Hutson Mason might know where he is going to play college football very soon. However, he may not let us know until well into January.
Mason is scheduled to appear at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 9. But Lassiter’s record-setting quarterback will not be there to participate in the high school all-star game. He’ll be there as a guest of the sports reality show “The Ride,” of which he and seven other high school quarterbacks were cast members this past summer. The Survivor-style elimination show is still airing episodes on Comcast Sports Southeast and other cable networks.
“For the last episode they’re wanting to bring us all together at the U.S. Army Game and they’ve asked me if I’d be interested in making my decision on national television,” Mason told me this week. “So I might make a silent commitment and not make it public until then. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do it. They pay for everything so it might be something I do.”
A lot depends on the school to which Mason decides to commit. He said anything he decides to do will have to be approved by the coaches of the team for which he chooses to play. “You never know, they may want me to make it public that day for whatever reason. There are a lot of things to think about.”
Mason was one of eight “under-the-radar” quarterback prospects selected by Rivals.com personnel to attend the Football University “FBU” Top Gun camp this past summer and be taped for a reality show. Four of the players were eliminated by a panel of professional quarterback coaches after the week-long camp while the remaining four advanced to another camp. The final three quarterbacks were to be judged by how they did during their senior seasons this fall.
Mason was cut during the first elimination round. However, it appears he may have had the most successful senior season. Mason established the state record for passing yards in a single season with 4,522 and passing touchdowns with 54 and his Lassiter team went 12-1 before being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
And after going the whole season without a single offer from a BCS school, Mason has been inundated with big-time offers. Georgia, Florida State, Virginia and Mississippi State have all want Mason to sign with them on national signing day.
“It really has been overwhelming,” Mason said. “The other night, after the all the schools had offered me, I was lying there in bed thinking about everything and I actually got a headache. I think I was trying to make a decision right then. I realized then I needed to back off and take my time.”
Mason plans to make an official visit to Georgia this weekend.
The other quarterbacks that competed on “The Ride” were: C.J. Bennett of Tampa, Fla.; Cody Fajardo of Anaheim, Calif., William Fiacchi of Marcellus, N.Y., Collin Jones of Oceanside, Calif., Cole Marcoux of The Bronx, N.Y., Marcus McDade of Stockton, Calif., and Malik Stokes of Philadelphia. After McDade was eliminated in last night’s episode, Stokes, Marcoux and Bennett are the three finalists. None of them have as yet landed a major college offer.