ATHENS – Georgia backup quarterback Hutson Mason said he is seriously considering transferring due to a lack of playing time behind starter Aaron Murray.
Mason, a sophomore from Marietta, said he would prefer to remain at Georgia — “I love this place even more than I expected,” he said – and would consider taking a redshirt year next season to put a year between him and Murray.
In any case, Mason said he will have to make a decision after the Bulldogs’ season is completed with the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl against Michigan State.
“I’ll just try to sit back and get away from the every day stuff and people telling me what I should do,” Mason said. “I’ll go home after the bowl game and talk to my family and talk to people I look up to. I talked to D.J. Shockley. He’s somebody who has been very valuable to me. I’m just trying to look at it from every angle. I ponder on it a lot and it’s extremely tough.”
Mason (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) signed with Georgia in 2010 after becoming the state high school record holder for passing yards (4,560) and touchdowns (54) as a senior at Lassiter High. But after his second full season with the Bulldogs, he has gotten minimal playing time and then only in mop-up duty.
In two seasons, Mason has appeared in eight games, completing 57 percent of his passes for 356 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions. His first college play from scrimmage was a TD pass to Logan Gray.
“He’s got an uncanny ability to hit the open receiver,” quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “He has great vision and feel. He has great pocket presence and a very quick release. He throws all the intermediate balls extremely well. The deep ball is something we continue to work on that he’s got to improve on. But his ability to get rid of the ball quickly and spread it out underneath, he does very well.”
Bobo said that the Bulldogs are considering redshirting Mason next season and have current redshirt freshman Christian LeMay and walkons handle the backup duties. But it’s not something they’ve decided on yet.
“It’s something we’re going to talk about after the season,” Bobo said. “I’d rather not get into it now.”
Redshirting is something Mason said he would consider.
“I would. It’s something I’ll have to sit down and talk to Coach Richt about and see how they feel about it,” Mason said. “I don’t think that would be something that they’d be opposed to. I want to stay here. I really do. I want to be here; I want to be at UGA. I love this place more than I expected I would. My goal is to stay here and I want to stay here. I just need to find out whether that allows me to play the most or not.”
Mason probably would have played more by now if he hadn’t been behind one of the most durable quarterbacks in the business. Despite taking numerous shots the last two seasons, Murray has missed only a couple of snaps in any significant, meaningful games.
“You can’t take away from Aaron being that tough,” Mason said with a laugh. “It’s just the way the ball rolls. You see guys have severe injuries when they barely get hit and then you see Aaron take a shot like he did against Auburn, where he did a quadruple flip and landed on his neck. I’m like, ‘he’s got to come out after that.’ But he just gets up and trots back to the huddle.”
Malcome on top of depth chart
Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome is currently running No. 1 at tailback for the Bulldogs. Leading rusher Isaiah Crowell is No. 2 and Brandon Harton is No. 3.
That’s the way it was as of Saturday, at least, as Richard Samuel (ankle) and Carlton Thomas (knee) remained sidelined. Samuel, however, was able to practice in a limited role on Saturday. He is returning for the bowl from Nov. 1 ankle surgery.
“We expect both those other guys back, but it’s hard to have a real full-fledged competition when they’re not getting an reps,” Bobo said. “So Ken and Isaiah and Brandon are the only three we’ve got right now.”
Starting right guard Chris Burnette did not at practice Saturday due to an illness, line coach Will Friend said. . . . Middle linebacker Mike Gilliard (ankle) and defensive end DeAngelo Tyson (ankle), both starters, still were not practicing on Saturday. . . . Wide receiver Rantavious Wooten, out since late September with a concussion caused by a car accident, is practicing in a green jersey. He will not play in the bowl, however, to preserve a medical redshirt season.