Commentary: Cobb football alumni playing with spring in their steps
by John Bednarowski
April 17, 2011 12:00 AM | 2570 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason made a good impression in Athens this spring.

The question is, will it be enough to get him on the field this fall?

Right now, it seems Mason's doing everything right. He threw three touchdown passes last week, then added 109 yards and an interception in Saturday's G-Day game.

Mason consistently moved the Bulldogs' offense whenever called upon, and his effort was good enough for him to earn an award as the team's most improved offensive player of the spring, along with fullback Alexander Ogletree.

The problem is, as much as Mason is accomplishing, it seems like Aaron Murray is always accomplishing a little more. Murray was the team's offensive MVP for the spring, with tight end Orson Charles.

Sure, Mason's only been there a year, but playing as a true freshman may have handcuffed him for his entire collegiate career. If things stay the same, Mason and Murray will reach their senior seasons together.

It's becoming likely that, if Mason, who set nearly every Georgia high school passing record, wants to start - or even play - he may have to think about going somewhere else.

Of course that could change if Murray gets hurt or leaves early for the NFL. Mason could also redshirt, but now there's true freshman Christian LeMay, who may pose a challenge for the No. 2 spot. After replacing Murray, LeMay led the game-winning drive to lift the Black team over Mason's Red squad 18-11.

A couple of Cobb defensive linemen also had good springs for Georgia.

Former Walton standout Brandon Burrows proved he was completely over the torn ACL he suffered prior to his senior season with the Raiders. During the scrimmage last weekend, the redshirt freshman disrupted things to the tune of six tackles and two sacks.

Redshirt sophomore Derrick Lott, a former North Cobb star, waited until the G-Day game to shine. He had two sacks Saturday, including a grab of Murray in the end zone for a safety.

Lott and Burrows should see plenty of playing time for Georgia in the fall.

Over at Auburn, the Tigers were breaking in new quarterbacks during their A-Day game trying to find a replacement for Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Three guys took their turns under center, but whoever wins the job, they know who will line up at tight end.

Philip Lutzenkirchen, another former Lassiter star, led the Tigers in receiving with four grabs for 65 yards and the day's only touchdown - a 19-yard pass from Barrett Trotter.

Lutzenkirchen, a rising junior, was named the game's offensive MVP and his output may be the signal of things to come. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder will continue to play as traditional tight end and halfback, but he will also see time lining up in the slot this fall.

Lutzenkirchen knows the slot well. He lined up there in Lassiter's offense and as a senior caught 72 passes for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last year, while earning a national championship ring for the Tigers, he caught 15 passes for 185 yards and four touchdowns.

Up the road in Birmingham, former Marietta running back Greg Franklin was having a big day in UAB's spring game. Franklin, who played sparingly as a freshman last season, had a team-high 103 yards and scored a pair of second-half touchdowns on 17 carries. The performance definitely caught the eye of Blazers' coach Neil Callaway.

"I was proud of the way Greg Franklin ran at the end," Callaway said. "I made it a point that I wanted to get him the ball and see what he could do with it. And he responded well."

Another former Cobb standout shined in his spring game Friday night and may have made a case for more playing time at Georgia Southern.

Former Sprayberry QB Jerick McKinnon, who spent last season backing up Georgia Tech transfer Jaybo Shaw, was 3-of-4 in the air for 119 yards and a 73-yard touchdown. He also carried the ball 13 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and he even caught a 12-yard pass.

McKinnon may have had the better overall game, but Shaw came out on top where it counted as his team pulled out a 21-20 victory in the Eagles' annual Blue-White Game.

John Bednarowski is sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal. He can be reached at
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Cobb at Tech
April 17, 2011
Cobb will have a good showing on the flats for the next few years as well. Kennesaw Mountain's Jay Finch has locked up the starting center job. Most think Synjyn Days will be starting at quarterback and his brother Jabari will have a good shot to play as a true freshman at a very thin position of inside linebackers. Darren Waller will get a shot at WR as well.

Good to see Cobb kids making an impact on the college level as well as the couple of kids we have in the NFL.
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