No. 2 on the depth chart? No thanks.

That's why the old-school development of Hutson Mason at Georgia and Dylan Thompson at South Carolina stands out. Both players are fifth-year seniors who bided their time behind longtime starters.

"I never even once went to my family," Thompson said. "Transferring never crossed my mind. But I do think it helped that my redshirt sophomore year, I got some significant time, because I was like, 'OK, I'm going to be the guy here eventually.' Whenever that is, I'll be ready for it."

Mason agonized more than Thompson did. He had several discussions with Georgia head coach Mark Richt about leaving. But, Richt said, Mason liked the offense, liked the stability of the offensive coaching staff and could see for himself the talent that would be in the huddle with him this fall.

Richt has put veteran quarterbacks in that situation more than once. He coached the position during that incredible run at Florida State, when talented quarterbacks such as Casey Weldon, Charlie Ward, Danny Kanell, Thad Busby and Chris Weinke all slowly, patiently ascended the depth chart. In 2005, Richt's fifth season in Athens, Georgia, fifth-year senior D.J. Shockley took over for David Greene and led the Bulldogs to an SEC championship.

"D.J. basically had what Hutson has: one shot," Richt said. "Hutson made a comment when somebody asked him what he wanted his legacy to be. He said, 'I can't break all these records that [Aaron] Murray has just broken in the SEC and all that, so my greatest legacy is to try to win a championship for Georgia.' So his mindset is to win games, not break records. All that doesn't matter. What's going to define him is how good his team is his senior year. That's a healthy way for your quarterback to think."

Transferring quarterbacks might be the future. But don't be surprised if waiting quarterbacks remain a successful way to win in the present.

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