Georgia Football: Why Aaron Murray's Return Hurts Hutson Mason

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IJanuary 20, 2013

April 14, 2011; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Hutson Mason (14) scrambles in the first half of the Georgia spring game at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

When Aaron Murray decided he was going to stay for his senior season, fans were excited to hear the news.

They knew with Murray coming back, along with the offensive line and skill players such as Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett, the Bulldogs will be a contender for the SEC and national title.

But there is one player that was not necessarily thrilled with the news that Murray is making his return to Athens this upcoming season.

Backup quarterback Hutson Mason has spent the last three seasons waiting for his turn and was hoping he would have two years to be the starter. But with the return of Murray, Mason will only have one year to be the starting quarterback.

That is not always a bad thing, because D.J. Shockley was the starter for only one year for the Bulldogs and that led to a SEC Championship and an appearance to the Sugar Bowl. But Joe Cox was also a one-year starter, and that led to an 8-5 record.

Mark Richt has said that Mason will see some playing time in 2013, but he also said it would not be a situation like 10 years ago when David Greene would alternate with Shockley.

Regardless, Mason not playing hurts his chances of doing some big things with the Bulldogs and having a chance to be drafted high in the NFL.

When Mason was a senior at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga., he was not on the Bulldogs radar before the season began. But after throwing for 4,560 yards and 54 touchdowns, which were state records at the time, the Bulldogs offered him a scholarship.

Since his time in Athens, Mason has played in eight games and has thrown for 356 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He did not play in any games last season but was named co-MVP of the spring game after throwing for 133 yards and one touchdown.

After spending three seasons in this offense, Mason knows what to do and looks ready to take the helm as the Bulldogs starting quarterback. But he needs to get on the field more and play against SEC teams to prove to the coaching staff he’s ready.

If the Bulldogs are serious about making a run at the SEC and BCS title, Murray will have to be the go-to-guy from the beginning and not have Mason come in for playing time.

Mason has said he does not want to transfer, but if he only gets to play one year, he could look back and have regrets on making the decision to stay.

Mason is doing a good thing being committed to the team that he loves, but there has to be a time where a player has to want more for him. If Mason does not play as much as he wants or as much as the coaches plan to, that will put more pressure on him and the rest of the Bulldogs to succeed in 2014.