Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason is the reigning AP 5A offensive player of the year for the state of Georgia. He recently started sending out his highlight tape and ever since college recruiters have really started taking notice of 6-foot-2, 190 pound pro-style quarterback. The class of 2010 prospect passed for over 3700 yards and 28 TDs last year as a junior, throwing with 70 percent accuracy and only tossing 10 interceptions. Mason recently sat down with GAVarsity to talk about the offseason and recruiting. Here is part one of the resulting interview.
GAVarsity: How has the offseason been going so far?
Hutson Mason: It's been going good. We started spring ball Monday but we got rained out so [Tuesday] was the first day. [Tuesday], Troy, Middle Tennessee, and Indiana were there. Spoke to all of them and they said that they were very impressed and that they were going to get back to me. I know Troy hasn't used their phone call, Indiana hasn't used their phone call, and neither has MTSU so they said they were going to call me. I know Troy told me, and I've been in very good contact with them, because they run the same kind of offense that we do. Coach (Neal) Brown, the offensive coordinator (and quarterback coach) said that he was going to come and watch me in the spring and that if he liked me, he was going to offer me, so I'm just hoping everything works out in spring ball. But, anyways, I just started up spring ball and we have just been doing lifting and running, but that's about it.
GAV: Well it sounds like only a matter of time before you might be getting some offers coming in.
Mason: Yeah, that's what I'm hoping to do. I can't say it or myself because I don't want to make myself look like an idiot, but I'm hoping that's what it is. I've had a lot of schools say that they wanted to see me throw first so I'm hoping that's what it is.
GAV: What other schools have you been hearing from? Any phone calls, letters, direct contact?
Mason: Yeah, phone calls. I've been contacted by Purdue, Duke, East Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, (Offensive coordinator and quarterback) Coach (Mike) Bobo called me from Georgia, (Offensive coordinator and quarterback) Coach (Jim) McElwain from Alabama. They both came to see me throw last week. Tennessee, I haven't been hearing a lot, but they tell me I'm 8 on their list of 50 quarterbacks. A lot of Conference-USA team like Memphis. Almost every Conference-USA team. Mississippi State, pretty much all of the SEC schools except for Florida. I think Florida's about it.
GAV: Well it sounds like just about every school in the Southeast has shown at least a little bit of interest.
Mason: Yeah, I'm not sure how much their interested in me, but I've talked to Georgia, Alabama, so I've talked to some of the cream of the crop.
GAV: What offers are you holding now?
Mason: Iowa and Georgia Southern. I'm still waiting it out. I really like Iowa a lot and I love the community, the campus. I'm just trying to wait a little bit longer to see if I can find that perfect it. I'm not saying that Iowa is not that perfect fit; I just don't know yet.
GAV: What kind of traits are you looking for in a school that might make it that perfect fit?
Mason: I'd say my position coach which would be my offensive coordinator and quarterback coach: a guy that I can feel comfortable with, a guy that I know I'm going to get along with, A guy that I know I'm going to like. A team that has a tradition. I'd like into go to a place that's known for winning. I don't really want to go to a place that's been rebuilding for the past five years and has been struggling. And also, what is my playing time going to be. How many quarterbacks did they take in the class before me? What kind of offense do they run? There's a couple of things. I think for most recruits, they know when that's their school because everything fits the way you want it.
GAV: Have their been any schools that you'd say really fit that bill?
Mason: I just haven't been able to go to a lot of campuses and that's mainly because I haven't had a lot of offers and if you don't have offers than you don't really have a point in going to a campus or researching the school. But, I don't really know yet. I really couldn't say that because I haven't been able to develop and research the schools since I've only been offered by Iowa and Georgia Southern. I've taken a couple other visits to schools, but I really couldn't say yet.
GAV: What schools have you been to?
Mason: I've been to Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Tennessee, East Carolina. I've been to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and I think that's about it.
GAV: And of all those visits, what would you say has been the general synopsis of it? Any schools stand out? You really liked their campus or the surrounding area or anything?
Mason: Yeah, when I went down to Georgia, I was really impressed at the surrounding area. The community in Athens makes it feel like you're in college. It's a real college town. Like some of the campuses you go to you don't really get that. Some of them are in cities and others are way out in the boondocks. But, I know that has to do with football, but the college life when I went to Athens, I really felt like the whole community and student body was right there in Athens, a very, very college-like town. I was very, very impressed from the standpoint of speaking with Coach Bobo. A very down to earth man, truthful guy. Of course, he coached Matthew Stafford so the coach knows what he's doing. I was very impressed with Georgia. I don't know (UGA head) Coach Mark Richt, I haven't gotten the chance to speak with him, but I love his views and the kind of a guy is, the winning tradition they have down there. Then I went to Tennessee. I was really impressed with them and the offense they were coming in with, a Pro-style offense that (Head) Coach (Lane) Kiffin brought to Tennessee. He's had two Heisman trophy winners in Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. It's an offense that puts guys in the Pros every year, year in and year out. The coaching staff at Tennessee, I don't know if it's going to get any better. The depth of the coaching staff. (Recruiting coordinator, defensive line coach, and assistant head) Coach (Ed) Orgeron, Coach [Lane] Kiffin, Monte Kiffin on defense, (offensive coordinator and offensive line) Coach (Jim) Chaney from the St. Louis Rams. That's who I was especially impressed with because he coached at Purdue and Drew Brees. So I was really impressed with Coach Chaney, his experience in the NFL. And Alabama and that winning tradition with Coach (Nick) Saban. It's nothing but winning down there and you want to go to a place that wins, wins, wins. So I've definitely had a lot of positives at the campuses I've been to, but then again, no offers so there's not much I can do.
Part two of the interview can be viewed on the site Friday.