19th, 2010
7:44 am

Mett was looking like the go to guy recently. I would like to know more details regarding his dismissal, but ultimately Richt is making the right decision. What good are team rules if there are no consequences when you break them? Perhaps this will send a message to the rest of the knuckleheads on our team.

Regarding Mason, well he has impressive numbers. Do they translate? Who knows at this point? It is great that he sees the opportunity ahead of him and realizes that he has to be ready to play day one. I would love to see this guy go out, work hard on the play book and get some playing time early. We need a young QB that will be around a few years.

I agree that Murray seems injury prone. It would be interesting to see how much playing time he missed in high school because of injuries before making too many assumptions. He is the now the clear favorite from the fans perspective.

You have to feel a little sorry for Logan Gray. He has potential, but really has not been able to win the fans over. He hasn’t had a really solid performance lately either.

Who is going to start? Who cares? Last year, Cox threw some bad passes and he really was only judged by his INTs (fans forget the rest of his numbers). Richt can’t afford to have a QB tossing up freebies to the defense this year. Murray or Gray could start, but if either throws a 3-INT game in an early performance, we all might see Mason sooner than we think.

Wondering?

April 19th, 2010
7:53 am

I wonder how Richt kicking Mettenberger off the team 2 months after his offense and after telling him he had one punishment coming then changing his mind will effect recruiting. It seems as though Richt is a bit wishy washy and does not stand by his word. If not Richt needs to give a thorough answer as to why he let Mettenberger go all the way through spring practice thinking only a one game suspension was due then kicking him off the team!

steve

April 19th, 2010
7:54 am

Richt WIMPED out, did this just to make it an easier decision to give the job to murray. I hope the kid signs with Spurrier or Saban and comes back into Stanford Stadium and KICKS our a___ ! That would be some justice for him.

Dawg Fan

April 19th, 2010
7:56 am

Richt needed to kick Mettenberger off the team right a way after his arrest rather than waiting until now, allowing the young man to participate in spring practice and the G-Day game. If Mettenberger broke team rules since then Richt needs to be honest and say so. If not Richt will lose a lot of respect for not being man enough to do what was right in the first place.

Charlie Bama

April 19th, 2010
8:16 am

CMR needed to toughen up on players behavior, no doubt. Being tough on the front end (BEFORE they get caught) seems to be better a better approach for all (including the fans). Eighteen-to-twenty-one-year-olds are not known for thoughtfully contemplating the consequences of their actions, so a healthy dose of pre-goof-off time inoculation of fear can help reduce these tough after-the-fact (after the act?) decisions. This had to be a VERY tough decision for CMR. Mason needs to bulk-up, fast! –which i presume the conditioning coach will work on from day one. Good luck Dawgs. CMR, thanks for toughen up–It will be better in the long run.

SCAR Fan

April 19th, 2010
8:52 am

Hey lakerga, I hope you are right about Mason. I never said he WAS a bad guy, I said I would be worried that he was hanging out with a bad guy. As a Christian myself, I hope he is as you say.

Stuck in SC, I agree about Garcia that he should be gone. I welcome Connor Shaw to the starting job at some point soon!

CONFEDERATE DAWG

April 19th, 2010
9:05 am

WONDERING AND DAWG FAN, THE ONE GAME SUS. WAS JUST FOR IT BEING ALCOHOL RELATED. HE SAID IT WILL BE ATLEAST ONE GAME AND COULD BE MORE WHEN ALL THE DETAILS COME OUT. HE WASNT BEING WISHY WASHY. SOMETHING MORE HAPPEND AND JUST CAME OUT FOR CERTAIN.

G- DAWG

April 19th, 2010
9:13 am

If Mett was playing for the GAYTURDS he would only be suspended for a game and half. Mett must have done something pretty bad considering Robinson got arrested 3 times before being kick-off the team.

PSJDawg

April 19th, 2010
9:24 am

I really hate that Mett is gone. He got in trouble a couple months back for 5 charges that wouldn’t necessarily warrant dismissal. Something else must have come out related to this incident, i.e. substances in system, which maybe combined with the failure of an internal screening could have led to something like this. I really hate speculating but the timing of the dismissal just makes you wonder. Its sad – that much talent – and at UGA – gone!! I love Murray and I hope the throwing glove works out for him (I don’t have any confidence in this Mason kid yet) but I’m all of a sudden very uncomfortable.

UGA72

April 19th, 2010
9:28 am

The crackerjack reporters at the AJC and ABH will dig up the story behind the story. I believe there is more to Mett’s dismissal than the original charges that were publicized. CMR is not the kind of man to leave a kid dangling in public humility, and then throw him under the bus for no good reason.

uga205

April 19th, 2010
9:41 am

Mettenberger is being investigated for sexual assault. The incident happened the same night he was arrested in Remerton last month. He allegedly stuck his hand up a girls skirt in the bar, which led to the police being called to the bar. I heard this from a reliable source.

JDawg

April 19th, 2010
10:09 am

I am thinknig along the lines as PSJDawg. The kid must have either done something else inappropriately or failed a drug test. I would bet money there was some agreement between the kid and Richt that if Mett failed a test, etc., then he would be dismissed. I am certain Richt would not dismiss Mett for the isolated incident in S. GA. Mett must have added more to his list of infractions…

Delbert D.

April 19th, 2010
11:19 am

Whether or not Mason can adapt well to a very different offense is one issue, but hopefully he can wear the redshirt as the #3 QB so at least he gets a chance to stack up behind Murray and have a shot at starting in the 5th year.

Jim

April 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

Hutson Mason is good but they should have went after Cameron Newton when they had a chance. He’s now at Auburn. Too bad.

randomguy

April 19th, 2010
10:19 pm

Lets get one thing straight.. having seen both of them play i would rather have Hutson Mason then Connor Shaw