A Different Take On The Logan Gray Situation.

I've always been fond of the old saying "you can't truly know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes." I'm even more fond of the addendum "then if you still don't like that person, who cares? You're already a mile away, and you have his shoes."

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that there's a perspective on this Logan Gray story that I don't think a lot of people are considering. Logan Gray's.

If I were Logan Gray I'd be pretty conflicted right now. I've spent 3 years pouring my every effort into the University of Georgia and its football program. It's difficult to overstate the workload that comes with being a college football player in the SEC. When you talk to some of these guys about the time commitment and the physical toll that football exacts, you come away thinking "I don't know if I could do that."

If you're Logan Gray, you've done all that and all you have to show for it is some mop-up duty at QB (much of it in no-win situations where you came in to take the pounding that the coaches didn't want Joe Cox to absorb) and occasional fair catch duty on punt returns. Ask yourself: if you were Logan Gray and you knew that everyone in Sanford Stadium groaned audibly every time they saw you come in on special teams duty, how excited would you be to do it? Would you maybe even take some psychic joy in the fact that many of the people who have spent two years talking about how you'd never make it as an SEC quarterback are now seemingly panicked over the possibility that you might agree with them?

I'm not saying it's Mark Richt's job to help Logan get in touch with his spirit bear, or find fulfillment or anything like that. If Phil Jackson and the other coaching gurus out there want to do that more power to them. But I don't expect it from Mark Richt. One of the lessons that many of us learn while working menial jobs in college is that you have a job and on that job you have a boss. If you want to keep the job you'll make the boss happy rather than the other way around. Mark Richt wins football games and teaches lessons. Logan Gray is ultimately responsible for Logan Gray's happiness. While Mark Richt and Mike Bobo would probably like Logan Gray to be happy as a member of the team, they don't require it. Just like the boss you had at that pizza joint wanted you to enjoy waiting tables. But he needed you to get the large pepperoni and Bud Light to table 14.

I imagine that Logan Gray also senses that his window is closing and that his story as a college football player has rounded the setup and is headed toward denouement. Logan Gray does not want his to be the tale of a career backup. Frankly, I don't blame him. The kid came out of high school as a highly-touted star. He could have gone to any number of Big XII schools (including the University of Missouri, right there in his hometown). Instead he chose to strike out for the SEC because it is the SEC. Logan Gray came south to the premiere conference in college football to be Peyton Manning, not Chris Smelley.

Logan Gray became one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country and made it three years on an SEC roster because he's a competitor. A hunter. I can easily imagine him saying, in the words of Elliot Gould's character Reuben from Ocean's Thirteen, "the Inuit people put their elders out on an ice flow when they can no longer hunt .  . . But I can still hunt!" Logan wants to show what he can do. What he's spent much of his young life training to do. He's not been sweating and hurting and missing social opportunities to establish himself as one of the nation's elite clipboard holders. To quote Keyshawn Johnson, "players want to play."

A move to receiver is no panacea, either. Honestly, does anyone see Logan Gray moving ahead of Israel Troupe and Rantavious Wooten on the depth chart? Because that is what would be required right now to get him up to third string. And being the fifth or sixth option at receiver is not a whole lot better than being the second option at quarterback. While Logan's knowledge of the offense would certainly be helpful, there are a lot of aspects of the receiver's craft (getting off the jam, route running, etc.) that he would have to learn. An arrangement in which he splits time between receiver and quarterback is unlikely to be productive, turning him into a jack of all trades and a master of none.

All of which sounds like a list of good reasons to go elsewhere. But Athens is not exactly Hades, either. Logan Gray seems to have had a generally good college experience. He has played some SEC football. He's put down some roots in the Classic City. He has friends and teammates here. He's going to a school which issues diplomas which mean something to a pre-journalism major. And he is only one snap away from the limelight. If he transfers to a smaller school there are no guarantees. Just ask Blake Barnes, who left for one last shot at Delta State. The last I heard he was playing semi-pro ball in France. Transferring to Iowa State or Texas Tech isn't a sure bet either. A new school with new schemes and new teammates and new coaches could take some time to navigate. 

Do I know what Logan Gray will do? Heck no. At this point I'm not certain that he does. I do know that his is a difficult decision which I would not want to be making at any age, much less at the age of 21. Either way, I hope things turn out well for him and wish him only the best. I hope you all will do the same. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!

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