After a spring and summer full of speculation, rumors, and question marks concerning who would be Georgia’s starting Quarterback for the 2015 season, we finally received an answer roughly a week ago. That answer was Greyson Lambert. Lambert looked pretty good against a completely outmatched UL Monroe team on Saturday between the hedges, and most people believe that performance has solidified him as the starter moving forward. Not so fast my friends. From all accounts it appears as if Lambert barely won this thing, and one bad game could/should completely open things back up for Ramsey and Bauta. That being said, I’d like to state my case for why Faton Bauta should/could be UGA’s starting quarterback this season or at least get some 3rd down work.
I’ll begin by addressing the current starter Greyson Lambert. Yes, Lambert has all the tools that you look for in an NFL quarterback. He’s 6’5’’, he’s got a huge arm, and he’s apparently extremely smart (graduated from UVA in 3 years) and has an elite football IQ. Well, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. To begin, there’s a reason why Lambert transferred from UVA. He wasn’t even going to be the starter on a bottom-tier ACC team that has won a combined 11 games over the past 3 seasons. Now, all those Lambert band wagoner’s will argue that this is because he didn’t have any talent around him and he wasn’t receiving great coaching. These are both valid points, but there is no way you can convince me that UVA’s former back-up quarterback should start at an SEC powerhouse like Georgia or will succeed in the SEC. On paper Lambert looks great, but from what I’ve seen on the field when he played at UVA and from the game Saturday, I am worried…..very worried. Lambert doesn’t move well in the pocket at all and has been compared to a statue by multiple reporters at UVA. Overall, I believe Lambert won this battle based off his potential and ability to throw that deep ball that Richt and Schotty for some reason seem to be enamored with. But, in my opinion Lambert is not the answer or the best option for this Georgia offense.
On the depth chart Ramsey and Bauta are listed as Co-backups, but according to all reports and evidenced by playing time distribution in the game Saturday, Brice Ramsey appears to be number 2. Ramsey, the highest rated recruit of all the QB’s (A former Elite 11 QB), was the heavy favorite to become the starter after being the back-up all last season and having 2 years of experience in Mark Richt’s system. Well, if there’s one thing you should know about sports, it’s that things don’t always work out like they are supposed to (aka the Georgia-Florida game last year). It appears as if Ramsey had every chance to win this battle, but didn’t. He has all the tools as well, including a 6 foot 3 inch frame and a cannon for an arm. There’s one major problem though. From what I hear and saw in that Belk bowl, Mr. Ramsey is a gunslinger. Basically, he has a little too much confidence in his arm causing him to not make the best decisions; therefore being turnover prone. Because of Mr. Ramsey’s turnover problem, I’d actually rank him as UGA’s 3rd best option at QB.
Finally, the third string QB and ultimate loser of the QB competition this offseason appears to be Faton Bauta. Most people expected this outcome for him too. He was the least heavily recruited of the 3 (only a 3 star recruit out of Florida) and possessed the least amount of experience. That being said, I think Faton should be Georgia’s starting Quarterback and here’s why.
To begin, According to Mark Richt, ‘Bauta is one of the hardest workers he has ever been around’ and is the film rat of film rats (We are talking Peyton Manning/Aaron Murray level). Richt also stated that he apparently made the fewest mistakes of all the Quarterbacks in summer camp. Faton also possesses something neither Ramsey nor Lambert has. He has running ability and can make plays outside the pocket if the play breaks down. When he was a recruit ESPN even wrote an article comparing him to Tim Tebow. Granted that might be a stretch, but he definitely possesses a similar body type/frame and work ethic as the former Gator. So, Bauta is a hard worker, he made the fewest mistakes of all the quarterbacks, and he has dual-threat capabilities. That sounds like the perfect starting quarterback to me.
So why is he not starting or even receiving serious consideration? There are three reasons. First, He doesn’t look the part. Richt and Schottenheimer love quarterbacks that have NFL molds meaning they are 6’3’ or above in height and have big strong arms. Bauta has neither. He is 6’2’ and has the weakest arm of the three. 2nd, because of his weaker arm, Bauta probably throws the worst deep ball of the three as well. 3rd, and this is purely speculation, but for some reason I think that Richt has something against dual-threat quarterbacks. It sounds ridiculous I know, but think about it. Georgia has only ever had one "dual-threat" QB in the 15 seasons Richt has been head coach, and that was D.J. Shockley, who was a 5th year senior and was fully encouraged to stay in the pocket as much as possible. Every other dual-threat guy that UGA has ever recruited has never really received consideration and as a result transferred (Logan Gray, Christian Lemay, and most recently Jacob Park to name a few). Heck, Richt hates dual-threat QB’s so much that he offered Cam Newton a scholarship as a Tight End. In the words of Chris Carter, "Comon Man!"
Because of his work ethic, lack of mistakes, and running ability, Faton Bauta should be Georgia’s starting Quarterback or at least should be in some 3rd and short packages. With Nick Chubb, Sonny Michel, and Keith Marshall in that backfield all Georgia needs is a game manager. We need someone that won’t turn the ball over and has the smarts to check into the right plays and read the defense. Screw the deep ball! As I mentioned earlier, Bauta is very comparable to Tim Tebow. It’s a stretch. I’ll admit to that. But is it possible Bauta could provide the same magic for this UGA team that Tebow was able to provide for Florida years ago? I think so.
At the very least Georgia should give Bauta a similar role as Florida gave Tim Tebow his freshman year, when they won the national championship. In any 3rd and short situation Florida would bring in Tebow, and plow him ahead for a couple yards and the first down. They called it "Third and Tebow." I don’t know about you, but "Third and Bauta" sounds pretty good to me!