January 13, 2012

Mason set to return

Citing he wanted to win a championship in a Georgia uniform, backup quarterback Hutson Mason confirmed Friday that he will remain a Bulldog and not seek a transfer to another school.

"There were a lot of decisions I kind of pondered on with my family. It took a while to make this decision ever since the bowl game. One of the things that just kept coming to my mind was I came here to attain lots of goals, and one of those was to win a championship," Mason said. "I just looked at it as we got a little taste of what it was like this year to have some success. Words can't describe what that felt like and after I pondered on it and thought about it for a while I just decided I'm not going to quit, I'm going to keep grinding, keep fighting and hopefully and whether I'm the first string, second string or third string, I want to win a championship wearing that G and nothing else."

A former record-setting quarterback at Lassiter High, the 6-foot-3, 196-pound sophomore has seen limited action for the Bulldogs his first two seasons in Athens, completing a combined 27 of 47 passes for 356 yards and three touchdowns.

He will have the opportunity to redshirt this upcoming year to put a season between himself and rising junior Aaron Murray, a decision which would technically give Mason one season (2014) to compete for the starting job.

"That's the plan for right now. I don't know if I'll be the No. 2 or No. 3 guy. I think it's a little too early to start describing those details," Mason said. "When I met with Coach (Mark) Richt he said we'll probably sit down, me, my family, him and Coach (Mike) Bobo, sit down and discuss what we're going to do once the season begins."

Mason will continue to practice and train like he'll play in 2012, just in case an injury to Murray forced the Bulldogs to look his way.

"We're going to try and redshirt him but he's still got to prepare because you don't know what's going to happen in the spring, you don't know what's going to happen in the off-season and you don't know what's going to happen, period," Richt said.

As long as Mason's impending redshirt holds true, Christian LeMay, who redshirted as a freshman, will be the top backup to Murray this fall.

Getting the opportunity to redshirt was the biggest reason Mason said he returned.

"The redshirt was key. It was a key deal for me and my deciding factor. I was pretty big on leaving, 99 percent leaving, until they told me I could get a redshirt," Mason said. "If I couldn't get that I was on pace to have never had the opportunity to win that starting job because of Aaron and the success that he's had. It was a big decision and I'm thankful that Coach Richt and Coach Bobo were grateful enough to offer that to me."