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

Old Dawg

May 24th, 2010
11:29 am

Go dawgs: Ricky Cochran as a Dawg? Now that would be a show. His son Bo actually has the better arm!

AltamahaDawg

May 24th, 2010
11:30 am

What does redshirting Mason or not have to do with some previous QB getting a one year start thier senior year?

real sports realist

May 24th, 2010
11:34 am

I think Tech fans will gladly take leading the nation in rushing over a QB who loves to throw it. If I remember correctly our offense lead the nation in passing plays of over 20 yards….just saying.

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
11:36 am

Berry29, I admire your loyalty. Too bad the rest of the Vol Nation doesn’t share your enthusiasm.

I saw last week where UT is selling tickets to home games in “mini-packages.” It’s a sad day for the Orange when they have to include a UT-Florida game in a “mini-package.”

We’ll see you in Athens on October 9. Good luck!

npgator

May 24th, 2010
11:38 am

Sven Ottke

May 24th, 2010
11:40 am

Textbook UGa grad, HanDog. You can’t make this stuff up:
“As an LHS and Georgia grad whom writes a UGA fan “BLAWG” Nice butchering of the English language, UGa grad. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

murfdawg

May 24th, 2010
11:41 am

How much studying do you have to do to turn around and hand the ball to Washaun? I think we need to get back to old fashioned UGA football. Run the ball, punt for field position and play defense. Maybe that will cut down on the turnovers also.

JB

May 24th, 2010
11:41 am

Tech running game looked ” broke’ against Iowa……39 yards at the half. Maybe too much ham eaten with the coach?

real sports realist

May 24th, 2010
11:44 am

JB….how many games are in a season?

HBTD

May 24th, 2010
11:47 am

Stinger. Probably not for a tech nerd, but to a dawg, it’s pretty good offseason chatter and debate.

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
11:52 am

AltamahaDawg, 5th year senior, 1 year starter has been CMR’s MO. We bring in our share of QBs,and 3 times in his 9 years, CMR has started a 5th year senior. That’s got to be one of the highest percentages in the nation. 33% of the time CMR names a 4 year backup the 1 year starter.

With Murray believed to be the next big thing at QB, Mason certainly falls into that possibility.

I know, long way off, etc. But based on the past, I can certainly see it happening….

BigTimeTECHFan

May 24th, 2010
11:58 am

Depth chart is not a lock at this point. I’m sure if he comes in a practices better then Murry CMR will start him. Why does he think he’s an injury away from starting, he should go in looking for the starting job.

jasont13

May 24th, 2010
12:03 pm

HanDawg, Murray played his senior year and led his team to a State Championship. He only missed about 3 or 4 games.

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
12:04 pm

BTTF, good point.

This kid’s head is probably spinning a little right now. He went from a late offer by UGA to #2 on the depth chart in just a few months, and has yet to see time on the practice field.

We hope you’re right and he comes in challenging for the #1 spot right away.

JB

May 24th, 2010
12:07 pm

real sports……That offense against a BCS athletic defense is toast…..those type teams lick their chops on ONE dimensional teams, as Iowa showed and LSU showed. Georgia has had NO defense the last two years and split with Tech, and of course most ACC teams will fall, but with Gailey’s players leaving, we’ll just see. I really doubt Johnson can improve on the one’s leaving. They were pretty dang good. Good luck this year. You will need it …As will the Dawgs.

dawgfan

May 24th, 2010
12:08 pm

Your offense led the nation in pass plays over 20 yards because defenses essentially let you. That’s the most misleading statistic in the game right now, especially since most of it came against ACC weaklings. Sure, Thomas had that big one against a redshirt freshmen corner in the UGA game last year, but you might also remember that you lost that game. Georgia Tech isn’t going to beat anybody with Noodle Arm Nesbitt throwing the ball and defenses know it. The kind of coverage that guy gets he should be completing at least 70 freaking percent of his passes. He’s awful. Most of his completions last year involved Thomas risking life and limb to catch his horribly thrown balls. Without a top notch reciever like that Tech will be horribly predictable in ‘10. If someone stops your dive you are freaking toast. Wait and see. All you need to do is look at the D-lines of Tech’s opponents next year to predict the wins and losses. Big and athletic D-line = loss for the Techies. Its really that simple. Manboobs is the most overrated coach in America.

Good day.

San Francisco Dawg

May 24th, 2010
12:08 pm

This kid sounds like the real deal and his amazing statistics tell even a better story!

JB

May 24th, 2010
12:10 pm

Most recruiting classes by all schools end up so so. Most schools sign 25 a year and by the time that class get’s to be seniors, there are only 12-15 players left with 8-10 starting….lot’s of bumps along the way.

DaMan

May 24th, 2010
12:13 pm

LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you start seeing sweet little stories about the incoming freshman QB like this….you can go ahead and wrap it up for the coming season leghumpers! BWAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Pat Sulley

May 24th, 2010
12:14 pm

Lets talk about religion

JB

May 24th, 2010
12:15 pm

Loneliest two people in America…..Maytag repair man and a Georgia Tech wide out !

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
12:21 pm

JB…LMAO, I’ll have to use that one.

HugoStiglitz

May 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

Mason seems like a good kid that works hard and has a good head on his shoulders. Its too bad he is never gonna play.

GS Eagle

May 24th, 2010
12:23 pm

Ricky had a cannon back in mid 70’s at GSC. Sign him!

HBTD

May 24th, 2010
12:23 pm

DaMan. LOL!! Typical dawg “wannabe”. Glad you could join us today.

fantasTECH

May 24th, 2010
12:24 pm

Brunswick Tech

May 24th, 2010
12:29 pm

Nice catch in this kid, good luck going forward…don’y listen to the nay sayers….focus on being the future.

Pat Sulley

May 24th, 2010
12:30 pm

lets talk about politics

Frank

May 24th, 2010
12:35 pm

It is funny to me how the gtu fans have replaced scu fans as the most delusional in college football. I must admit that scu has had more success against UGA during the last 19years (with out cheating as per the NCAA) than has gtu. I really don’t hate tech, it goes much deeper than that.
THWGT!!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 24th, 2010
12:36 pm

i’m all for it. shows the kid is committed to being a part of this team. regardless if he starts, he’s learning the playbook early and will be an asset down the road.

jzdawg

May 24th, 2010
12:42 pm

Chip – the walk-on Jonathan Batson is a big guy with a big arm. What are his chances of playing time compared to Mason’s? Guess it depends on how they both perform this summer?

jzdawg

May 24th, 2010
12:49 pm

Chip, sorry not Jonathan Batson but walk-on Greg Bingham.

DawginLex

May 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

RAMBLER,

300 yards rushing and shoving it down your throats all night was luck? Stuffing Mr 1st round to 5th round draft pick Dwyer time after time with WM running the defense? Luck?

That was weak and pathetic and you know it.

Dawg Mist

May 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

Mason will be starting by game 4—mark it down. He’s the real deal and much better than Murray.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

May 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

Sometimes, after reading the articles, I wish for even less information and thoughtful insight. That’s when I read the comments, including my own.

jaglaw

May 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

NEXT WEEKS HEADLINES:

“UGA playbook stolen from home of incomming freshman…..no new leads on who is responsible”. Could this mean changes to the offensive system?…..

OH Wait….the rest of the SEC already knows our playbook and when we are going to call a particular play. So, would it even matter if it was stolen?

DawginLex

May 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

DaMan,

i believe he will be 3rd string at best. Are you that stupid?

You and the other nerds obsession with UGA continues to prove one thing:

UGA IS YOUR DADDY

SEND YOUR FATHER’S DAY CARDS TO SANFORD STADIUM

HBTD

May 24th, 2010
12:55 pm

Paul Johnson

May 24th, 2010
12:44 pm
…still trying to figure out how to replace Jonathan Dwyer…whoa is me…

YEAH. IF PJ’S STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REPLACE A GUY THAT GAINED 33 YARDS ON 14 CARRIES AGAINST UGA AND WAS DRAFTED IN THE 6TH ROUND, HE’S GOT BIGGER PROBLEMS THAN MOST KNEW.

Yoda

May 24th, 2010
1:02 pm

Oh brother……………

HugoStiglitz

May 24th, 2010
1:02 pm

Anthony Allen is replacing Dwyer. One of Paul Johnsons easiest decisions. Where have you guys been?

Ace

May 24th, 2010
1:05 pm

He will get his shot, that short kid Murray is injury prone.

Chip Towers

May 24th, 2010
1:07 pm

jzdawg: Batson has exhausted his eligibility.

Paul Johnson

May 24th, 2010
1:08 pm

…may be a while before we can be ACC champs again…opponents are brushing up on junior high style…i knew it couldn’t last forever…

Teacher

May 24th, 2010
1:08 pm

THIS JUST IN! Georgia Tech’s tennis team disqualified! They were disqualified for delay of game. It seems the pocket calculators and lead pencils kept falling out of their pockets and causing disruptions! The players were advised by the linesman to put the calculators and pencils on the sideline, but the players were afraid that someone might take them. One calculator was reportedly worth $2,200,

Urban Meyer

May 24th, 2010
1:10 pm

Tiger Fan …enjoy your Iowa football team this year! HA!!!!!…Manboobs is most over-rated coach in America…what about me? Uh Oh..I’m feeling a panic attack coming on!

Paul Johnson

May 24th, 2010
1:12 pm

…good thing o

Teacher

May 24th, 2010
1:18 pm

Local football player makes dual commitment. A lfootballplayer from Atlanta has made a “Dual” commitment. He told reporters today that he wants to play football at Georgia Tech and that he wants to continue being gay. He said he eventually wants to participate in the “Gay Pride” parade held annually in Atlanta and he looks forward to proudly displaying his school colors of yellow and black. He said that he is sure that he will fit right in at Georgia Tech. He also stated that he enjoys the locker room experience and looks forward to bonding with his teammates.

Bulldog59

May 24th, 2010
1:21 pm

jzdawg…. my understanding is, both walk-on QBs, Bingham and Welch, are expected to be ready ASAP. I wouldn’t expect them to pass Mason on the depth chart though.

real sports realist

May 24th, 2010
1:22 pm

Dawgfan and JB if those explanations of PJ’s success on the college level makes you guys feel better than so be it. Nothing I can say will change your opinion and this is to be expected when you wear red colored glasses. Instead, I will let his results do the talking such as two straight ACC coach of the year awards and two straight years of competing for, and winning, the conference championship of the ACC. Johnson has won at every level, and it looks like he will continue that at GT. The first two years are a pretty strong indication of that in my book….its not like Gailey recruited that well. He had one good class and the rest were actually worse than Johnsons three classes in terms of overall size and average stars…just saying.

animal

May 24th, 2010
1:23 pm

It’s so boring to see all the opinions here, while so few facts are used. Some of you guys take all this a little too seriously. It’s all just fun. Get some facts, or get a life………..