A few football notes to get you through the weekend. Expect football out the wazoo next week. …
Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason is working out with the best of the best at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., this week. But that hardly puts him in exclusive company.
Seems like every quarterback worth their weight in salt nowadays attends the camp of the famous quarterback family, Archie, Payton and Eli Manning. In fact, seven quarterbacks will be represented this year. In addition to Mason, Florida’s Jeff Driskell, Missouri’s Maty Mauk, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson, Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace and Tennessee’s Justin Worley will be serving in a counselor/pupil role.
Forty-one quarterbacks and receivers overall are attending this year’s camp, which got underway on Thursday.
“I’m enjoying getting to know not only the Mannings but also the best quarterbacks in the country,” said Mason, a fifth-year senior getting ready for his first season as Georgia’s undisputed starter. “I’m absorbing a lot of information for on and off the field.”
Conducted on the campus of Nicholls State University, this is the 19th year for the prestigious camp, which bring quarterbacks and receivers together for hands-on instruction from two of the NFL’s best. Georgia’s last two signalcallers, Aaron Murray and Matt Stafford, also attended the camp.
Mason is a fifth-year senior who is taking over as the Bulldogs’ starter this season. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound native of Marietta started the last two games of the 2013 season after Murray went down with a knee injury late in the second quarter of the Kentucky game.
Mason led Georgia to a come-from-behind overtime victory over Georgia Tech and had 320 yards passing and touchdown in a 24-19 Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska. For his career, Mason has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,324 yards with 8 TDs and 3 interceptions.
He left Lassiter High School as the Georgia state record holder for passing yards (4,560) and touchdowns in a season (54).
Media daze awaits
The annual SEC Football Media Days talk fest begins on Monday in Birmingham and I tweeted the other day what players the Bulldogs were taking with them – WR Chris Conley, TB Todd Gurley and LB Ramik Wilson. I’d actually asked for that information from Georgia before it was released by the SEC on Wednesday, but I was told they were sworn to secrecy until then. This is the way it is nowadays in the big, bad SEC. The league controls everything.
Anyway, found the choices – ultimately made by the head coach – to be somewhat interesting. I’d guessed shared my best guess with the UGA folks earlier this week and was told only that I was “closer to cold than hot.” My prediction was Conley, Mason and cornerback Damian Swann, so I’d say one out of three is definitely chilly.
Some might ask why I didn’t include Gurley on my list. After all, he’s one of the top two or three stars in the SEC this year and a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. But as you also may have gathered over his couple of seasons in Athens, he’s not very keen on interviews. So I thought he might beg out of going or be passed over for one of Georgia’s world-class talkers, like Mason or senior center David Andrews.
But the Bulldogs went with Gurley and I’m glad they did. He’ll certainly command a lot of attention in the Wynfrey’s Grand Ballroom.
Edwards sidelined for season
I’ve been trying to get confirmed the last couple of days the recent news that freshman offensive lineman Jake Edwards suffered a major knee injury during summer agility drills and will be unable to play this season. Dawgs247.com first reported it on its website earlier this week citing sources. But UGA has declined to confirm the report citing the federal privacy laws regarding medical information.
Finally, Edwards’ father, Heard County High School assistant principal Chris Edwards, confirmed the news to the Heard County Citizen and said he’ll likely be having surgery next week.
“We are disappointed but we know God has a plan,” Edwards told the newspaper. “Thanks for everyone’s prayers and concerns for Jake.”
Edwards, a 6-foot-4, 271-pound guard, would have competed for playing time at guard this season but was expected to be a redshirt candidate. He was a 3-star recruiting prospect and was Class AA All-State.
Speaking of tweets, I also tweeted out the news of the latest addition to the Bulldogs’ first family. Jadyn Elise Richt was born to Mark Richt’s oldest son, Jon Richt, and his wife Anna on Wednesday.
Richt hasn’t commented yet on becoming a first-time grandfather at 54. But, as you might imagine, the whole affair has played out rather publicly over social media, as everything does these days.
Jon Richt, 24, played quarterback at Clemson and Mars Hill College before settling in at UGA as an offensive quality control assistant this past spring.