When you start to knock down state records like so many plastic ducks in a carnival booth and you’re doing it in the playoffs it tends to bring you a little attention.
Such is the case with Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason, who had at least one ACC coach and one SEC coach in the stands last week when he passed for 530 yards and eight touchdowns in a 70-49 second-round win over South Gwinnett this past Friday.
The following night, Mason got a call from Bob Price, longtime recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Virginia and an eye witness to the record-setting feat.
“When I picked up the phone he just started laugh,” Mason said Monday, laughing himself at the recollection. “He said, ‘really, man, 550 yards? Really?’ He said, ‘I’ve never seen such a thing in high school.’ He goes, ‘there’s absolutely no doubt you can play for us. That’s 100 percent.’”
Such words are music to Mason’s ears. As I’ve noted in this space a couple of times, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Mason has been a mass producer on the field for the last two seasons but, oddly, really hadn’t attracted much recruiting interest from the BCS set. He even was invited by Rivals.com along with seven other “under-the-radar” quarterbacks to do a football-based reality show called “The Ride” in which they compete for the right to get noticed with a spot on the U.S. Army High School All-America team. Of course, he got voted off that show (taped this past summer) last week.
No, thanks to his performance on the field of play this year, Mason is finally generating the type of interest he and his family always thought he would. A state record 4,244 yards and 54 touchdowns will do that for you.
Kentucky’s Joker Phillips, notorious for plucking talent from Georgia, was at this past Friday’s game. Florida State is calling and writing almost daily. And Mississippi State, which has new coach Dan Mullen installing the Florida spread in Starkville, could come forth with a scholarship offer as early as this week.
“I talked to Coach [Chip] Lindsey today about Mississippi State and he told me don’t be surprised if they come through by Friday with an offer,” Mason revealed. “You never know until it’s final but that was good to hear. That’s exciting because the spread he’s bringing in lights my eyes up when I watch them play because I know that would be a great fit for me. . . . I think things could start moving really quickly here in the next week.”
Even some locals football heroes have gotten involved.
“I exchanged emails last week with Buck Belue and he was real nice,” Mason said of former Georgia quarterback and 680 The Fan personality. “He told me he had heard a lot about me and that he was jumping on the Hutson Mason bandwagon. He said he heard that Mississippi State was recruiting me and that he knew John Bond and that he’d mentioned me to him and asked them what in the world they were waiting on.”
At one point, Mason intimated that he might pounce on the first Deep South BCS offer he got. Now it appears he may have some choices. And some decisions to make.
“If they all start coming in and I have a couple of ACC and SEC schools to choose from, I would definitely have to take my visits,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m not going to forget about the UABs and the Central Michigans and the teams that have been around a long time. What it comes down to is who wants you the most and where you feel the most comfortable. Right now the teams that absolutely want me the most are the UABs and Central Michigans. They’ve been around since August and that means a lot to me.”
Whatever the case, Mason is not going to give recruiting his full attention until this season’s remarkable run ends and that may not be any time soon. The Trojans (12-0) have a huge quarterfinal game this Friday that matches them against Colquitt County and head coach Rush Propst, for whom Lindsey was offensive coordinator during their famous run at Hoover High. The speculation is that if anybody can scheme against Lassiter’s spread it’s Propst, who masterminded it in Alabama.
Mason remains confident.
“I’m not concerned,” he said. “A lot of people say that but we’re putting in a lot of new schemes and things for them this week. A lot of people say he’s the man that created this but I think we’ll be fine. I really do.”
Not many folks are doubting Hutson Mason anymore.