ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 19: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs looks to pass against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
There is no doubt that Aaron Murray is the 2012 starting quarterback. That's one, and almost the only one clear fact. That's a good thing. It's his time to rise up and shine as an upperclassman and the sky is the limit for him at this point, and I look forward to his time this year. Everything after that under center, however, is pretty uncertain. What's uncertain you may ask? Well, to start, who is the number 2 quarterback? You may have thought it was either Hutson Mason or Christian LeMay, but that is not clearly defined by Coach Richt yet based on his and Coach Bobo's statements. There seems to still be much competition for number 2. After all the drama last year of Mason leaving to get playing time and electing to redshirt, his status as a red shirt is not set in stone. So, what we know beyond Murray starting is there is a lot of competition, a touch of drama, and some serious decisions to be made in our QB management in the near future.
It would be nice to have more clearly defined facts and depth charts, but those facts seems to be in the process of being settled on the practice field. Contrary to what happened in the discussion last year, the #2 spot seems to still be largely in the air and largely in competition, and you can't get a straight answer from Coach Bobo on the topic, which is understandable and I appreciate, oddly, his and Coach Richt's deflections in the media on the topic. What is also pretty clear is that Christian LeMay is not doing as well as hoped, and has yet to separate himself in any way, and perhaps that is why Mason is still around for the defined #2 spot. Perhaps the last known certainty is UGA has QBs coming out its ears, with Faton Bauta enrolling last January, and very likely to red shirt, Brice Ramsey has committed and will enroll in 2013, and believe it or not walk on Parker Welsh is in competition for the #3 spot. As Kyle likes to say, these are good kinds of problems to have, but they can be confusing ones at the same time. For me, I feel it sure would be nice to have this kind of problem on the Offensive Line for a change, which is still struggling to have a solid, stand out front 5.
Why is this important? Well, although Aaron Murray is the starter, there is no "fo sho" guarantee he will be here in 2013. It's highly possible. But another 35 TD year and a possible 2nd round draft pick may sway his opinion. The man has already graduated with a diploma afterall, and he's not getting younger. With his own red shirt, he's been around a while. More importantly, we don't want to find ourselves in a Joe Cox situation in either 2013 or 2014, and getting some snaps as a freshman is going to be critical for QB development from 2014-2016. Brice Ramsey looks to be very good, and Fauta has great legs. This even led me to believe of a possible two QB situation. Yea, I know, you just groaned. But the skill sets and weapons are different, and a David Greene/DJ Shockley combo isn't always the worst thing. I watched Ramsey just a touch in ESPN's Elite 11 show, and it seems he had some early jitters and fell off the radar, but that troubles me not. He competed, he's a top QB recruit nationally, and he wants to be a Dawg. I'll take it.
Ultimately, it seems quarterbacks, top, solid QBs, want to come to UGA, and want to study under Mark Richt. That's a good thing. How it's managed by Coaches Richt and Bobo is the most critical thing. We don't need a lackluster 5thyear senior to start for a busted year, and we don't need on the field QB experiments and failed offensive tinkering taking away from the play action design (wild dawg anyone?). The players, tools and resources to develop a great starting QB every couple of years for some time are there, and it's up to our staff to identify strengths and weaknesses, build offenses that support those strengths while mitigating those weaknesses, and ensure we don't find ourselves in a desperate situation in case of someone leaving for the NFL or strike me down forgive me any injuries. This is why having a deep thinking Offensive Coordinator is so important beyond straight up Xs and Os or teaching QB fundamentals to a developing underclassmen, this is pure talent analysis, management, and vision, and how that is done could break our way very favorably, or it could bite us horribly. Here's to a great bunch of outstanding QB's, what are your takes and thoughts?