The Sleeper: Hutson Mason goes from almost no offers to ‘dream school’

PART III IN A SERIES . . .

Lassiter's Hutson Mason went into the 2009 football season with but a single scholarship offer from Georgia Southern. He went out of it with the state passing record and a full ride to the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Lassiter's Hutson Mason went into the 2009 football season with but a single scholarship offer from Georgia Southern. He went out of it with the state passing record and a full ride to the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Asked to describe his recruitment, Hutson Mason chose the words “long” and “confusing.”

Long because his journey began late in his junior season and confusing because he had no idea what to make of it.

Coming off a junior season in which he passed for more than 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, Mason attended every camp he could sign up and pay for. Yet as he entered his senior year at Lassiter High School, he had only a single offer from I-AA Georgia Southern to show for it.

“That’s why it was so confusing because I was coming off a pretty successful year,” Mason said. ” Me and my family were just stunned the way my recruiting process was going. We thought that’d speak for itself, but it didn’t. I went to as many camps and the mini-camps as I could to try to get my face in front of as many coaches as I could.”

But rather than bow his head in frustration, Mason bowed his neck in determination and and worked even harder to get the attention of major college recruiters. By the end of the season he’d made himself pretty tough to ignore. He established five state passing records, including most yards in a single season (4,560) and most touchdown passes (56).

Even when the major college offers started coming in November there remained multitudes of skeptics. As ever, Mason merely used them as motivation.

“I have a comment that someone put on Volquest.com that my dad showed me,” Mason said. “It said: ‘Hutson Mason will never play a down in the SEC. He’ll never do anything. He’s garbage.’ I printed it out and put it in my locker and highlighted it and it’s still in my locker right now. So every day I open up my locker I see it before I work out. You just use all that stuff for motivation. Sometimes you just want to take some action and prove somebody wrong.”

For Mason the hard work continues. He’s training under former Falcons quarterback Dave Archer on fundamentals and film study and he has taken up boxing as a way to achieve full-body fitness and strength. Between that, weight work and daily protein shakes Mason has put on about six pounds since the end of the season and is up to 199 pounds.

“I’m a firm believer in things happen for a reason,” Mason said. “Whatever you want to say about it I didn’t have the offers. But there’s a reason I wasn’t committed back in September or August. There’s a reason I wasn’t committed back in the summer. There’s a reason I’m going to Georgia now.. I believe it worked out the way it was planned to work out.”

THE SLEEPER

Definition: A prospect not included on national recruiting lists who earns a shot at the big-time through dedication, hard work and on-field production.

The example: Hutson Mason, QB, 6-foot-3, 196 pounds, Lassiter High School, Marietta. AJC No. 33-ranked player.

Fun fact: Mason’s quest to get in front of as many coaches as possible led him to sign up for every possible camp he could get into. That led him to a camp called “Football University” in Stockbridge last summer where he ended up being selected to participate in a television documentary series called “The Ride.” The concept was eight “under-the-radar” quarterbacks were to work with top NFL quarterback coaches and compete for a spot in the U.S. Army All-America Game. Mason did not make it to the final four in that competition but so far has landed the biggest “ride,” a scholarship to Georgia.

Recruiting situation: Rock solid. Received offers from Virginia, Kentucky, Florida State, Clemson, Mississippi State and Georgia two weeks before Christmas. Committed to the Bulldogs on Dec. 22 and has not looked back.

Status: Firmly committed.

AJC Top 50 | Georgia commitments | Tech commitments

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147 comments Add your comment

Frank

January 31st, 2010
5:40 pm

We Dawgs are very happy to have Hutson on board. Best of luck in the future. 1st.

THWGT

class

January 31st, 2010
5:48 pm

Very nice story. With this young man’s dedication and unflinching ambition, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll surprise a lot of folks.

wag

January 31st, 2010
5:54 pm

AS A GEORGIA FAN I AM VERY HAPPY TO HAVE MASON ABOARD. MASON IS A TRUE WINNER!!!! NO MATTER HOW MANY STARS THE SCOUTING REPORTS GIVE YOU, THEY CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY YOUR HEART AND DEDICATION. PLUS, IT FEELS GOOD KNOWING YOU LOVE THE BULLDOGS. GOOD LUCK KID.

Dawg Fan

January 31st, 2010
6:04 pm

Welcome to the Bulldawg Nation

Woof

1eyedJack

January 31st, 2010
6:05 pm

Kinda reminds of David Greene. Where’s our David Pollock?

Coach Johnsons Paul

January 31st, 2010
6:05 pm

UGA Sucks and he’ll never play a down at that two-bit flea bag school. He’s not big enough and his stats were against mediocre competition.
Taylor Bennett was a better prospect.

Dawg Fan

January 31st, 2010
6:06 pm

Coach Johnsons Paul, you are a real jerk!

(((30-24)))

Chipped Tires

January 31st, 2010
6:11 pm

Is this kid gonna do a hat trick for UGA on NSD ? Will he go to Walmart and purchase some bling to show off on NSD as well ? Looks like the kid needs upper body strength too.

Chipped Tires

January 31st, 2010
6:13 pm

Like his photo lookin through the tire though…..

JGB

January 31st, 2010
6:16 pm

Mason will be unstoppable. Just watch.

fan

January 31st, 2010
6:18 pm

RomeDawg

January 31st, 2010
6:33 pm

I am glad he’s a dawg! This is the kinda kid that usually outworks everyone to be somebody. Good luck at UGA and don’t ever listen to the naysayers. Most people who talk badly of 17 and 18 year old high school kids do so out of their own insecurity and jealousy. I think we got us a player! Congrats to Tony Zenon and his Tech scholly, too. He seems to also be a really good kid.

Gamec0ck envy

January 31st, 2010
6:41 pm

Gamec0cks have won three straight over mutts in mens BB. C0cks owns overall series record 47 – 46…… Fear the SandStorm !

exNFLplayer

January 31st, 2010
6:44 pm

Joe Montana weighed 170 lbs when he reported to ND. Couldn’t break a pane of glass. He worked out fairly well.

Robert

January 31st, 2010
6:45 pm

he never received an offer from UK CHIP… I know you have some sort of sick hatred for them, but they landed two 4-star quarterbacks last season and didn’t offer another this year. Do your homework and don’t just cherry-pick. The kid even said it himself in December.

1eyedJack

January 31st, 2010
6:47 pm

The fact is he set records for yards and touchdowns at a high level high school. Richt must have seen something to warrant the scholarship.

Bo Joe the Clown

January 31st, 2010
6:47 pm

Sounds like another Joe Cox. Gaudy numbers at a big high school and another bust.

ChuyDawg

January 31st, 2010
6:53 pm

This kid will be another player who goes under the radar and will turn out to be a very good player. He sounds like he has the right attitude and the motivation. Not to mention the fact that UGA will always have good WR’s and TE’s to throw the ball to. Don’t forget about the steady flow of RB’s who RUN THIS STATE. Nothing but a bright future for this kid.

Congrats and GO DAWGS

Technophobia

January 31st, 2010
6:56 pm

It’s always good to see hard work pay off, especially for a kid.

exNFLplayer

January 31st, 2010
6:56 pm

My daughter attended Lassiter and we only live a few miles from there. Got to see this kid a time or two. He’s a player. Richt could also be padding his deck. When it washes out between Murray and Mettenberger one of them could transfer. They are both too good not to play.

Eat and Tweet

January 31st, 2010
6:59 pm

Owensjeff : @ 6:49pm here at Pizza Hut and I feel bloated. Later Dreggs

SuperB

January 31st, 2010
7:07 pm

How many other QB’s around here made the Parade All-America team? And, signing with Georgia put him over the top and proved the Dawgs are a power hitter in CFB!

james smith

January 31st, 2010
7:14 pm

Gamecock envy,
what are you blowing steam for? You guys have NEVER won a SEC championship in any meaningful. Infact, you guys are at the bottom of the SEC when it comes to anything pertinent. Go blow smoke to someone who cares. BTW, UGA is a pretty good team when you consider the talent and what Coach Fox has done with it. You guys would have lost provided UGA learns how to shoot foul shots and a few open threes made. You guys do not deserve to be a part of this league WITH the exception of your great fan base.

GreggJ

January 31st, 2010
7:18 pm

this kid wants to be a DAWG! Welcome aboard and glad to have you as a DAWG

Gamec0ck envy

January 31st, 2010
7:19 pm

james…. like I said….. fear the SandStorm you cellar dwellers of the SEC east !

AlwaysAVol

January 31st, 2010
7:19 pm

Hutson, as a die hard Tennessee fan, I offer apologies from the Vol Nation for some of our uncouth members. Best of luck to you young man, wherever you play, may you always be successful.

1970 Dawg

January 31st, 2010
7:21 pm

Hutson, Stay the course my friend. One of my favorite motivational
statements says ” What the mind can conceive and believe, it can
achieve.” Don’t be discouraged by some cowardly blogger who makes
completely ignorant assessments of your abilities. And BTW, thanks
for being a dedicated UGA Dawg and best of luck to you.

harold

January 31st, 2010
7:26 pm

LOL. He’s asleep alright! That is why Georgia is in digression

Chuck Doodle

January 31st, 2010
7:30 pm

LOL . So the guy is a sleeper huh? should fit in immediately with boo boo’s offense.

Preston

January 31st, 2010
7:35 pm

Dawg Fan, can’t you tell coach johnson’s paul is a dawg fan trying to motivate Mason to destroy tech when given the opportunity? He printed that and placed it in his locker under his other motivational quote.

Dan

January 31st, 2010
7:44 pm

Good luck to the kid. I’m glad he’ll get a chance.

Does the fact that UGA waited so long reflect the fact that he either wasn’t any good or that they didn’t really want him like the kid Tech got this weekend or is it just two different sets of rules?

collegeballfan

January 31st, 2010
7:53 pm

Glad to see him signing with UGA. UGA has been real successful with low rated players over the years. This guy will probably be one more.

But remember guys, he is still just a high scgool player. Depends on his development.

R.A.

January 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

Can’t say he was over rated because he wasn’t.. But I don’t think he will even play at UGA..I believe HIS STATS WERE PADDED. This kid should have went to a lesser program if he wanted to play.. Hard work just ended his football career..This is a prime example of not finding the right fit for you, but going with a big name school. I saw this kid several times and one the speed of the sec will eat him alive, second unless he was playing for the florida gators he has to learn to play under the center, third he did not throw down field that many times at all. I ve seen several times where he just couldnt make the throw or didnt make the read to get the ball down field but was contempt with the short passes. I ‘ve watched 20 passes in a row all under 10 yards and most under 5. 85-90 percent of his high school plays were out of shot gun, while 95 percent of them were passes. I will break records too if I passed 60 times. I honestly think this kid is a better basketball player then football player having watching him do both. But I hope he proves me wron in my evaluation of him, because he is a great kid. I think a texas tech like offense would have been a great fit like the one in East Carolina, which he also received in offer from, would have been perfect for him. This is a great feel good story that probably will end here because UGA will bring top QB’s in year after year and you will not here about this kid again. It’s a reason why he wasn’t ranked and had the big time offers just remember that and it wasn’t because of not being seen. Last year he had one of the top tight ends in the country on his team so he was getting the looks

Recruitment Ron

January 31st, 2010
8:01 pm

This kid is a good player but will have a tough time playing at UGA, my question is how in the heck did he make the Parade All American Team? There are at least 15 better QBs then him in this class and that is being generous. Was he in the ESPN150? Nope. Rivals100? Nope. Rivals250? Nope. He is the #53 QB prospect on Scout recruiting too.

Clipboard

January 31st, 2010
8:05 pm

“Mason will be unstoppable. Just watch”

Yeah, he will be unstoppable sending the plays into Murray or Mettenberger for 3 years.

Big Dawg Bite

January 31st, 2010
8:09 pm

It is very hard to evaluate a quarterback coming out of high school because the numbers these quarterbacks put up are inflated (ex: Joe Cox). UGA recruitment of Mason is similar to Terry Hoage. Unheralded athlete who did not get notice until late in the recruiting process. From what I saw of this kid, Mason is going to take the quarterback position at UGA towards the end of his freshman year. He has the size, the arm strength, and speed to be a very productive quarterback in the SEC.

browndog

January 31st, 2010
8:09 pm

Best of luck to Hutson! Sounds like he has HIS priorities straight.I would wager that he will play and do a good job when he gets his opportunity.

Kirk Mason

January 31st, 2010
8:11 pm

Coach Johnson’s Paul it looks like your comments are the next to go up in my son’s locker over the next 4-5 years! I cant wait for him to get to Athens this summer and get ready to beat you for the next 4 years as the starting quarterback for THE best team in the state of GEORGIA! Man, your classless comments are the reasons Hutson never considered Georgia Tech. You are all scum for people. Hutson you are the best quarterback in the country in my eyes and you are going to do great things at UGA! Re-write the record books just like you did for the entire state of Georgia! Hutson i love you and im so proud to be your dad! 2012 Heisman Trophy! Its all up to you!!!! And as always To HELL with Georgia Tech!

1970 Dawg

January 31st, 2010
8:12 pm

Some of you guys who get on here and post as if you’re authorities on
football and make profound statements like”He’ll never play a down…”
and he didn’t deserve to be Parade All-American should also
post your real names and your credentials whicf make you so
authoritative. How much game film have you evaluated? Everybody
is an authority from their basement computer, I guess.

kerryb

January 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

This is what UGA needs. More players who work hard and want to be a Dawg. Good Luck Hutson

Andrew

January 31st, 2010
8:22 pm

Hutson, you’re a nobody, you’ll never start at UGA and you’ll never win a National Championship at the University of Georgia….. now prove me wrong!

Daddy boy

January 31st, 2010
8:22 pm

Kirk Mason for real? Daddy?LMAO.

D.Ellis

January 31st, 2010
8:24 pm

Welcome aboard Hutson! WE at DAWG nationa are thrilled to have you!

Good luck!

R.A.

January 31st, 2010
8:33 pm

@ Hey Guys, now thats news…Better watch out for vol nation they look like the good guys right now..Especially with the addition of Tyler Bray as the Vols QB for the next 4 years. A WR heaven…

Cornholio

January 31st, 2010
8:38 pm

Jay Barker got a late scholarship offer from Bama and that worked out pretty well. In my opinion the whole recruiting process has gotten way out of control, including the fans. Who are some of you to blog that this kid sux and will never amount to anything. I doubt the majority of folks on this blog achieved as much by the age of 18.

sic em

January 31st, 2010
8:38 pm

easy R.A. lest you forget that this is the same team that almost dropped a 50 spot on us last year with jon incrompotent at the helm. they are probably better off with bray. glad cwm is gone though.

Eaglefan

January 31st, 2010
8:43 pm

Looks and sounds like a good FCS QB prospect! No props for Ga Southern offering him before anyone else looked at him!

Hunker Down

January 31st, 2010
8:43 pm

I posted this elsewhere but felt compelled to place it here too. As a GA fan of 34 years, seeing one of our recruits 3 days before signing day amongst rival fans really gets to me. ROGERS IS HOLDING A GO VOLS SIGN!!!! It’s like seeing a picture of your girl with another guy. If he doesn’t want to don the red and black that’s fine. He just needs to man up and admit it.

And to be candid, if he wore that god awful puke orange, heaven forbid, that would be a major coup for Dooley. Rivals has Tennessee at #7 before Rogers and Ambles. CMR needs to wake up. Or it’s soup line for him like CWM. Go Dawgs.

Ginger

January 31st, 2010
8:48 pm

Love Hutson’s attitude and work ethic….So glad that he is going to UGA !!! Boxing sounds like great idea…..Keep working on the little things–Hutson…doing a lot of little things well will make you a great QB !

poopdawg

January 31st, 2010
8:49 pm

It’s funny how people try to pigeon hole you with the product of the system label. Just because Mason’s high school offense kept him in the shotgun formation, doesn’t mean he can’t take a snap under center. His fundamentals appear to be very sound. Yes numbers will be inflated running that offense but thats still alot of productivity, and they(Lassiter Team) had a heck of a year. Mason is a winner , congratulations on the UGA scholarship.