Many expected Mason to spend a couple years at Georgia learning the offense and growing under the coaching of Mark Richt and Mike Bobo. Then, he'd get his shot. But two years passed, and Hutson still hadn't received his opportunity. His problem was that he was second on the depth chart behind Aaron Murray, Georgia's unquestioned starter and one of the most prolific passers in SEC History.
Heading into the 2012 season with Murray as a redshirt junior, the coaching staff and Hutson Mason made the decision to use a redshirt. If the Bulldogs had the season many were projecting them to have, Aaron Murray would declare for the 2013 NFL Draft and Hutson Mason could then step in as the starter with two years of eligibility remaining.
So Mason sat out during 2012 and spent another year learning the system while the Bulldogs had a great year, finishing only five yards short of the BCS Championship game. The problem is - Aaron Murray decided to return for one more year in Athens and a final run at a national championship. It's great news for Bulldog fans, but another tough break for Hutson Mason.
If all goes according to the new plan, Mason will become the team's starting quarterback for the 2014 season as a redshirt senior, similar to what happened for the Bulldogs in 2005 with D.J. Shockley. That year worked out quite well for Mark Richt and his squad as Shockley led the team to an SEC Championship and a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
It would be understandable if Hutson Mason questions his decision to play football at UGA, and he has admitted in the past that he considered transferring. But he made the right decision.
Though he hasn't received much playing time, Mason has spent the past four years learning from two of best offensive minds in college football, Mark Richt and Mike Bobo. He is also in a position that his head coach can completely relate to.
When Mark Richt played college football at the University of Miami, he was a back-up behind Jim Kelly, who would go on to become an NFL Hall-of-Famer. Richt then tried to make it in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. With the Broncos, he ended up sitting behind John Elway. With the Dolphins, he was behind Dan Marino on the depth chart. It's fair to say Richt knows a few things about sitting behind talented starters.
Although he probably would have preferred getting a chance to play before being a fifth year senior, Mason plays for a coach who understand the position he's in.
And aside from what has taken place during his football career at Georgia, Hutson Mason has made the most of his time in Athens. He is on schedule to receive his degree in Communication Studies and has also become involved with other organizations in the Athens community. During Georgia's spring break a few weeks ago, he was part of a group from Athens Church that spent their time serving people on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic.
According to the coaching staff, Hutson Mason will be ready to play at a high level when he gets his opportunity. And even though he's had to wait for it, that opportunity will eventually come. But regardless of what happens, he made the right choice in becoming a Georgia Bulldog.
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