clear
Tuesday September 1st, 2015 8:14AM

UGA's Hutson Mason hoping to learn from Tom Brady

By The Associated Press
ATHENS -- Hutson Mason has some big shoes to fill in his one and only season as Georgia's starting quarterback.

So he's trying to pick up a few pointers from an even bigger name.

With spring practice starting this week, the senior has been watching lots of film on three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, looking to learn some things that might help ease the transition from longtime starter Aaron Murray.

"Brady does some footwork stuff that we're trying to put into our game," Mason said.

Not a bad guy to emulate.

"You're always looking for different things that can help your guy," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "Hutson is a guy that we've got to do a good job keeping on balance. Sometimes, his feet get a little bit close together and he gets up on his toes. We're looking at Tom Brady and how he keeps a good base in the pocket."

The Bulldogs will go into the season with a new quarterback for the first time since 2010. That's when a pair of redshirt freshmen - Murray and Zach Metterberger - battled for the job, though the competition turned out to be short-lived. Metterberger was kicked off the team, Murray won the job, and all Mason could do was wait.

And wait. And wait.

Murray could've left for the NFL after the 2011 season; instead, he stayed with the Bulldogs. Everyone figured he was a lock to turn pro after his fourth year on campus, but Murray decided to come back for his senior season.

Now, finally, Mason is getting his chance.

"There's no second shot at this," he said. "This team's legacy and mine, too, is built on 12 games. What's to hold back for? Let go all in, hold everyone accountable, and try to bring a championship back to Athens."

There was a time, certainly, when Mason considered a transfer. But his heart was with the Bulldogs, so he took a redshirt year right in the middle of his career, allowing him to have at least one season on the field after Murray finally exhausted his eligibility.

Along the way, Mason grew up.

"There's more than just football out there," he said. "I bust my butt to do all I can, but at the end of the day, my identity is not in football. It took me a few years to find that."

Mason has already given his teammates an idea of what he can do with the ball in his hands. In the next-to-last game of the regular season, Murray tore up his left knee against Kentucky, giving Mason a head-start on the succession.

In his first career start against Georgia Tech, he led the Bulldogs back from a 20-point deficit, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns to pull out a 41-34 victory in double-overtime. In the Gator Bowl, Mason threw for 320 yards on a rain-soaked day, but a couple of crucial drops in the red zone cost Georgia in a 24-19 loss to Nebraska.

"Those two games really helped a lot as far as how guys are looking at me as a leader and stepping into that new role," Mason said. "It was a little awkward when Murray first got hurt. All of a sudden, a guy who's been the face of the franchise for four years was hurt, and everyone knows his career is over. They're kind of looking at me to step in."

Mason certainly proved to his teammates that the quarterback position is still in good shape.

"It's great to have a guy who's been in the system for so long," center David Andrews said. "I don't really see any difference from Aaron to Hutson in terms of leadership or anything like that. It's just more of the same."

Mason figures he won't be as nervous as he might've been when runs out for the season opener against Clemson, but there are still plenty of things he's looking forward to. Like hearing his name announced at Sanford Stadium along with the other starters for the very first time (both games he started last season were on the road).

"When you have to wait and bide your time for such a long time," Mason said, "it's the small things you really cherish."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 8 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 8 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 8 months ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 8 months ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 8 months ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 8 months ago )
College Sports
(VIDEO) Player of the Week: Wood's second dominating night earns Jefferson RB award
Heading into the season Jefferson coaches and players knew that Colby Wood would be an asset...
11:15AM ( 3 hours from now )
Lambert picked as starting quarterback for No. 9 Georgia
With less than a week to go before the season opener, No. 9 Georgia finally has a starting quarterback.
10:33AM ( 2 hours from now )
Falcons' offense has issues entering final preseason game
The Atlanta Falcons' most glaring unanswered questions are on offense as they began a short practice week before their final preseason game against Baltimore on Thursday night.
9:52AM ( 1 hour from now )
Miller's hard-luck streak reaches 19 starts without a win
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says he's never seen anything like Shelby Miller's tough run of luck as a starting pitcher...
11:58PM ( 8 hours ago )
Georgia finalizing plans for new indoor practice facility
The Georgia athletic board has approved a $30 million football indoor practice facility.
8:45PM ( 11 hours ago )