Last season, quarterback Hutson Mason was five yards short of the Georgia state passing record of 3,710 yards. On Friday, Mason finally got it done, shattering the state record in a 62- 23 win over North Forsyth. The record now stands at 3,714 and Mason will get an opportunity to add to his stats next week, when his Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter Trojans take on Gwinnett.
Mason's seven touchdown performance against Forsyth has him on track for another major record in Georgia. Mason's 46 touchdowns this season, puts him just two shy of breaking the state record which stands at 48.
You would think that a QB this prolific would be a lock to attend an SEC or ACC school. However, the recruiting process for Mason has not been as crisp as his passing.
Dogged by the same label which plagues all spread quarterbacks, "it's just the system," Mason has gotten mostly lip service from the bigger schools in his area.
As the sun sets on Mason's outstanding prep career, Mason is shaping up to be one of the most fought over prospects among schools in the Mid American Conference and Conference USA – programs that feel Mason is being overlooked.
Central Michigan knows a good quarterback when it sees one and the Chippewas recently joined in the fight over the Peach State product. CMU offered Mason after seeing just one practice.
Mason took some time out from re-writing the Georgia record books to talk to me.
Kyle Warber - Your height and weight?
Hutson Mason - "I am a legit 6-foot-3, 200 pounds."
KW - What are your top 3 schools right now?
HM - "CMU, UAB, and Western Michigan."
KW - In that order? You don't have to say if you don't want to, I know how insecure college coaches can be.
HM - (laughs) "Exactly, I can't really say if I have any favorites. Every time I forget to mention a school, or say I have a favorite, I get a call from a coach who wants to know if they still have a chance with me."
KW - When will you decide?
HM - "After the season when I get the chance to take more trips, that's when I will decide. So far I have been to UAB and Georgia Southern. UAB was impressive. With the CMU offer I will definitely want to take a visit there before I make my final decision. The problem with CMU is that they are so far away and I can't really visit right now, so I look forward to seeing their upcoming games on TV. It's almost like taking an official visit by seeing them on ESPN."
KW - Early on you pulled in that Iowa offer, and then things fell apart with the Hawkeyes. Talk about that.
HM - "Iowa was the first school to offer me back in March. I loved Iowa. I loved everything about Iowa City when I visited. I really wanted to wait a little bit and talk things over with my family so I didn't commit right away and unfortunately Coach Ferentz had to go in a different direction so they pulled my offer. It was a bitter pill to swallow but I know that I just have to stay humble, keep on working and know things will work out."
KW - If one of these teams that has offered you had Iowa on the schedule in the next four years, would you look forward to showing the team that passed on you what they missed out on?
HM - "That would be funny. But I know that Iowa only had a certain number of scholarships and that it wasn't personal."
KW - What were your stats in 2008?
HM - "I had 31 touchdowns and 3,705 yards. My completion rate was 70% completion rate and I had nine interceptions."
KW - Getting back to Central Michigan, tell me about CMU and how they came into the picture.
HM - "CMU wanted me to send them some film and they liked it. On Monday (Nov 2nd) Coach (Jeff) Beckles came to my practice to check me out. I guess he liked what he saw because CMU offered."
KW - You have spread offense schools like CMU and UAB looking at you as well as pro-style teams like Western Michigan and Central Florida. Which offense do you feel the most comfortable in?
HM - "It doesn't really matter. The spread is what I do, but going to a school like Western Michigan which runs their offense out of the pro-set provides some different opportunities. They would probably prepare me better for the NFL and I like how much freedom they give their QB's to call their own audible at the line. Even though I am a spread guy I think all QB's should be able to take snaps under center as well. I have no problem doing that."
KW - Central Michigan, like many of the schools that have offered you, already has a QB verbally committed as part of their 2010 signing class. Is that an obstacle for you?
HM - "It's not. I know that everywhere I go I will have to compete so it's not really an issue. I guess if it came down to two schools and everything between them was equal, except that one had another QB committed, I would have to go to the school without a QB."
KW - CMU played Toledo on Wednesday. You said earlier that seeing CMU on TV was like a taking a visit. If that is the case, how did your visit go on Wednesday night?
HM - (laughs) "Watching them (CMU) was like watching a game film or practice film of us. CMU runs a lot of what we run and they do a lot of what we do on offense. When I was watching I could definitely see what was going on and could understand what they were doing on offense."
KW - I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there are no Waffles Houses in Michigan. Being from the south are you going to be able to adjust to a Waffle House free climate?
HM - (laughs) "There better be Waffle Houses in Michigan, I go there every Friday night after our games."
KW - Maybe the CMU coaching staff can disguise a local diner as a Waffle House, to make you feel at home.
HM - (laughing) "They better do something. Do they have sweet tea in Michigan?"
Sure Hutson, but you have to sweeten it yourself.
Chippewas Eye Record-Setting Georgia QB
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