UGA signee Hutson Mason crams for crash course in QB 101

UGA quarterback signee Hutson Mason celebrated his recent graduation from Lassiter with another cram session with the Bulldogs' playbook. (AJC photo by Jason Getz).

UGA quarterback signee Hutson Mason celebrated his recent graduation from Lassiter with another cram session with the Bulldogs' playbook. (AJC photo by Jason Getz).

Hutson Mason had a great weekend.

On Saturday, he graduated from Lassiter High School. On Sunday, he and a buddy were the honored guests at a pool party. On Sunday night, he studied his UGA playbook.

Well, there was nothing special about that last one.

The Georgia quarterback signee has been studying the Bulldogs’ playbook five days a week since national signing day. And he plans a continuous cram session until he reports to the UGA campus a week from today.

“Just like anything else, I’ve found the more I put my nose in it, the more I take time to study it, the more sense it makes to me,” said Mason, speaking from his Marietta home Sunday night. “A lot of people are asking me, ‘can you learn the playbook?’ I think I’m going to have a pretty good grasp going in about what’s going on. I’m very pleased with my progress.”

It’s a good thing, seeing how Mason will get to Athens as Georgia’s No. 3 quarterback, maybe No. 2 depending on how much Logan Gray works at wide receiver. Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray enters summer workouts as the No. 1 quarterback.

What do you think is the best scenario for Hutson Mason and the Georgia Bulldogs?

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That’s a long way from where Mason thought he’d be when he committed to the Bulldogs just before Christmas last December. Then, it was thought Mason would ease into college football and almost certainly redshirt.

Now, because of Zach Mettenberger’s dismissal and Gray’s decision to cross-train at receiver, there’s a decent possibility Mason could be asked to play in the opening game.

“It’s nuts to think about really,” who set a state passing record with 4,560 yards and 54 touchdowns as a senior at Lassiter last season. “Not a lot of freshmen have the opportunity to play at all. To think I’m one sprained ankle from maybe going in, words can’t really describe it. It’s what you dream of your whole life.”

Mason’s reaction to his mysterious depth chart ascension has been to pour himself into preparation. He has hit the weight room hard, working some with personal trainers and some on his own at the school. The slender 6-foot-3 quarterback said he has reached his target weight of 195 pounds with the hopes of adding at least 10 more pounds with the Bulldogs this summer.

And most of his nights have ended like this Sunday’s did. That is, with him sitting at the kitchen table, playbook spread out in front of him, a dry-erase board to one side.

He describes the nightly sessions:

“I’ll think of a play, like, ‘R-Flex 322 Running’ or something like that, and I’ll close the playbook and draw it up. Then I’ll open up it back up and see if I got it right. Then I’ll say, ‘OK, the tight end’s on the right side. All right, who do I declare? Who I am responsible for in this protection?’ Just stuff like that. That’s the way I’ve been doing it. Just old-fashioned studying. Sometimes I’ll call Coach [Mike] Bobo and ask him questions. I had some questions last week about this one formation. I talked to him about 10 minutes or so. But mostly it’s just me at the kitchen table.”

Head coach Mark Richt is eager to see what Mason has learned. He has been asked about Mason at every stop on the ongoing Bulldog Clubs tour. But Richt won’t get a chance to watch Mason work in person until early August when the full squad reports for preseason practices.

In the meantime, Mason’s tutelage will be limited to his fellow signalcallers at this summer’s voluntary workouts and some one-on-one sessions with UGA student Jonathan Batson, a former walk-on quarterback who remains in school.

Ideally Richt said they’d like to redshirt a quarterback. Whether they do will have a lot to do with how good Mason looks in that month of work before the season opener against Louisiana-LaFayette.

“I want to see what he can do,” Richt said. “If we don’t think he’s ready, I’d be more apt to have Logan continue to be our No. 2 and just go from there. I don’t want to say because I have no idea how [Mason is] going to perform until he shows up.”

Mason admits that it all can be a bit unnerving at times. To go from a place where you are literally praying for a scholarship offer to one where you are being counted on by the state university and its massive fan base can be overwhelming and a bit intimidating. But Mason said that is what motives him.

“I’ve been working hard at it,” he said. “I’m just trying to take this opportunity and make sure that, when it’s all said and done, I don’t look back and say, ‘if I would have put more time into it, if I would’ve worked just a little bit harder, maybe I would have been more successful.’ There’s no way I could live with myself if I wasn’t completely dedicated to it. I love what I do and I love this opportunity. Just to be able to go in there and compete, that wasn’t the situation a month ago. A lot of doors have opened up and I have to be ready for my number to be called. I’m extremely thrilled about the whole opportunity.”

203 comments Add your comment

1eyedJack

May 24th, 2010
9:29 am

first=lame

May 24th, 2010
9:33 am

lord we are in trouble….

Kenny Betsill

May 24th, 2010
9:33 am

I hope that we want need your help this year.Keeping the faith.Go Dawgs.

1eyedJack

May 24th, 2010
9:35 am

Well we didn’t “need” a backup last year. Let’s pray we don’t need one this year.

Chip Towers

May 24th, 2010
9:39 am

1eyedJack: Way!

go dawgs

May 24th, 2010
9:46 am

Sign Ricky Cochran from Madison (Morgan Co). He still has a yr left of eligibility and has a Rocket Arm. Would be a grand addition to the dawgs!!

Dawg Fan

May 24th, 2010
9:57 am

I really admire Hutson’s dedication / work ethic. And I’m proud he is going to be wearing the Red & Black.

Good luck Hutson!

sportsrealist.

May 24th, 2010
10:04 am

He’ll complete more passes his freshman year from the bench, than any GT QB will complete in their 4 year football career. Ruuuunnnn CPJ, ruuuuuuuuunn!!!!

BurningRedBleedingBlack

May 24th, 2010
10:08 am

Well lets hope Murrays is as good as richt says he is. Think about something for a second, Whens the last time Coach Richt has ever been this excited about his QB and talked openly about him in the press and to fans. I beileve it had to be , Greene/shockley. Those guy played pretty good too. GO DAWGS!!!!

fantasTECH

May 24th, 2010
10:10 am

Bruce Mac

May 24th, 2010
10:15 am

I didn’t notice where Yech’s tennis team was ranked, has anyone seen them in play in the NCAA tourney?

RxDawg

May 24th, 2010
10:18 am

I know everyone is excited about this Lemay kid and about what Murray can possibly do this year. But come guys, you can’t buy a better attitude or work ethic than what this kid Hutson has. Keep up the great work Hutson. It makes me proud to call you a Bulldog.

Blindog

May 24th, 2010
10:19 am

Well said Dawg Fan!

Dan

May 24th, 2010
10:22 am

Why would Richt offer him a scholarship if he had no idea how he’d perform?

Vick=Dog killing thug

May 24th, 2010
10:23 am

Way to go Hudson. Keep up the hard work. I’m sure you won’t let the haters and ignorant GT fans get you down!!

Bill W.

May 24th, 2010
10:25 am

Sounds like a very mature young man. My hope is that he comes along a little like David Greene. I think he will be a great addition to the Dawgs. Keep working Hutson. GATA!

Chip Towers

May 24th, 2010
10:27 am

BurningRedBleedingBlack: When Matt Stafford showed up. . . .

go dawgs: CMR has said the Dogs are going to sign only one QB in next class. That spot has been claimed by Christian LeMay.

renegade#1

May 24th, 2010
10:28 am

fantas Tech. sweep? Thats all you got. Blow it out your little stinger. Ya’ll finally won at something over Ga. so I guess you’ve got to gloat. But the next time you sweep try to mop while your at it.

Dale

May 24th, 2010
10:33 am

Chip, what about the dog? Has a white English bulldog signed for 2010?

poopdawg

May 24th, 2010
10:35 am

Dan, what the heck are you talking about?

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 24th, 2010
10:36 am

I can’t see you mutts ever beating the Jackets again in football. You used all your luck up last year. You better pray we don’t return to SEC.

just facts

May 24th, 2010
10:37 am

if he is so enthused and so anxious then why didn’t he graduate early so he could have participated in spring practice at uga. come on guys, be real, he is a evidently a great kid but a SEC qb he’s not.

UGAgrad71

May 24th, 2010
10:38 am

Did Vince ever ask Herschel if he had read the playbook? QB is the most demanding (mentally) position on the field. Come August, Hutson will know the formations and expected coverages. He has more football knowlege right now than the twits posting on this blog.

Gbal

May 24th, 2010
10:39 am

This Cochran kid keeps comming up on posts. Whats the deal with him. Anyone know his credentials? Still has a year left… where did he play his first 3 years?

TigerFAN

May 24th, 2010
10:41 am

War Eagle nation is chompping at the bit. Put him in coach ! We can see it now,,,,After the 1st quarter we can see bulldog coaches running up and down the sidelines trying to find your reciever who needs to warm up to play QB. We are loving this !!!!!

DAWGFACEDBOY

May 24th, 2010
10:42 am

Chip- you stole my thunder. I was going to make the point of Richt being pretty darn excited when his future #1 pick got to campus. Too bad they didn’t have a defense while he was here.

John Johnson, Jr.

May 24th, 2010
10:43 am

Wow. The Hutson Mason PR machine is in full swing. Let us know what he has planned fir Memorial Day weekend.

BTW, I hear he’s gonna start as QB Game 1 and then replace Bobo as OC in 2011.

“To think I’m one sprained ankle from maybe going in, words can’t really describe it. It’s what you dream of your whole life.”

That’s creepy he would mention it. I hope he isn’t training with Jeff Gillooly and Shawn Eckhardt this summer.

UGASlobberknocker

May 24th, 2010
10:44 am

Dan, does any coach ever KNOW how a person they sign is going to perform? No. I feel dumber for just having read your moronic comment.

Pls ajc..cant we have some kind of intelligence test for potential bloggers to weed out the idiots?

Russ

May 24th, 2010
10:45 am

Are ya’ll going to paint my axx again this year???

dawgfan

May 24th, 2010
10:45 am

Good grief Dan are you really this thick? Scholarships are based on POTENTIAL you dolt. What on earth else is Richt supposed to go on? Richt’s comment applies to every single high school football recruit in the history of the game, from Herschel Walker to Reggie Ball. Nobody has a single solitary clue how they are going to perform until that first college snap.
Techies are about the dimmest batch of light bulbs I have ever encountered. Simply unbelievable. Wow.

Joey

May 24th, 2010
10:46 am

You never know how things turn out. Bet Greenie never dreamed as a high school senior he would become the all-time NCAA leader in wins for QBs (broken last season by McCoy), and Shockley never dreamed he would start only one year.

The thing I like about Mason, besides his talent and work ethic, is his obvious love of being a Dawg. Good luck to him, and I, for one, won’t worry if Murray goes down.

DAWGFACEDBOY

May 24th, 2010
10:46 am

RAMBLE ON!!- BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Bill W.

May 24th, 2010
10:48 am

TigerFAN, I know you are joking. When was the last time you beat the Dawgs, 2005? UGA had it’s worst season under Richt last year and still beat the War Tigers. Go Dawgs!

JB

May 24th, 2010
10:49 am

just facts: throwing 54 TD passes against other Cobb co. Schools ( D 1 prospects by that I mean) would be impressive to anybody. He was recruited about like David Greene was and that turned out pretty good. Your comment is uninformed clutter. I hope whoever hired you saw something in you that would lead to success……but they had to take a chance on you now didn’t they…..GEEZ

JB

May 24th, 2010
10:53 am

Darn TIGERfan…….If Georgia has owned ANYBODY the last 5 years…..I best think it’s ya’ll.

Joey

May 24th, 2010
10:53 am

Hot dang, an Auburn fan and RAMBLE ON!!! talking smack?!?!? Boys, boys, our Dawgs just had the worst season in tens years, yet man-handled both of your teams. You should just go crow on the Miss State or Va blogs …

Chip Towers

May 24th, 2010
10:54 am

TigerFAN: Your optimism is impressive considering how AU has fared against UGA of late. . . .

Dale: Yes, Georgia has a firm commitment from a white English bulldog, origination unknown. Swann Seiler says “the Bulldog Nation will be pleased.” . . .

John Johnson Jr.: You can’t even see objectivity from where you’re standing. . . .

just facts: I’m pretty certain it’s impossible to decide to graduate early when you commit AFTER fall semester.

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
10:54 am

If Mason shows any possiblity of contributing this year, forget the redshirt stuff. Put him in for mop-up duty or whenever possible, so he can get some experience.

We’ve tried the one-and-done philosophy 3 times under CMR. It failed with Joe Tereshinski and Joe Cox. It was a hit with DJ Shockley.

I don’t like those odds. Let Mason play now, save his redshirt year in case it’s needed later (injury.)

James T. Kirk

May 24th, 2010
10:54 am

So your best QB just went to prom last weekend? hahahahaha!!!!

Bill W.

May 24th, 2010
10:59 am

Chip, we sure do miss you man. I wish they would move you back to covering the Dawgs like you were before.

JB

May 24th, 2010
11:03 am

I’m really happy that opposing OC’s on our schedule will have to rethink their game plan.Word is Grantham and crew aren’t teaching “back peddling” anymore. GATA…Finally…….Word is from a co worker that has a nephew on team that our new athletic corners are on the wideouts and busting chops at the line of scrimmage while pressure is coming from different places on the QB. Very effective he’s told………I guess 10 yards back and back peddling at the snap is out.

Berry29

May 24th, 2010
11:04 am

I really hope he plays this season, Go Vols

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
11:09 am

Berry29, you may “hope” Mason plays this season, but UGA fans are PRAYING that Da’Rick Rogers steps on the field in Athens. A double-bonus would be if Opie Nance lined up under center, but there is no chance of that, next season or EVER.

Joey

May 24th, 2010
11:10 am

Amen to that, JB. I feel a little uneasy using a line from that Tech nut, “m”, but thank God and Greyhound that Willie is in Norman.

Stinger

May 24th, 2010
11:13 am

Who cares???? I mean is this really worth talking about?

Jesupjacket

May 24th, 2010
11:13 am

Parker Welch from here in Wayne Co. will have his HS work complete according to our local, The Press-Sentinel, and will enroll as a preferred walk-on. His first day of summer classes will be June 4th, after which he returns home that afternoon to participate in his graduation ceremony. Hard-work and determination do pay off.

just facts

May 24th, 2010
11:17 am

jb: sorry you had to depend on someone to hire you cause i own my own business and didnt have to. i think the mason kid would be a decent quarterback in the system that fits him, there is just not a school in the SEC that runs a tony franklin based scheme.
and come on chip, if you have any idea that you might want to play ANYWHERE as a freshman qb you prepare by graduating early. he evidently is a smart kid so planning for an early graduation should not have been a problem. when he committed has nothing to do with anything.

HanDAWG

May 24th, 2010
11:20 am

As an LHS and Georgia grad whom writes a UGA fan “BLAWG” (TM and Copyright, HV), I’m excited about the future – the distant future – with this kid at the helm. Murray and Gray are solid one and two with practice experience, but the scary reality is Mason has more recent game experience than either. Logan Gray has been playing special teams and running all-too-obvious and useless QB sneaks since he got to UGA. Murray sat out his senior year of high school and redshirted last season. Washaun Ealey must be able to carry this offense with Caleb a secondary option and passing to the great AJ a tertiary option. Today, I predicted that Ealey will run wild this season at http://www.bighairyblawg.com.

Berry29

May 24th, 2010
11:22 am

Our WR starters are SRs Gerald Jones and Denarious Moore. Both
had great seasons a year ago. All of our great incoming WRs will
get their chance – yes Da’Rick too. thanks

JB

May 24th, 2010
11:23 am

just facts: I also own my own company….208 employees…72 mil in rev….doing Ok….