PART III IN A SERIES . . .
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.”
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.
Please follow me on Twitter.