ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Hutson Mason met with television reporters on Friday wearing a blue and orange pin on his shirt. The round pin simply read "43." It refers to the jersey number Mason's good friend and former high school teammate Philip Lutzenkirchen used to wear at Auburn University. Lutzenkirchen, an All-SEC tight end for the Tigers, died in a car accident on June 29. When asked about the pin, Mason explained why he was wearing it.
"This is something I'll be wearing a lot this year, just to represent my buddy, Philip Lutzenkirchen who died this summer," Mason said. "[He was] from Auburn University. He played tight end. I went to high school with him; one of my best buddies. Phillip and I communicated maybe once a month and he contacted me the night before he died – so he died on a Saturday night, late on a Saturday. He reached out to me Friday night via text message and was 'Hey man, how you doin', how's summer goin'?' and I hadn't heard from him in a month and I said, 'Man, good to hear from you bud.' He [said], 'I'm rooting for you, I know good things come to those who wait, I'm praying for you man. I know I'm an Auburn guy and I wouldn't admit this in public but' … you know I'm throwing him under the bus right now, sorry man. He said 'I'm definitely rooting for you all the way this year.' Just to have that conversation just before somebody goes out, I have chills right now just thinking about it. It's just awesome to know I got that last word in with him and also his last goodbye as to this season. I'm very thankful for that last conversation that the Lord allowed me to have with him and, so that's...I'll be wearing this pin a lot this year, and I'll be thinking about him a lot and just how to represent him and everything that our relationship meant."