But Mason is more than just a quarterback, and he’s more than just a college student. The Lassiter High School graduate believes in helping those who are in need, and he’s not the least timid about sharing his faith.
Next month, Mason, along with Georgia receiver Michael Bennett and 25 friends, will travel to an area 200 miles outside of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip to try and bring aid and comfort to people who live in poverty.
“One of the most appealing things is it humbles you,” said the 21-year-old Mason, who went on numerous mission trips, both in the United States and abroad, while growing up attending the First Baptist Church in Woodstock.
He will be returning to the Dominican Republic for a second time after serving there when he was a sophomore at Lassiter.
“You see the poorest of the people,” Mason added. “It makes you realize that you have to count your blessings, and it’s important to serve people.”
For Bennett, all he has had to this point is the opportunity to learn about what is to come; and while he may have an idea what to expect, he said he already knows his thoughts will likely pale in comparison to reality.
“I’m excited,” said the 21-year-old Bennett, who lived in Cobb County as a youth before moving to Alpharetta. “I’m looking forward to the experience. You get a chance to build relationships.”
Mason and Bennett will be among three groups from Athens Church — their adopted church while they are at the university —going on mission trips over their spring break from March 9-16. Other groups will be going to Haiti and Nicaragua.
There are an estimated 10 million people in the Dominican, but they live very different lives depending on whether they live in the city or the countryside.
According to information from the U.S. State Department, the cities in the Dominican are thriving because of a booming tourism industry. But that is not the case in the rural areas that depend on agriculture and mining.
Josh Bayne, communications director for Athens Church and a graduate of McEachern High School, said homes in those locations are not much more than shacks, and as much as 30 percent of the country still has limited availability to electricity.
This is where Mason and Bennett will be doing their work.
They have spent the better part of the last eight to 10 weeks preparing to make the trip. Each must have a valid passport, be current on the necessary vaccinations to ward off potential illnesses from the region and, in some cases, learn how to tell their story of what their personal faith means to them.
“It’s something you have to practice,” Bayne said. “Some people have no idea how to put into words what their faith means to them.”
The efforts of Mason and Bennett to prepare for the journey have not gone unnoticed in Georgia football offices either.
“I think it’s awesome that Michael and Hutson are willing to spend their spring break in an effort designed to help others,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I’m very proud of them for participating in this very unselfish act of kindness and thankful they are Georgia Bulldogs.”
Bayne said the church, through the organization Global X, has trips in the spring and the summer. The spring trips are just for college students and, each time, they return to the same place.
“We always try to help the church continue to do what they are already doing,” he said.
What the church is doing could be any number of things — from preparing food and feeding the homeless or elderly, to working on a construction project. Other times could be spent working with children or just finding out what is going on in the day-to-day lives of the local residents.
And Mason, Bennett and the others could be doing that for 12 to 16 hours a day.
In the evening, the members of the group return to base camp, and they discuss what they learned during the day. Bayne said that is where some of the real learning takes place.
“They talk about their day and their experience,” he said. “There is a dynamic to sharing faith and telling their faith story. It really helps them grow.”
Mason has written in a blog — entitled “Beyond the Ultimate” — that he believes he has a platform and an opportunity as a member of the Georgia football team to be a role model. In the blog, he said he understands how the way he acts both on and off the field can influence the way people think.
Because of that influence, Mason wants to share what he has learned with others.
“It’s something that’s been embedded in him,” said his mother, Kelly. “There are people that have a tender spirit in serving others, and he has a heart for people.”