There was only one real surprise out of Athens on Thursday, and it wasn’t the post-spring depth chart announced by Mark Richt or his kicking walk-on backup punter Trent Dittmer off the team. On the latter, once I heard he’d hit someone as well as being arrested for public intoxication, I figured he was gone.
As for the depth chart, which Georgiadogs.com has nicely displayed here and Richt discusses here, most of us expected Aaron Murray to be listed No. 1 all along. And it’s not even a surprise that Dean Legge of Dawg Post reports sources say the departed Zach Mettenberger would have been ranked No. 3 even if he hadn’t been dismissed. The guy was facing a one-game suspension and was the only QB not to get time with the first unit at G-Day. Of course, he would have been third.
While Richt said this depth chart is just “a snapshot of where we see our guys right now” and “by no means is this the starting lineup for the first ball game,” there’s not really much doubt that Murray is going to be the starter come fall. And like I said the other day, maybe knowing that will allow him to settle down and quit pressing so hard like he did at G-Day.
Richt again defended Murray’s showing in the spring game but also put him on notice that he has to continue to improve, saying, “He actually hit a much higher percentage of the deep balls in the other scrimmages and other practices than he did that day. But he must hit a higher percentage of deep balls than he hit in that game. But the other passes that were not so much throwing a bomb, I thought he did pretty good. The only thing I didn’t like was when the pressure got pushed into his face and he was trying to make a play and he threw the interception, that was the only one that was disappointing to me. But that’s part of the learning process is to understand that when a situation is bad, let’s not make it worse, and I don’t think there’s any question that’s helping him learn.”
No, Murray listed No. 1 wasn’t a surprise. But there was one eyebrow-raising moment Thursday when Richt indicated that Logan Gray still might play somewhere other than quarterback: “As far as another position goes, the bottom line for Logan is I want him to be in the best position to help Georgia win, and whether that’s No. 2 quarterback or getting some reps at receiver or something, that remains to be seen. But we just want to get him in the best position to help Georgia.”
Wow. That’s quite a statement. Georgia only has two quarterbacks right now and come fall the only other backup will be a totally inexperienced true freshman, Hutson Mason, and yet Richt is willing to talk about Gray possibly playing receiver. Yeah, like I said, it might not be official yet, but Murray will be the starter.
Elsewhere on the depth chart, it was a mild surprise on defense to see Christian Robinson listed ahead of the more experienced Marcus Dowtin at inside linebacker. Said Richt of Robinson: “He’s really come on. He’s learned it quickly, and he’s a guy that we can count on.”
Some observers were a little surprised to see redshirt sophomore Tavarres King listed ahead of senior Kris Durham, but considering Durham is coming back from missing a year due to injury, I wouldn’t read a lot into that. Durham showed in scrimmages and at G-Day that he’s going to catch a lot of balls for the Dogs and putting King ahead of him on the spring chart might be a way of offering encouragement to the younger player.
Likewise, junior college transfer Jakar Hamilton being behind Bacarri Rambo at free safety and Nick Williams listed No. 1 at strong safety probably doesn’t mean a lot. Those guys are going to move around between the safety spots and the coaches say Hamilton definitely is going to play a lot and still could wind up as a starter.
The same goes for tight end, where Orson Charles being listed ahead of last year’s starter, Aron White, might be considered a bit unexpected. The likelihood is that the Dogs will have two tight ends in quite often this year, and they’re absolutely loaded at the position, with Bruce Figgins and Artie Lynch also figuring to get on the field, particularly Figgins as a blocker. And Charles will be flexed out like a wide receiver some of the time.
Bottom line: The quarterback battle is over. Now Mike Bobo can concentrate on getting his starter ready.
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT HIM TO SAY?
MrSEC wonders whether a Richt comment to the Lake Country Bulldog Club earlier this week might wind up as bulletin board material in Gainesville. Asked by a fan if the Dogs are going to win in Jacksonville, Richt replied, “Are we going to beat Florida? You’re dadgum right.”
Of course, he did. Richt saying anything other than that at a booster club meeting would have been real news.