It may not be official, but Dogs’ quarterback battle is over

Logan Gray still could wind up playing somewhere other than quarterback. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Logan Gray still could wind up playing somewhere other than quarterback. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

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.

83 comments Add your comment

Thirty Points to your Twenty-Four Points

April 23rd, 2010
11:12 am

{{{{{30-24}}}}}

Thirty Points to your Twenty-Four Points

April 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

Would LOVE to share a post on the Tech Blog early this morning from a UGA foe………..

Atlanta Gator: Macrotech – well, they also beat you in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 so I guess we can talk about “THOSE” seasons too if you want. It seems like I heard you GT fans doing a whole lot of talking about “THIS” season when you beat them last year. If there is a fan base that desperate all signs point to GT fans. The only thing you do is you take jabs at UGA, and rightfully so as they are your rivals, but you have no right to do so. You win one game in 9 tries and you brag about that one win. You go to a BCS bowl “THIS” season, and get beat into the ground. Then you turn right around and make fun of UGA because they went to the Independence Bowl “THIS” season . . . which at least they won and weren’t embarrassed like GT was. Do you know how many times UGA has been to a BCS bowl? Well just in the past 10 years three times – 02, 05, and 07 . . . that compares to your one. Where were you guys when UGA was going to these bowls and the Outback, Citrus, Peach, in between the BCS bowls? You were going to places like Boise, San Fran for the Nuts Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, etc. But congrats on the fact that you had two guys go in the first round “THIS” season compared to UGA’s zero. By the way, since 2000 UGA has had 55 players drafted, 11 in the first round. During that same time period GT has had 23 players drafted with 2 in the first round, add 2 this year and you’re up to 4.

So next time you think that UGA fans LOVE to talk about “THIS” season, you might want to take a look in the mirror.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Dumbo

April 23rd, 2010
11:17 am

As usual CMR keeps recruiting QB’s that look just like he diid….short and weak armed…and now we have the 2nd Coming of Joe Cox in Murray…bring back Joe T while you’re at CMR!

Thirty Points to your Twenty-Four Points

April 23rd, 2010
11:18 am

Stafford- #1 pick. Moreno- #12 pick. 1+12=13

Tech’s first pick in this years draft…..16

Any of you Tech Nerds want to do the math for me??

knoxdawg

April 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

All I can say is whomever starts at any position they better give a 110% on every down. It is time to stop the dumb penalties and turnovers. Time to start making plays and taking the ball away from the other team. In other words, time to start playing Junkyard Dawg football! If we do that then we have a chance to have a great year. Keep up the penalty and turnover trend and it will be another disappointing year. SEC keeps getting better and better every year top to bottom. Great conference and great games to watch.

Sam

April 23rd, 2010
11:30 am

QUOTE: As usual CMR keeps recruiting QB’s that look just like he diid….short and weak armed…and now we have the 2nd Coming of Joe Cox in Murray…bring back Joe T while you’re at CMR! END

Yes, Mettenberger and Stafford were just like Richt.

SOGADOG

April 23rd, 2010
11:34 am

It looks like the philosophy of playing seniors over more talented players is changing with T. King being listed ahead of C. Durham. Let the best players play.

AVD

April 23rd, 2010
11:42 am

I was at that lake country bulldog club meeting and let me paint the picture for you a bit better….Someone asked if we were going to beat tech this year and Richt (on stage) said “I’m gonna let Bobo (had a mike with him in the crowd) answer that question, hes a little less politically correct than I am”. Bobo responded with “Ya damn right we will!”, then a teenage boy stood up and screetched “MARK, WE GONNA BEAT FLORIDA TOO!!!” In which he responded to the special young bulldog fan, “ya daggum right!” The topic was quickly changed.

AVD

April 23rd, 2010
11:47 am

Bill, I didn’t see you at Rock Eagle, too bad I missed you.

Chris S

April 23rd, 2010
11:49 am

To the aptly named Dumbo–I don’t think Matt Stafford was short and weak-armed. Ditto on DJ Shockley. Nor is Murray weak-armed, just short, kind of like a guy named Zeier who turned out to be decent.

Saint Simons

April 23rd, 2010
11:51 am

((((((( to hell with Georgia )))))))

Saint Simons

April 23rd, 2010
11:52 am

How many uga thugs will be arrested this weekend??

jasont13

April 23rd, 2010
12:00 pm

Saint Simmons is that all you have?

bigdawg

April 23rd, 2010
12:08 pm

Richt appears to finally be taking the same approach as Spurrier’s famous line: “if hes the best player he’ll play” which is the RIGHT WAY to do it. screw with Seniors taking importance over talent, we want to win THIS WEEK, THIS YEAR, as well as the next TWO OR THREE YEARS. and putting in the best players, regardless of class (fresh, soph, jun, sen) is the best way to accomplish that, nuff said

Chomper

April 23rd, 2010
12:17 pm

Mark Richt is funny…

GT STILL IS A 4TH RATE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

April 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm

FOREVER AND EVER. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA.

bigdawg

April 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm

all in favor of black helmets (with black facemasks), black jerseys, and black pants for the GT game this year???

anyone

AVD

April 23rd, 2010
12:43 pm

Richt did mention he would like to see some different color combos much like Oregon (probably not as drastic) but we will not do a blackout unless we get to atl or further and the seniors want it. He finished with something along the lines of “winning is what really matters anyways.” Yes Chomper, actually Richt is a pretty funny guy. You can tell he is not the “guarantee a win” kinda coach. The anti-Kiffin. The whole Florida thing was more or less a nice gesture to a “special” fan.

SSIgator

April 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

Notice that Richt did not say what year they were going to beat the Gators. Another ever hopeful puppy.

AltamahaDawg

April 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

nuff said bigdawg, because it didn’t need to be said. Playing the guy with the best chance to win is obvious, and always has been the case.

I am constantly blown away by this completely make up issue of playing seniors despite somebody being in better position to win ballgames getting recycled over and over in here. That would be a pretty stupid thing to do.

Talk about underachieving...

April 23rd, 2010
12:59 pm

…and I am not talking UGA this time – but Oklahoma having 3 of the first 4 picks in the NFL draft yesterday, and still not being able to even win their conference, makes UGA look like a normal school when it comes to “under coaching”…

chiefdawg

April 23rd, 2010
1:01 pm

UF doesn’t need bulletin board material. They beat UGA all the time without.

Mike

April 23rd, 2010
1:02 pm

Murray needs to become a deep ball threat, but overthrowing is a lot better than underthrowing.

And he needs to execute a strong td to int ratio….stop throwing so many int’s and so few td’s.

toga

April 23rd, 2010
1:03 pm

Richt is worst coach in the SEC. Rookie QB with suspect O line and he is talking about Gray at WR? Better hope the Dogs have a great running game. But because of the crappy recruiting, the O line will not scare anyone and the holes will be few and far between. Receipe for disaster. I would take any of Bama’s 3rd string guys over the Ga starters.

Neither one of these QBs would even be on a Bama or Florida team. Georgia better wake up quick or they will be the next Miss St.

ROLL TIDE

toga

April 23rd, 2010
1:07 pm

Green is the only exception to my above post.

Roll Tide

$750K

April 23rd, 2010
1:07 pm

Now if we would just quit paying some football coach $750K at a time when our education budget is being slashes, we could have a headline that says, “Football Budget Slashed: UGA Regains Respect as an Academic Institution.” One can dream, no?

OrlG8r

April 23rd, 2010
1:11 pm

Now that the race to the top for the QB’s is done comes the race down to the middle of the SEC East rankings.

Dumbo

April 23rd, 2010
1:18 pm

Sam….I must be dumb or something…..but how many QB’s has CMR had that were over 6′2″ that he recruited….oh that’s right 2 and you named them……ever wonder why he only recruits 1 QB every 3 yrs….inquiring minds would like to know: that way we don’t end up with a 3rd stringer playing QB in the SEC……remember Joe T, Joe Cox and Cox’s clone Murray great SEC QB’s….hurah!!!!!!!!

Buckhead Dawg

April 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

toga – running game will be great, O line is experienced, and you are a moron.

Tim Teblow

April 23rd, 2010
1:22 pm

“$750K”, i would much rather the headline read, “UGA are the Football National Champs” rather than your headline. This is a sports blog, not an “I wish our guys perform better in the classroon” blog!!

toga=moron

April 23rd, 2010
1:26 pm

Yeah, Murray would not even make the Florida team. That is why he was so heavily recruited by Florida, right moron!

Mike

April 23rd, 2010
1:33 pm

Richt said he would not name Murray the starter, interesting.

Means Mason or Gray still have a shot in Richt’s mind.

Coach Richt had some great things to say about Mason, so it’s probably gonna be Mason battling for the starting position, especially the way Mason throws the deep ball (4500 yards and over 50 touchdowns last year), and with Mason’s 72% accuracy, you’d have to think he’s a lot better than Gray.

Love to see Gray move over to WR.

Your 6-Figure Athletic Director Mr. Evans

April 23rd, 2010
1:38 pm

Friends, as an efficiency measure, Coach Richt’s weekly press conference will originate from the Clark County Detention Center so that coaches can visit current and former players, and the weekly “kicked-off the team” notification can be made.

Don’t forget, President Adams and I appreciate your prompt payment of donations for the privilege of buying tickets to support our activities.

Dumbo

April 23rd, 2010
1:39 pm

toga=moron….uh hate to inform you but Murray was recruited by UF, but at that time they had Newton & Brantley waiting as freshmen….I don’t think Murray really liked his chances against either and we’ll get to see both this year and then you can decide if Murray is the next great thing or not…I’m betting his keyster knots up so bad against SC that he can’t pass gas for a week !

Delbert D.

April 23rd, 2010
1:44 pm

No walk-ons available for emergency QB???

root4au

April 23rd, 2010
1:46 pm

He finally kicked someone off the team after being arrested. The walk on punter.

ButlerDawg

April 23rd, 2010
1:49 pm

Logan Gray isn’t moving to wide-receiver (atleast not this year). They will need his experience.

Bulldog59

April 23rd, 2010
1:55 pm

QB: Obvious concern, any time you have a new guy, no matter his high school hoopla, this is the SEC, and he has to prove himself.

RBs: Much of the Bulldog Nation is hopeful we expand the offensive sets a bit to incorporate the spread option occasionally, this will give Carlton Thomas a chance to strut his stuff. DJ would benefit from these sets as well. Bottom line, if Ealey and King stay healthy and achieve their goals of 1000 yards each for 2010, the running game will win games for us. Boling, Glenn, Jones, Davis, and Davis compose an experienced and hungry OL, wanting to show well this year.

WRs: Wooten, on game day, will find a way to get in the game, get open, and get the ball. AJ will be targeted by opposing D, but he can’t always be stopped, no matter what you do, he’ll continue to make big plays and be the go-to guy. Look for the rest of the receiving corp. to step up and help us move the chains. Not a bunch of marquee names, but a solid group.

Defense: Can’t wait to see them in action. Everyone should definitely expect some early mistakes resulting in some big plays for the opposition. But, expect Grantham and Co. to make the unit better every week. Once Coach G has time to work with some of the new guys, like Smith and Thorton, we may even see them in the rotation as true freshman.

Bottom line for the Dogs: We attack the opposition from both sides of the ball, every single play. If you don’t GATA, take a seat. A new attitude in 2010 for the Dogs where every player wins his spot every week. It’s going to be very exciting.

DAWGFAN

April 23rd, 2010
1:57 pm

toga-

I think you better worry about the NCAA coming down on Bama again for recruiting and not the dawgs O Line so much. It was a nice run Bama had I was glad to see the SEC represented well but I can see Bama losing to Auburn and LSU this season and that sucks that you wont get to see the Dawgs O Line first hand in Atlanta come December. Richt is 3-1 against Bama last I checked. Good Luck tho!

BuzztheKiller

April 23rd, 2010
1:58 pm

Very telling that all the first comments on a blog about UGA’s QB starter and the lineup in general are about Tech. I love the fact that I can read the Tech blog or the UGA blog, and its all about TECH! Its great to be popular.

Mike

April 23rd, 2010
1:59 pm

The QB race is FAR from over. What could happen to turn it upside down:
a) Murray continues to throw more interceptions than td’s
b) Murray struggles in public scrimmages again
c) Murray can’t get accurate on the long ball
d) Logan outperforms Murray
e) Murray gets injured
f) Mason outperforms everyone
g) WR gets injured, Gray has to move to WR

So to call it over, when Richt won’t name a starter because there’s no clear seperation, is premature. Richt can coach QB’s, and he says there’s no clear starter yet.

Les W. Moore

April 23rd, 2010
2:09 pm

Cox was awful, Stafford was a disapointment, Tereshinski couln’t play for Ga. State, and Green was just average. Other than Shockley…. I thought Richt was a QB coach?

Dave In Tampa

April 23rd, 2010
2:11 pm

Green average???? You did not have much of a chance to watch him did you? The others I agree!

Delbert D.

April 23rd, 2010
2:17 pm

Hutson Mason probably need would most of the season to be competent in Georgia’s offense. If he is the emergency #3 backup, I can see a problem there. If they don’t tag him with the redshirt from day one, CMR would do well to put in some familiar plays just for him, just in case. His HS offense was that different. Surely there is somebody on the roster who has taken snaps at QB before.

oldfart

April 23rd, 2010
2:23 pm

Along with the black helmets how ’bout black and white horizontal stripes for uniforms this year?

Dawg 39

April 23rd, 2010
2:29 pm

Bulldog59, Looking for someonr to agree with & you hit the nail on the head. Look for Murray to have a 4 year run similar to David Greene. The Dawgs are back & are for real. We have the coaches, the players. & the fans to make it happen.

Shreveport Sam

April 23rd, 2010
2:31 pm

Ah, “34-24.” Your posts resonate like fine music. (I can explain what “resonate” means if you’d like).

I’ll just speak for myself here, but I’m stunned at the announcement of Georgia’s starting quarterback. Stunned! One just got kicked off the team, candidate #2 played behind Joe Cox, so the drama inherent in this situation is amazing. Even stunning!

tampadawg86

April 23rd, 2010
2:33 pm

Dumbo have you sen Murray play? The kid is a stud and a winner. He came back in 4 weeks after he broke his leg his senior year and lead his team to the State Championship game in Florida mind you which is one of the riches states in football talent. Would love to see what kinda arm you got. Murray is going to be a DGD!!!! Congrats to my boy Aaron and Lets GATA baby!

tampadawg86

April 23rd, 2010
2:39 pm

Toga you are a freakin idiot dude. Horrible recruiting? We’ve had top 10 top 5 recruitings the past 10 years? Your a freakin clown dude that doesn’t know what your tlaking about. Murray was heavily recruted by Florida and would mostlikley be the start over brantely. Why don’t you do a lil research and look at some film and tapes and maybe just maybe open your mouth until then keep it shut! Cause you have no clue as to what your talking about. How horrible OL? lol dude our OL is going to be stacked this year!

Techmaninathens

April 23rd, 2010
2:41 pm

This must be the largest collection of brainless, immature, directionless, and overall childish posters on the planet. This is a romper room of juveniles and UGA drifters always knocking and following GT stories to take their cheap shots. I would be surprised if 10% of this bunch have a degree from anywhere.