Mark Richt and Mike Bobo are notoriously stingy with scholarship offers to high school quarterbacks. The stated reason has always been that they know what they're looking for in a young quarterback. They recruit the relatively few guys who have the physical attributes and mental makeup they're looking for, and have generally been very successful. With the possible exceptions of Joe Tereshinski, III and Joe Cox, there haven't been a lot of guys brought in and groomed for the starting role in Athens who did not turn into exceptional college QBs. Richt and Bobo have a template.
But is the template changing? The last three quarterbacks signed by the 'Dawgs (Faton Bauta, Brice Ramsey, and Jacob Park) all ran the ball frequently in high school, although each throws the ball plenty well to play in the SEC. For the class of 2015, the Bulldog coaching staff is once again hitting the trail offering quarterbacks who can make things happen on the ground and through the air.
The first offer I'mm aware of went to consensus top pro style passer Ricky Town, now committed to USC and formerly committed to Alabama (spoiler: he was not a Lane Kiffin fan). But in the past couple of days Georgia has now offered Baltimore dual threat QB Kai Locksley and Boynton Beach, Florida QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson's highlights are pretty impressive:
Is Mike Bobo looking for the next Johnny Manziel? I don't think so. But he's clearly not looking for the next David Greene, either. There's a definite shift over the past couple of seasons toward targeting more quarterbacks capable of running it, and who have experience in up tempo offenses. Part of that is that, with more high schools playing that type of football as opposed to the play action, pro-style attack Georgia's emphasized in the past, the odds are that more good high school quarterbacks are playing in up tempo, read option/veer/pseudo-single wing attacks.
2014 is going to be Hutson Mason's year at the helm, no doubt. But as these guys progress into the race to start in the Classic City it will be interesting to see how the Bulldog attack evolves to take advantage of evolving QB skill sets. Until later . . .