Marietta (GA) Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason is playing the waiting game these days.
While the three-star quarterback currently holds an offer from his favorite -- Western Michigan -- he's still hoping a couple of other schools get involved. That's what he told Pack Pride in a conversation over the weekend.
"Western Michigan's definitely up there," Mason explained. "They've offered me and I've taken a visit up there. They've got a pro-style offense and they throw it quite a bit. What I like about them is their offense allows the quarterback to pretty much be in control. They've got a kid that's a graduating senior now so I think their (quarterback) spot is gonna be open.
"Depending on how I did if I went there, I might be able to have a chance to go in and play. I'm gonna take a couple of officials and Western Michigan will be one of them. Right now they're my number one."
There is a catch, though. The 6-2, 187-pound Peach State product said if NC State or Iowa offers they would be near the top of his list as well. Why is that?
"Well, coach (Andy) McCollum is my recruiting coordinator and he said they don't offer any quarterbacks until after they see you in camp. At their camp he told me I was their number one guy. I haven't really got a chance to speak with coach (Dana) Bible. He's a real old-fashioned kind of guy.
"They said they would watch a couple of kids in the fall. It's been a couple of weeks since I've talked to them, though. Hopefully I can go out and put up some numbers this fall. I've been to NC State twice and I love the community and the program. I think coach Bible is a heck of a QB coach.
"I've gotten to speak with Matt Ryan a couple of times. My quarterback coach used to play for the Falcons so I've been down there for their training camp and I got to speak with him. It's kind of unique, because I've been able to talk to coach (Ken) O'Keefe at Iowa, coach Bible at NC State and coach (Kirk) Ferentz at Iowa. He had pretty much come down to Boston College and Iowa, so it's the same coaches I've been talking to. We've talked about what they each do offensively and what fits me better."
While NC State has never offered Mason, Iowa did earlier in the process. That offer is no longer on the table -- at least for now.
"I don't know where I stand with Iowa now that they've pulled the scholarship. I guess they're waiting to see if A.J. Derby will commit. I don't know how much time they're going to give him. If I take an official visit to another school and I like it then I'll pull the trigger. I'm not gonna wait around on Iowa. At the same time, if Iowa offers me I'm not gonna hold anything against them."
For now, like many other prospects, Mason is content to focus on his upcoming senior season. He's optimistic but realizes things won't always be easy with plenty of new faces protecting him.
"We've had a scrimmage and ... it went real well," Mason explained. "We actually played really well. The first quarter was kind of tough, because our big situation is replacing five seniors on the offensive line from last year. We have five guys without a lot of game-time experience, so there were a lot of mistakes you'd expect from guys who haven't been playing.
"When we calmed down in the second quarter we scored a couple of times. In the first half I threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns. I think we're gonna have a great season. We have great playmakers on offense. A couple of kids have moved in and we've got one guy from Miami. There's much more speed this year so we'll try to use that to our advantage. Last year we had more size. This year we've got more speed at receiver."
While many veteran quarterbacks might be tempted to get down on his teammates -- especially offensive linemen -- if they aren't performing at a high enough level, Mason is showing good leadership qualities in encouraging his front five and showing patience.
"There are going to be times where the young offensive line makes mistakes," he said. "A guy will get through that they're supposed to block. But we have a check down. If I get pressured that's what the check down is for. Obviously you want time to sit back, go through the read and try to hit a big play, but I think they're going to be fine. I saw that in spring practice and I saw that in the scrimmage. Once everyone just relaxes and gets their nerves out they really played well. I'm not worried. It's a smaller offensive line but I'm telling you, I think they'll get the job done. They're spending time in the film room and in the weight room, so they're doing the right things."