There’s more than one way to keep a quarterback happy

Does Logan Gray really want to play receiver? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Does Logan Gray really want to play receiver? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

What to make of the Logan Gray situation?

If it were simply a case of the apparent loser in the battle for the starting quarterback job threatening to go elsewhere to play, you’d have to conclude he wasn’t thinking too clearly.

First of all, Mark Richt isn’t likely to change his mind about who his starter is just because of the threat that the backup might go elsewhere. That didn’t even work for D.J. Shockley’s dad, and D.J. was a helluva lot more talented QB than Gray is.

Secondly, even if you view it from the perspective of what’s best for Gray, rather than the program, it doesn’t make sense. Gray is one injury away from starting for an SEC team. If he leaves, he can either drop down to a lower level for two years of potential playing time or  give up a year of eligibility if he goes to another Football Bowl Subdivision team. And what are the odds he’ll waltz in as a one-year QB and start at such a school?

Gray’s high school coach, A.J. Ofodile of Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., who was in contact with the player on Monday about all this, put it pretty well in the Athens Banner-Herald: “I think it would be a very hard decision for him to [transfer] based on the situation. He’s at the school that he wants to be at. Even in this situation, which is probably a worst case scenario, he’s probably an ankle injury away from being the starting quarterback at the school he wants to be at. It’s not like he could transfer to another comparable school without losing a year and most people don’t want a one-year quarterback.” (I added the italics for emphasis.)

However, it’s not clear that this is really about Gray chafing at being the backup QB. Gray talked to the coaching staff after last season about switching positions, probably to receiver. While the decision was left in his hands, he apparently was encouraged to stick with the QB competition at least through spring practice. Had Zach Mettenberger not been kicked off the team, Gray most likely would have gotten his wish come August.

But Macon/Columbus beat writer David Hale says that he understands the problem is that while Gray “truly wants to play receiver now,” that’s “not much of an option at UGA apparently.”

Which is kind of puzzling. Why would that not be an option at UGA? Richt himself said just last week that 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.”

While that made it pretty clear Aaron Murray is his QB of choice, it also indicates a willingness on Richt’s part to let his backup QB get playing time at another position. And it’s not like it’s a practice that’s unheard of. Texas A&M’s backup quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, is also his team’s leading receiver.

So if that’s the rub, if Gray really wants to be playing receiver, why not let him? Sure, it’s not an ideal scenario: If Gray gets hurt playing receiver and then Murray gets hurt, the Dogs would face playing a completely inexperienced true freshman at quarterback.

But if Gray transfers elsewhere, that’s still the situation. And the Dogs could use a little more depth at receiver.

So why not roll with it, let Gray follow the Tannehill model and keep him happy while still having an experienced backup?

199 comments Add your comment

Bubba

April 27th, 2010
10:41 am

Good points, Bill. I can’t see Logan going to another 1-A school, unless it’s a bottom feeder. If he wants playing time, he would need to drop down to 1-AA. Why do that when you’re an injury away from being the starter at UGA?

Heath

April 27th, 2010
10:46 am

He may be looking at 1-AA schools like Montana, who still placeplayers in the NFL fairly regularly. Not saying that he does or doesnt have that much talent, but it may have crossed his mind.

Cory

April 27th, 2010
10:51 am

This is once again why we are in the position we always are and will NEVER be at the top of college football. Yet more stupid decisions. It is much easier to look at these things objectively since I have given up my ties to UGA football (e.g. money, tickets etc) and now consider myself a regular college football fan with no ties to any particular school. I just got sick and tired of the same old crap year in and year out. Hopefully, someday UGA will get to the position of UF, Bama and even LSU.

UGA-72

April 27th, 2010
10:55 am

Hell, Men, Logan just wants a chance to play football. How many of us would be satisfied to stand on the sidelines “only an injury away” from playing the game? I think he is being smart to weigh his options; he can only walk this road once in his life. Best of luck to Logan as he wrestles with one of life’s tough decisions.

Football Ken

April 27th, 2010
10:56 am

Hey Bill,
Throughout this whole “Gray”mess, most ppl are missing the point about the caliber of recruits we are going after. I mean, whoever is evaluating the talent for program and or positions, is not doing a good job. It seems lately we have “settled” for kids, rather than go hard for the elite prospects at their position. There are alot of kids at UGA, that should be playing at smaller schools anyway. Just not D-1 talent, especially SEC talent……just a thought.

dawgfan

April 27th, 2010
11:03 am

Bill, you are misinformed- Gray graduates at the end of the summer, he can enroll in a D-1 grad program and have 2 years of eligibility left despite the transfer.

Bubba

April 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Ken, I think Aaron Murray was the no. 2 or 3 rated HS QB in the country when he came out. You don’t call that an ‘elite prospect?’

Stephen Harrison

April 27th, 2010
11:06 am

First of all I’m glad to have Logan on the team He wants to be a bulldog! I cant blame him for looking elsewhere for an opportunity to play but at the same time the offense we run we need a QB with above average arm strength to stretch the field Arms like Stafford’s dont come around often but you dont have to be able to sling it 70 yards but his arm strength is average at best. I agree I tink he should play WR most players on the team would tell you Logan is one of their fastest & most athletic players he just never devolped much from a HS qb to a college qb but dont put him in for one play in the shotgun & run a draw that has not & will not work!

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 27th, 2010
11:07 am

I agreee Ken, I have been saying for a couple of years, Rodney Garner should of been let go with Willie. There have been depth issues at several positions and that is his main responsibility as coordinator. Anyone with half a brain should have known that Stafford and Merino were only be there for 3 years and Richt himself should have played knowshon as a true Freshman. The program is in disarray and the fingers should be pointing at the top.

Frank Lane

April 27th, 2010
11:07 am

We did it with Hines Ward and he went on to be MVP of the Super Bowl. Why not put Gray in a multi-role position just the same as Ward?

Hines

April 27th, 2010
11:10 am

Frank, dont compare Gray with me, he couldnt wear my jock

Alabamadawg

April 27th, 2010
11:17 am

First off, let me say ( and I’m not disagreeing with you ) we don’t really know that DJ is a “helluva” lot better than Gray, based on how they have each performed as back-ups. If we remember correctly DJ was terrible until he got the starters job. Gray could blossom as a starter. Plus DJ never had to practice with the special teams, thereby taking away valuable practice time under center.Yes, I do know where rivals etc. had each of them coming out of highschool, but I don’t put much stock in those services. I do wish Logan the very best, whatever he choses to do.

Roman

April 27th, 2010
11:22 am

The reason that he can’t play receiver at Georgia is that he would be about 7th or 8th on the depth chart at that position. If he wants to transfer, let him. Not everyone can be a starter.

dan

April 27th, 2010
11:23 am

Football Ken,

I agree with you somewhat. I still think we recruit well on offense, but defensively we have not. Yeah Yeah…I know we had 5 guys drafted this past weekend…I know. And yes, I realize that Willie sucked, and believe me I get it! But it seems like the guys on defense that are going to the NFL are just role players, whereas 8-10 years ago guys like Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, Charles Grant, Will Witherspoon were going on to all pro careers in the NFL. The last 2 year’s production on defense was a combination of bad scheme(Willie), lack of talent( especially on the defensive line), lack of fundamentals( players AND coaches), and players not being ultilized correctly( coaches).

How2fish

April 27th, 2010
11:24 am

Good article Bill. I hope Logan stays but if he truly feels he need a change, best of luck to him. He has done all he can to help the program to this point.

Spike

April 27th, 2010
11:28 am

Hines Ward was and is a great player. But let’s be clear he was a great reciever and play maker, not a great fill in QB. It wasn’t his fault, he was put in a tough spot by other players injuries and the knucklehead Ray Goff. Need an example? Remeber the 1995 UGA-Alabama game? I do. I was there for the 30-0 a$$ whuppin.

AceDawg

April 27th, 2010
11:29 am

Let Gray train wherever he wants. At least he is on the roster if/when a problem occurs and we need him at QB. C’mon – even if the guy hasn’t been practicing at QB, he is athletic enough to do more than a Joe Thereshinski.

meh

April 27th, 2010
11:30 am

I agree. let him play some receiver. you could probably work in some trickeration if you had a QB lined up at receiver.

Cuz

April 27th, 2010
11:30 am

I don’t think Logan is as talented as Hines Ward, Hines is a once in a generation. But I think that Logan would make a good WR with his mobility.

dan

April 27th, 2010
11:30 am

Alabama Dawg,

DJ Shockley was NOT terrible. I was in the stadium in 2002 vs. Clemson when he bailed our asses out in relief of David Greene( who was having a terrible game) where he threw a TD and ran for another. He struggled every once in a while( Florida 2002, Ga. Tech 2004), but he was a great change of pace QB for us more times than not. And I really believe that the players( especially the black ones) rallied around DJ in 2005. If he was terrible, he would have crapped his pants like Joe Cox did this year. Talent when utilized correctly eventually proves itself and so does a lack of talent. Logan Gray is NOWHERE near DJ Shockley in terms of talent or as a QB.

Champaign Dawg

April 27th, 2010
11:39 am

Dearest Cory,
Good riddance to you. I can’t even begin to fathom how much immaturity and lack of rationality would be required for a “fan” to give up on his team. We’ve had 2 down years and you’ve given up? Good, get the hayull off the bandwagon. There’s plenty of real fans willing to sit in your old seat. You were no fan to begin with. You are exactly what’s wrong with college athletics in America. Instant gratification and entitlement are par for the course. Fans like you are what cause other SEC fans to call us one of the more irrational fanbases in the country. Delusional, I’d suggest you are. I’m glad you’ve given up and would suggest you give up on this blog too. If you feel that way, the rest of us fans would just as soon not hear from you either.

dap01

April 27th, 2010
11:41 am

Logan: Be happy at UGA. You are one ankle injury from playing in front of 93,000+.

The Midget

April 27th, 2010
11:45 am

I was hurt twice in High School and during my freshman year, Logan stay because I won’t finish the year as a starter.

Dawgustus

April 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Spot on Bill. Let him play receiver, which is seriously thin, and if something happens to Murray, he can sub until Murray’s back. It would also give Bobo the chance to design some nifty plays for Gray when lined up at WR.

UGA 82

April 27th, 2010
11:47 am

Enter your comments here

UGA 82

April 27th, 2010
11:49 am

Richt should let him play receiver if he can earn the field time….worked out well for Kansas b/c the Falcons just drafted their back-up qb to play wr in the nfl. Hope they reconsider letting him play. GO DAWGS!

BAMA STAN

April 27th, 2010
11:53 am

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

UGA will be fine! Let Logan train at WR – he understands the routs – is fast – is quick – would be great our of the slot – does he have Hands?

If he transfers – wish him the best. He gave it his best shot – and probably understands that if he wants to realize his dream of leading a team – it may have to be at a 1AA level. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!

UGA-72’s 10:55 post was excellent:

“Hell, Men, Logan just wants a chance to play football. How many of us would be satisfied to stand on the sidelines “only an injury away” from playing the game? I think he is being smart to weigh his options; he can only walk this road once in his life. Best of luck to Logan as he wrestles with one of life’s tough decisions”.

Nicely stated UGA-72!!

Best of luck to Logan!

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!

Sir Barks A Lot

April 27th, 2010
11:57 am

Bama Stan – I have been reading your posts for a long time. Enjoy what you have to say – even if sometimes disagree. Thank you for keeping it classey in regards to a player on a team that you do not root for. Hope to see you in the Dome this December! GATA

Sir Barks A Lot

April 27th, 2010
11:59 am

UGA-72 – agree with Bama Stan – nice post!!

Logan can only walk this road once in his life – Hell, all he wants to do is play some football – would you be satisfied with being an “ankle injury” away from living your dream?

GATA

bigdawg

April 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

I wish they’d stick him at WR. while i disagree on the notion that we have no depth at the position, having yet another threat never hurt anyone…

81' Dog

April 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

Call me crazy but didn’t we only offer Logan Gray to get Aaron White??

bill_in_atl

April 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Logan wasn’t a case of recruiting a guy no one wanted. UF and especially Nebraska wanted him badly in addition to MANY other BCS level schools.

There were rumors that he enjoyed college life a little too much and has stayed in the coach’s dog house, although I have ZERO direct knowledge of that…so perhaps I shouldn’t type it.

Personally I like his attitude as it relates to wanting to play and wanting to play any position on the field to help the team.

Columbus Tiger - WAR EAGLE!!!

April 27th, 2010
12:13 pm

Agree with Mr. BS – Bama Stan. One thing about STAN – he maybe an obnoxious BAMA fan – but he is also a great fan of all SEC teams and respects them. He will give his honest opinion – and predicted UGA would struggle in 2009. Interesting – he predicted 2010 could be a great year for UGA!

Stan – what are your thoughts about AUBURN in 2010????

Shenandoah

April 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

The kid just wants to play and has done everything asked of him. Time for him to spend a little time looking out for himself. Richt and crew surely don’t have a recent history of success in player decision making.

If he and Zach had gotten some actual/real playing time last year a lot of things would look different today. Looks like “micro management/favoritism” at the top, with little attention to the big picture. No decent player wants to ride the bench waiting for what ifs. For heaven sakes throw this kid a bone.

DawgMAN

April 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

Need a backup – Murray is injury prone.

bill_in_atl

April 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

Tiger, I have only one prediction for you. Five in a row.

And please don’t shoot us with your fire hoses again. Thanks.

Vick=Dog killing thug

April 27th, 2010
12:19 pm

I’m just sick over yet another drunk/fake ID arrest. What are these kids thinking? College kids do like to party.. but why risk getting arrested? Get drunk in the dorms and chase the co-eds.

EllijayDawg

April 27th, 2010
12:20 pm

I am sure Richt and Gray have had good discussions as to where he fits into the situation and what his options are. If Logan wants to play WR – let him. QB did not work out for him.

Dawg 39

April 27th, 2010
12:27 pm

Remember we can & we will run the ball & set up play action passes. WR is not a weakness. Gray has a better chance to get on the field at QB than at WR. (! INJ. away). I still think Gray should get into games with a different set of run/pass options than Murray. He should play. However, I think AM is on track to have a very sucessful 4 year run. Hope they can work all of this out.

Columbus Tiger - WAR EAGLE!!!

April 27th, 2010
12:34 pm

bill_in_atl – thank you for your prediction. you maybe right with the 5 in a row.

Hey, we will keep the hoses off the UGA fans as long as you agree not to storm our field again – which is what started the hose down to begin with – then we decided – What the heck – let’s “cool” down the remaining Dog fans in the stands while we are at it!!!!

Seriously – glad no one was hurt. But you have to admit – what a classless thing to do – run on an opponents field after game – talk about poor sportsmanship and rubbing your nose in it – Glad we were able to “COOL” down the situation with effective crowd control mesures.

I am sure UGA fans would have really enjoyed the sight of GATOR fans running on the field at Sanford Stadium after they drubbed UGA in Athens when the stadium in JAX was under construction – know what I’M saying?

WDE!!!

DoubleDownDawgFan

April 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

Only way to keep anyone at UGA happy is to provide them with free alcohol and a fake ID….this is getting out of hand!

FireMarkRicht.com

Chris

April 27th, 2010
12:38 pm

Dan,
What exactly are ‘role players’ on defense? Correct me if I’m wrong but Seymour and Stroud’s senior season was Donnan’s infamous ‘I’ve waited 50 years to coach a team with this much talent’ that ended up 8-4? We did indeed have five players drafted and so deemed NFL talent.

It was one bad year people. Thanks Bama Stan..you give hope to the rest of us that blogs can be a civil place to live.

bigdawg

April 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

who here is for black helmets, black jerseys, and black pants for when GT comes to town?!?!

Anyone?!?!?!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

Coming out of High School Gray was not the standard UGA QB. I believe he ran a version of the Spread. Let the young man play WR and be the backup. I think this is just a flawed recruitment that unfortunately is at a very important position.

TigerTime

April 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

CMR’s last year. Between the annual avalanche of out of control players getting arrested and the loss of yet another QB…a mid to lower team SEC team just hit rock bottom. And there’s not a defensive coordinator to fall on this year…..

allan in texas

April 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

Mr.King, Are you the same Gentleman that speaks to the guys on the radio here at espnaustin?

DawgGirl32

April 27th, 2010
12:59 pm

Let’s be real here. Does anyone really think that if Logan switched to receiver that he’d ever see the field in that position? He would be behind Marlon Brown and Israel Troupe for sure just out of sheer inexperience and they don’t even see the field.

bigdawg

April 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

@dawggirl

Marlon Brown doesnt see the field but Israel Troupe sees a lot of playing time actually and will get more without michael moore (most underrated WR in uga history). but Gray would be probably 6th WR: 1. AJ 2. T. King 3. Rantavious Wooten 4. Israel Troupe 5. Marlon Brown 6. Logan Gray

that could work…

bill_in_atl

April 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

Hey Tiger, it was low 40s that night and your classy grounds crew did in fact (as you admit) spray well into the stands to drench people who were doing nothing but celebrating the victory. I’m sure there were plenty of very uncomfortable and perhaps sick kids and old folks as a result.

For the few that were “storming the field” you might want to remember that they were retaliating for Auburn fans ripping up the hedges the year before in Athens.

Nice to see you folks over in Alabama have managed to upgrade to German Shepard teams now. The more things change… the more they stay the same….apparently.

Five in a row is coming.

BigDawg

April 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

Aaron Murray is absolutely not the future of UGA football. Richt and Boo Boo have been misguided. Gray has a tough decision to make. He has not had a fair shake since day one. Murray is not better than Gray…So why did Murray get the nod? Perhaps Richt and Boo Boo should allow Murray to play the first half of the opener and allow Gray to play the 2nd half. See how they truly shake out. Then again that is way too logical for Richt and Boo Boo.