Unless you‚Äôre Aaron Murray, being a quarterback at Georgia isn‚Äôt the most ideal situation to be in right now.
That‚Äôs where Hutson Mason finds himself as he prepares to redshirt his junior season in hopes of creating separation between himself and the current starter. Mason, the former Lassiter High School standout, wants the team to strive, even if it means he won‚Äôt see playing time in 2012.
‚ÄúHe wants to help the team as much as he can and he‚Äôs shown that day in and day out,‚Äù said receiver and Mason‚Äôs roommate Michael Bennett. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs continued to do a great job because he knows the offense backward and forward. I feel for him because I think he can (start) anywhere.‚Äù
Mason is a victim of circumstance. Timing just wasn‚Äôt on his side when he chose to go to Georgia. He said he‚Äôs grown drastically from it, though, and is glad he made the decision to stay in Athens.
‚ÄúThis is just where my heart is,‚Äù Mason said. ‚ÄúIt was harder for me to think about leaving than it was to think about staying, even though it might not be the ideal situation right now.
‚ÄúWhen I came in as a freshman, I wasn‚Äôt a very patient person and I‚Äôve learned to develop that. I‚Äôm definitely more anxious (about starting), but I‚Äôve developed more patience. I‚Äôve learned a lot in the three years I‚Äôve been here.‚Äù
Mason confirmed that he, head coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo have discussed in-game circumstances where he may be forced to void his redshirt status. Though he wouldn‚Äôt go into the specifics of the coaches‚Äô plans, he said it would only be if Murray went down injured.
Third-stringer Christian LeMay, however, will likely get playing time this year, regardless of Murray‚Äôs health. Richt hasn‚Äôt said much else about how he intends to use LeMay.
‚ÄúOur plan is to line up with (Murray) as quarterback and try to win the game,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt have a plan with Christian like we might have had with (D.J.) Shockley back in the day where we knew we were going to play him in the first half. We‚Äôll just see how the game goes and sub if possible.‚Äù
Bennett said he‚Äôs seen improvements in LeMay’s play since his arrival in Athens last year.
‚ÄúChristian came in a little confused last year but he‚Äôs getting a better grip of the offense and really started to sling that ball,‚Äù Bennett said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs got a really strong arm and really starting to show it off. It‚Äôs pretty impressive.‚Äù
Bobo echoed Bennett‚Äôs comments.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs doing a good job and continuing to get better. Like I‚Äôve said and like Coach Richt has said, Hutson Mason is the No. 2 guy and Christian is trying to get ready to play if called upon,‚Äù Bobo said. ‚ÄúThe other two guys have performed better at this point. LeMay has done a good job, but we feel good about the top two guys.‚Äù
Editor’s note: A passage continaing incorrect information about the number of prior African-American starting quarterbacks has been removed. In all, there have been five: D.J. Shockley, Quincy Carter, Wayne Johnson, James Jackson and Joe Dupree, according to the University of Georgia Sports Communications Department.