He, in fact, is one step closer to slipping on Silver Britches and playing in a game than he thought. That’s because of the dismissal of former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who Mason considers a “good friend”.
“Zach is a good friend of mine – we talked a lot,” Mason said adding that Mettenberger was often one of the players he visited with on recruiting trips to Georgia. “If you look at the spring game last week it looked like he had the thumbs up on the quarterback spot. I guess it is another opportunity (for me).”
Mason is in no way celebrating Metteberger’s departure from the Bulldogs, but he does have an understanding of the reality that has set in.
“You don't want to see your opportunity come like this, but it is exciting,” he said. “You have to go out there and compete. You have to look at it that way, that it is one step closer to being the guy at Georgia.”
“There is probably a greater sense of urgency right now,” head coach Mark Richt said of Mason’s situation. “But he’s already had that. Still, it will change the amount of reps he will get in practice, too.”
“The guy” right now at Georgia is Aaron Murray – at least he is as it relates to the post-spring depth chart, which Richt and company released late last week. Mason could win up as the backup quarterback if Logan Gray changes positions in the fall.
While Mettenberger’s departure has juggled Mason’s possibilities for 2010, the Lassiter product said that he has been taking his preparations for Athens very serious for some time now.
“Monday mornings I throw at 5:15 AM,” he said. “Really, I do that so that I can get another day in of throwing.”
“It is a lot of conditioning while throwing. It is up-tempo, and fast paced. You are throwing a lot. I workout with a personal trainer, John Lewis, days a week on explosive training,” Mason said of his regiment.
“I have become more agile - quicker on your toes - with stuff like jumping rope with a weighted vest (about 20 pounds),” he added.
A redshirt was almost a certainty for Mason a week ago, but now, he said, he is glad he had already started working towards his future.
“Before Zach even got in trouble I was trying to get ready for summer,” he said. “I can only take care of what I can take care of. I didn't want to be embarrassed when we are running gassers in the summer. Now that this has happened it gives me a lot more motivation.”