Hutson Mason may be headed for a redshirt season this fall, but the Georgia quarterback is practicing this spring like he isn‚Äôt.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the last thing I want to do,‚Äù Mason said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to take that mentality. I know if I start to take that mentality, I‚Äôm going to mentally get worse. I don‚Äôt want to get lackadaisical and decline in what I‚Äôve learned so far. I‚Äôm not taking that approach at all.‚Äù
Mason mulled transferring after his sophomore season before deciding to return with the plan to redshirt unless starter Aaron Murray is injured.
‚ÄúWe hope that Aaron stays healthy, plays great, that Hutson would be able to redshirt,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt know what‚Äôs going to happen in the future, so Hutson really has to stay in a state of readiness.‚Äù
Georgia is getting redshirt freshman Christian LeMay and true freshman Faton Bauta the work they need to serve as the backup if Murray stays healthy this season.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs actually working better for me because I‚Äôm getting a lot more reps with the ones,‚Äù Mason said. ‚ÄúSince the reps are being split up more, I go some with the twos, but I get a lot more reps with the ones. I love that. I love going with the first-string guys.‚Äù
Georgia‚Äôs quarterbacks also include walk-ons Parker Welch and Greg Bingham.
‚ÄúWe have a lot of depth at QB right now,‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt sit anywhere in our QB meeting room right now.‚Äù
Joked Mason: ‚ÄúWe almost had to kick coach Richt out.‚Äù
Quarterback Michael Tamburo, a transfer from Boise State who walked on the squad last year, is no longer on the team as a player. Murray said Tamburo has a knee injury and Richt said that he will serve in a student coaching role.
Murray said of LeMay and Bauta: ‚ÄúWhoever knows the most is going to edge the spot of who‚Äôs going to get more playing time or get a certain spot on the depth chart.‚Äù
Richt expects Houston to play after being ineligible last season
Offensive lineman Kolton Houston is working at first-team left guard this spring.
There‚Äôs a good reason for that.
Richt said Thursday that he expected Houston will be able to play this season after being forced to sit out last season due to an unspecified NCAA issue.
‚ÄúWe anticipate him to be able to play, but it‚Äôs not set in stone yet,‚Äù said Richt, who would not offer details about why Houston was ineligible last season.
Georgia has not made Houston available when requested for interviews.
Offensive line coach Will Friend is rotating the offensive line around during practices, Richt said.
‚ÄúI wouldn‚Äôt say Kolton is ahead of Dallas Lee right now,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúOn any given day or any given rotation, he may be in there and Dallas will be with the twos but they‚Äôre both moving back and forth with the ones and twos.‚Äù
Houston, who arrived at Georgia from Buford in 2010, was considered a candidate to start prior to last season before the NCAA issue arose, but he‚Äôs in the plans for the rotation this season.
‚ÄúWe think Kolton can play,‚Äù Richt said.
Defense ‚Äòlocked in‚Äô
Georgia‚Äôs defense got the better of the offense in Thursday‚Äôs practice in helmets, shoulder pads and thigh pads.
‚ÄúThe defense got to watch the offense run five extra gassers,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThe defense is locked in pretty good right now. … It‚Äôs pretty typical to take a little while to get things going (offensively), especially breaking in some new linemen as well.‚Äù
It doesn‚Äôt help the offense that Malcolm Mitchell is at cornerback this spring.
‚ÄúYou definitely want Mitchell,‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm still going to do whatever I can to try sneaking him back to offense, as much pleading as I can do to coach Richt this summer.‚Äù
Mitchell is ‚Äúlocking down everyone‚Äù at cornerback, Murray said.
This and that
Receiver Rantavious Wooten missed practice Thursday after pulling a leg muscle, Richt said. … Richt continues to be pleased with what he‚Äôs seen of first-team center David Andrews. ‚ÄúAt one time I would have been predicting that (Chris) Burnette would be the guy,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI think it would be better for Georgia if David could stay inside.‚Äù … Outside linebacker Ramik Wilson returned to practice after missing the first two days following the death of his father last week.