ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason will never forget his last phone call with Philip Lutzenkirchen.
Mason plans to remember his good friend throughout the season.
While meeting with the media Friday before the start of preseason practice, Mason sported a “43” pin — Lutzenkirchen’s number at Auburn. The former Tigers tight end was killed in a June 29 car accident.
Mason and Lutzenkirchen were teammates at Lassiter High School in suburban Atlanta and remained close, even after signing with rival schools.
The two spoke on the phone the night before the accident. Lutzenkirchen praised Mason for sticking it out at Georgia, where he spent four years as a backup before finally getting a chance to start this season.
“Just looking back on that, it gives me chills,” said Mason, who was a pall-bearer at Lutzenkirchen’s funeral. “To have that last conversation, it was kind of like his goodbye.
“It gives me a lot of peace because I know he’ll be watching over me.”
The senior quarterback plans to remember Lutzenkirchen in other ways during the season.
Georgia’s top receiver hurt
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell has another knee injury and is out indefinitely.
This is the latest setback for a player regarded as the Bulldogs’ top receiver heading into the 2013 season.
Georgia officials say Mitchell underwent arthroscopic surgery Thursday after injuring his right knee while running routes this week.
Director of sports medicine Ron Courson says a full recovery is expected, but there’s no timetable for Mitchell’s return.
The junior initially tore a ligament in his right knee in last season’s opener against Clemson, knocking him out for the rest of the year. He then hurt his left leg during spring practice and missed the remaining workouts.
Mitchell had 40 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns in 2012.
Barrow taking sabbatical
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami linebackers coach Micheal Barrow is taking a sabbatical and will not be with the Hurricanes this season to tend to an undisclosed family matter.
The Hurricanes announced the move Friday, four days before the team will have its first practice of training camp.
Hurlie Brown is moving from running backs coach to replace Barrow with the linebackers. Tim Harris will replace Brown with the running backs, and former Hurricanes wide receiver Kevin Beard has been hired to fill Harris’ role as assistant director of football operations.
Barrow played for the Hurricanes before 13 seasons in the NFL and was part of Miami’s coaching staff for seven seasons.
Pitt suspends DB Howard
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh sophomore defensive back Titus Howard was suspended for the 2014 season by coach Paul Chryst.
Chryst cited disciplinary reasons when handing out the suspension Friday.
Howard played in 11 games as a freshman last year, finishing with 21 tackles and two pass breakups. Chryst said Howard, who is from Clairton, Pennsylvania, will remain with the program and can participate in practice.
Nebraska to wear all-red
LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska and Adidas announced that the Cornhuskers will wear all-red uniforms for their game against Illinois on Sept. 27.
The “Red Rising” uniforms unveiled Friday feature black metallic stripes on the jersey and pants, black and silver metallic numbers and a large “N” on the chest.
The uniform uses what’s called “Techfit Shockweb” technology, which makes it fit tighter and, according to Adidas, makes players more difficult to tackle.
Last year the Huskers wore all-black uniforms for their home game against UCLA.
UTSA’s Soza hired by Houston
HOUSTON — Former Texas-San Antonio quarterback Eric Soza has joined Houston as an offensive assistant coach.
UT officials on Friday announced Soza will serve as quality control coach.
Soza, who graduated in 2013, remains UTSA’s all-time leading passer with 6,952 yards and 46 touchdowns.
He’s from Beeville.