Fan talk: Bulldog quarterbacks past, present and future

Brice Ramsey shows a lot of confidence for a true freshman quarterback. (Associated Press)

Brice Ramsey shows a lot of confidence for a true freshman quarterback. (Associated Press)

The varsity football team holds its second scrimmage Saturday, but that won’t be the only gridiron action for UGA, as Tony Floyd, captain of the Redcoat Band’s team, tells me they’ll take on the Georgia Tech band again in Band Bowl IV, this time in Atlanta.

The game will be held at 3 p.m. at Central Park, 400 Merritts Ave. N.E.

I wrote last year about these full-contact tackle games played by the two musical organizations, and UGA took the 2012 game in Athens by a score of 21-6. If you’re in the area Saturday, check it out.

And go Redcoats!

Now, on to some Junkyard Mail …

HamDawg writes: Bill, we all know about Aaron Murray spending spring break in Oklahoma honing his game, and how Hutson Mason is the solid No. 2 behind him and the likely starter next year. But what about that No. 3 spot? Are we likely to see the “quarterback of the future,” Brice Ramsey, get into any games in mop-up duty this season or is he most likely to redshirt?

Barring any injuries to the top two QBs, I’d say a redshirt year is pretty likely for Ramsey, a 6-foot-3, 196-pound true freshman out of Camden County High school. Still, Ramsey is in there trying. He completed six of 10 passes in the Dogs’ windy first scrimmage, with three interceptions. But Mark Richt was encouraged. “When you’re a rookie, you drop back and you sling it,” the head coach said. “He made some nice throws. I think every ball he threw hit somebody’s hands. Three were the defense, but the rest hit the offense, so that was good.” And veterans Artie Lynch and Murray like Ramsey’s attitude. “He’s very cool, calm, collected,” Lynch told The Red & Black. “He’s very nonchalant about how he goes about his business. A quiet kid, but he’s very talented. I think for what he knows in the offense right now, he’s got a pretty good grasp of it. Obviously he has a long way to go, but I think the talent’s there.” Murray agreed Ramsey has shown a lot of confidence and poise in practice thus far. “We talk about Brice a lot. [Lynch] loves Brice. He thinks Brice has the most swag ever,” Murray said. “Brice does have some swag, I’m not going to lie. He just walks around like ‘hey, I’m the man.’ He’s very cool, calm, collected. He’s very chill. He’s Joe Cool out there. Artie and I just sit back and watch him and laugh. This kid just doesn’t get fazed by anything. He’s just out there playing ball, looks good.”

Should David Greene rank above Aaron Murray on a list of the best BCS era quarterbacks? (Associated Press)

Should David Greene rank above Aaron Murray on a list of the best BCS era quarterbacks? (Associated Press)

Speaking of Murray, he’s on the mind of Terry Stone, who writes: Bill, I saw Athlon Sports’ ranking of the top 50 quarterbacks of the BCS era and was surprised by two things: One was that Murray finished one spot ahead of David Greene. The other was that both weren’t ranked higher. Murray was #30 and Greene was at 31. Now, I recognize that winning championships, particularly national championships, obviously figured into it. Texas’ Vince Young beat out Florida’s Tim Tebow for the top spot and Bama’s A.J. McCarron was #7 while Auburn’s rent-a-QB, Cam Newton, was #16 based on his lone season. But don’t you think Georgia’s two quarterbacks on the list are a bit undervalued there? And do you agree with ranking Murray, who’s still playing, ahead of Greene, who won an SEC championship and left college as the NCAA’s winningest quarterback at the time?

Athlon itself admitted that you could debate the placing of Murray ahead of Greene, but they’re looking ahead a bit there, noting that Murray “has already blown past [Greene's] touchdown totals and will easily pass his win total and passing yards. He could easily rewrite the SEC passing record books and simply needs to finish a season in Atlanta with a win to entrench his legacy in Dawgs lore.”

My own view is that until Murray does that, Greenie deserves the higher ranking. As for where the two Dogs placed (Matthew Stafford was in the “next 25″), yes, I’d say both belong ahead of the likes of Pat White of West Virginia (ranked No. 13), Colin Kaepernick of Nevada (No 14), Andy Dalton of TCU (No. 21) and even Ben Roethlisberger of Miami of Ohio (No. 25). I think Athlon was looking ahead to the latter’s NFL success rather than looking at his college playing days in the MAC in ranking him that high.

John Vaughn writes: What’s the deal with lack of handicap parking at Sanford Stadium? I was so disheartened and stressed when I tried to take my ailing father for one last game Between the Hedges and was stunned at the lack of access for nondonor parking and assistance. As a matter of fact, haven’t been back since. I’m so disgraced and insulted.

I’m wondering whether you called ahead to check on handicapped parking, John. UGA does supply handicapped parking in both its lots reserved for Bulldog Club members and elsewhere, as Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton explains: “We follow the handicapped parking numbers that the University has in each of their parking lots. And we provide a handicapped accessible shuttle from the East Campus Parking Deck for spectators that have not qualified for parking in a controlled lot.” If you want to give it another shot, I’m sure they’ll work with you.

Steve Yearta writes: We’ve just completed a mostly disappointing basketball season, and I expect KCP will be in the NBA sooner rather than later. So scratch high hopes for improvement there. March Madness isn’t so entertaining when one’s team can’t even make the tournament. The best endorsement of Coach Fox I’ve seen recently is “Well, if we fire him we will just have to start over once again.”

And along the same lines, Don Joel writes: Another lackluster season is over. You alluded to the fact that Coach Fox as a recruiter doesn’t cut the mustard. That’s what I keep hearing as I do  not live in Georgia. And if a coach can’t recruit, how in the world will he ever have the DAWGS in contention? And with a better year in the SEC likely for the 2013-14 season, it would be a pretty good bet that our record will be worse next year adding still another dismal year to Georgia’s basketball records. We have very little to be proud of with our men’s basketball teams. I have nothing against Coach Fox. But it looks to me that he is not a fit for the job in front of him. If he came back, he would be in his fifth year. He has not had a winning record in each of the prior four. Georgia basketball, with few exceptions, is the bastard child of the Athletic Department. I have no idea why that is the case but it is. I see nothing in a Coach Fox regime that augurs well for the future. And, at best, KCP will be turning pro year after next if not this one. I don’t know the answer, but neither does Coach Fox.  Coach Fox is like having a QB who can’t throw the ball. Where are we going with that? Let’s start over … again. If Florida can win championships in football and basketball in or about the same seasons, why can’t we?  Coaching is one reason and I suspect if we had truly competitive teams, Stegeman would be full on each appearance of the basketball DAWGS.

Is the best argument in Mark Fox's favor that keeping him is easier than starting over? (Associated Press)

Is the best argument in Mark Fox's favor that keeping him is easier than starting over? (Associated Press)

Steve is right that most of the arguments about giving Mark Fox more time seem to revolve around how the frequent coaching changes at UGA in recent years have kept the program in a constant state of starting over and rebuilding. But if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does decide to play another season in Athens, Georgia should be able to improve somewhat on its midlevel conference showing this past season. And if they could somehow get more of a presence under the basket with a big man, the Bulldogs might actually have a shot at being an NCAA tournament team. If KCP does opt out, however, we’re probably looking at another so-so season. Is that reason enough to start over with another coach? That’s the tough call athletic director Greg McGarity and incoming UGA President Jere Morehead will have to make. I’m betting the decision will rest mostly on how Fox does with next year’s recruiting class.

Sravanthi Meka writes: I read your column and loved the part about Kenan Stadium. I’ve been to many football stadiums, basketball arenas and baseball fields following the Dawgs, and I’ve noticed what a great job our opponents do of promoting their alumni that went on to become professional athletes. At South Carolina, there are banners for each of the NFL players that have played at South Carolina hanging off the ramps in the corners. Auburn recognizes Bo Jackson, Tim Hudson and Frank Thomas on the outfield wall, and they have flags flying outside with their numbers and names. Clemson has a similar homage to Khalil Greene and Kris Benson. We have our homages in the Butts-Mehre building, which is just great that the Athletic Department recognizes those who have gone on to succeed in the pros, but it does very little to publicize that to the general public. I would venture a guess that only 10% of fans that attend games ever step foot inside Butts-Mehre (many times because it is closed when fans are actually coming to attend games). The best place to recognize the accolades of our pros would be IN the place that they played — at Sanford Stadium and Foley Field. The renovations of Stegeman have allowed for some room to recognize the accomplishments of our basketball players and gymnasts, but there are few that know who WNBA stars are, we don’t produce that many NBA stars, and gymnasts do not typically become professional athletes. If they are in the places that the sport is actually played, 100% of the fans that attend the event will see it, AND everyone that is watching the game on TV if you put them in a prominent enough spot. … I believe that UGA lacks foresight in seeing the potential in going above and beyond what is expected of them, and they leave a lot on the table in reaching out to expand their brand and winning over their fans.

You make a good point. I noticed in my recent visit to UNC’s stadium in Chapel Hill that they make a much bigger deal about their past stars than UGA does at Sanford. And, as I noted in my blog, UNC even has a statue of Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice while none of UGA’s football greats get such an honor (with the exception of Coach Vince Dooley). I think Reed Plaza inside Sanford Stadium would be a great site for some sort of walk of fame recognizing former Bulldog greats like Herschel Walker, Frankie Sinkwich and Charley Trippi with banners and perhaps even a bust or statue or two. What do you think?

I’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week. Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

33 comments Add your comment

CC

March 30th, 2013
10:01 am

Since 70% of Murray\s yards in 2012 were against UNRANKED teams, and Murray is 0-2 in SEC Championships, and 1-9 vs. teams that finish in the top 20, probably why he was ranked where he was.

Murray will have to excel against some top 20, top 10 teams, to register on anyone’s top 25 list, junk stats piled high against teams like New Mexico St impress maybe 1 or 2 diehard UGA fans.

Monty

March 30th, 2013
10:06 am

As far as basketball is concerned, as long as top recruits go pro after one year or go to the big time top schools all the time….recruiting is not really something to judge someone based off of. If you have the oppurtunity to leave state and play for a school who is perennially doing better and has a name, would you not go???

Monty

March 30th, 2013
10:09 am

Fox has really only missed on one prospe, and now that that overweight overranked talent rode the bench on a team that got its coach fired….I’d say it wasnt too bad a miss.

stupid is, as stupid does

March 30th, 2013
11:41 am

The thing that was lacking on the team these past few years was HEART…the talent was there, as has been proven through the NFL draft, but outside AJ and a few others, they played for themselves and UGA was second in their thoughts; much like the prima donnas on the defense this past season…there’s change afoot on this team and it started with the offense last year, hopefully the defense will come along the same way

Georgia DAWG

March 30th, 2013
12:28 pm

stupid is, as stupid does

You will be pleased with the focus and advancement of our defense thus far in spring practice.

They are coming around nicely, as is our kicking game.

Go Dawgs!

7576DAWG

March 30th, 2013
12:33 pm

In the mid 70’s I was a walk on the Baseball team and the changes over the years in relevance is amazing. The field is great compared to what we had, even though is was in very good shape back then. The stands are in a league of their own now compared to back then. If Perno had anything to do with getting the University to loosen up on the purse a little to make us proud of the Baseball facility then I applaud him and say , job well done. but I think it is time that Georgia look’s into bringing new blood into a stale Baseball program. There is way too much talent in Georgia not to be a top 10 Baseball program every year.

CC Must Be A GWreck Fan

March 30th, 2013
12:41 pm

CC, go somewhere with your trolling self! Pathetic that you have to be so negative. Just admit for us all that you’re a Tech fan. We won’t make fun of you. I’m sure it’s he’ll enough being a fan of The Joke near Coke.

CC

March 30th, 2013
4:25 pm

I’m a big UGA fan. Like 99% of us, we just all think getting 70% of your passing yards vs UNRANKED teams & going 1-9 vs. teams that finish top 20 isn’t good.

You disagree. You’re in the 1%. And you must be a South Carolina fan. Tell us all the truth, we want to understand the 1% better.

CC Must Be A GWreck Fan

March 30th, 2013
6:41 pm

I’m sorry CC tell us again A) when did Murray decide who UGA played? Cause I’ve always figured the team played whomever they were told too. B) Also please inform us of your great college football quarterback career.. Cause I know I couldn’t do any better! I also didn’t realize Murry was the only one on the team. I didn’t realize taking a “W” or “L” was completely up to him. Tell me how that works
Look, I’m here to support my team. Win, loose, no matter what team they play. Are there areas of improvement? Yes. But I’m not going to come on a blog and gripe and complain. It does no good! Not like Murray is going to read this and either take the bench or improve.. Just wish the KID luck, cause that’s all he is….still a kid… Wish him and the team luck, hope for the best and let’s get read for some Georgia football!

Buzz-off

March 30th, 2013
7:39 pm

CC = Techie…….And a stupid one to boot!!!

Ang

March 30th, 2013
8:41 pm

Agreed, Aaron Murray mshou7ld be sitting the bench after throwing three interceptions in the first half of nthe Florida game.

Hutson Mason definitely deserves his chance, he beat Murray again in the scrimmage today Mason threw 2 td’s, Murray only threw 1 td.

RedBoots

March 30th, 2013
8:48 pm

1. Murray should start against teams with losing records, he’s almost unbeatable in those games.
2. Mason should start against the big time teams, Murray is very bad in those kind of games.
3. Mark Richt should look at how Hutson does when given a chance, he always seems to out-perform Murray when given chances.

NYDan

March 30th, 2013
8:54 pm

I think Bill, Buzz are geniuses. I agree with those 2. Aaron Murray’s 1-9 record against the type of teams that actually end up in AP top 20 poll is superb and deserves for Aaron Murray to continue to start more games. Aaron Murray did finally get his first win this year in three seasons against one of those types of teams, it was against Florida, Aaron Murray’s three interceptions in that game were exzcellent. Me, Bill and Buzz are all reel smartz.

RED DOG 77

March 30th, 2013
10:50 pm

CC, you don’t fool me mister…………..Dawg fan, you?………….Naw………..go away lil’ fella………….RED

Jim

March 31st, 2013
12:54 pm

Bill a factor not talked about between David Green and Aaron Murray; who had the better O-Line to play behind? Care to comment?

Jim

March 31st, 2013
1:55 pm

Start Murray and play Mason the second quarter then play the one that does best the 2nd half.

Jim

March 31st, 2013
2:12 pm

Stats wise Murray is the better with 95 td to 32 int in three years with a 158 rating compared Greene’s 72 td to 32 int in 4 years and a 138 rating. Also notw Greene only beat Florida once. His last yeat had only 4 ints maybe that’s a sign of things to come for Murray.I think one of the biggest improvements in Murray is that he isn’t throwing behind his receivers as much as GA QBs have in the past.

RiffRaff

March 31st, 2013
4:56 pm

Murray is the starter as we all know, but play Mason. He is the starter next year and needs the reps. Should be a great year for the dogs this coming season. Happy Easter everybody!

bawbie

March 31st, 2013
7:03 pm

Fire Dave Perno!

Humpty Dumpty

March 31st, 2013
7:09 pm

Its time to upgrade around and underneath the Sanford Bridge. That part of the stadium area is still stuck in the 1960’s era. We are losing out on big time instate recruits because we are slow in upgrading our facilities everywhere.

stupid is, as stupid does

March 31st, 2013
9:44 pm

@Georgia DAWG…I know the defense as well as the whole team has adopted the attitude of becoming a team…the team is about one goal and that is winning…they got the right kind of players signing up for the show

RED DOG 77

March 31st, 2013
11:05 pm

Jim makes a point I have always subscribed to, as these college football players get yet more experience under their belts……….often times they improve………pretty logical point most who post here seem to miss…………however as for Jim’s plan for second quarter/ second half deal with Murray and Mason………sorry Jim, I can’t buy that one…………but the 1st is a great post……….Regards, RED

RED DOG 77

March 31st, 2013
11:08 pm

cc……….Do you squat or stand?

AltamahaDawg

April 1st, 2013
9:40 am

Competition for who plays the majority of significant snaps at QB is done on Wednesday, not off a tally sheet at halftime of a game.

AltamahaDawg

April 1st, 2013
9:49 am

Guys, its the same 2 guys (or one guy) who changes his name and attacks Aaron Murray with that cut an paste, over and over. . There is no point in arguing, since discussing what is best for UGA never was the motivation in the first place.

AceDawg

April 1st, 2013
3:59 pm

The UGA basketball program does not self-recruit because fans don’t show up to cheer the team on except in big games – and not always even then. As such, it’ll either take time for Fox to build a mediocre team into a good one, and it’ll take time to make a good team a really good one, etc. I do think he’s solid on X’s and O’s, and I also think UGA will not become the next Kentucky in terms of recruiting but there is a gap between our recruiting success and potential. I support keeping Fox, but after next year if things aren’t in a strong positive direction, it would be worth pursuing a “name brand” coach that can bring in recruits to any program he goes to.

Just like Jim Harrick brought in talent as a result of his name (albeit talent that tainted us), it can be done again. However, I do absolutely prefer to keep Fox around for at least one more chance because he really looks like a good coach in need of one or two breaks.

Rabun Dawg

April 1st, 2013
4:34 pm

7576Dawg, the Dawgs baseball program is not just stale, it is in shambles. The sooner Perno is gone, the better. They are on course for a disastrous season, 1-8 in the SEC so far, and haven’t even played two of the best, namely USC East and UF. This team cannot hit, the pitching is horrific, well, not much good to say about it. And, if CDP cannot recruit any better than this, time to cut him loose!! As far as roundball goes, CMF can coach, but his recruiting has not been good. If he cannot do better in year 5, maybe time to move on with someone else. His whole season next year hinges on what KCP does, and if KCP does not come back, next season will not be pretty. When your team does not even qualify for the NIT, well, not much good to say about the state of the program!

Flat Tire Doesnt Live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 1st, 2013
7:41 pm

Vince Young ranked ahead of Tebow for the number 1 college QB give me a break

what a joke that list is ranking him number one

Vince Young shouldnt even be ranked in the top 20

RED DOG 77

April 1st, 2013
10:06 pm

Altamaha…………Yeseree, you are absolutely right, however messin’ with ‘em is sort of fun at times. As far as the Dawg state of affairs………….I might be wrong, but I’ve got a funny feeling with all the hungry young players we have on D and the vets that have played a fair amount already………with that potent Offense we might be looking pretty good this year………whadaya think pal?…………I’ll be in your neck of the woods week after next……….gonna soak-up some sun and enjoy the eye candy………..Regards, RED

AltamahaDawg

April 2nd, 2013
7:21 am

I think you need to spend lots of money down here. And hopefully by next week the Oak pollen will not be at levels that feel like you were trapped in a coal mine explosion.

AltamahaDawg

April 2nd, 2013
7:34 am

UGA is in a tough situation with Mark Fox. The man can coach. That I am sure. But……players. Got to recruit some players.

SO. What does that take? How do you know you would be hiring a “next” guy who can recruit better? I believe it is a complete waste of time and money to just go hire somebody else and hope that happens. Obviously UGA basketball as an entire program, on an institutional level, needs to figure out WHAT it would take to attract better players, irrespective of who the (now or then) coach is.

Or……is it really as simple as the head coach sitting in a livingroom?

NoSpinDawg

April 2nd, 2013
10:58 am

David Greene played behind one of the best offensive lines in football history. Easily the best ever at UGA. The entire squad went to the NFL. He also had the benefit of one of the best defensive runs ever at UGA. He also did so during the worst SEC downturn in recent memory. Outside of Spurrier who stepped down, the rest of the SEC coaches were fired during that time.

Fact: David Greene did not play on the offensive line nor did he play on the defense.
Fact: David Greene won an SEC Championship game against a pathetic SEC West team and won the East when no East team was any good. Greene got beat bad twice in the same season by the only real national championship quality team UGA faced in 4 years.

Greene beat Florida once even though they changed coaches and had ZOOK! Murray has already beaten Florida twice in a row and did so in a year that they finished in the top 10.

Add the fact that Shockley won an SEC Championship the year after that great offensive line and defense went on into the pro’s proves he was probably far better than Greene and would have given them a better shot at a National Title.

Murray has had horrible offensive lines. Started the season twice with freshman tailbacks with no concept of blocking. One of his best wide receivers played half a year as a cornerback. The rest of his top wr’s were lost to injury in mid season. Like Greene, Murray doesn’t play defense. And while this past years defensive squad had great NFL talent, the defense during the Greene era still had more.

Comparing David Greene to Murray is an interesting comparison because the surrounding cast is so different. Without Pollack, Greene never wins an SEC Championship or even the SEC East. Imagine what Stafford could have done with the offensive line of Greene. Stafford spent 3 years running for his life and did so with the two toughest schedule ratings in UGA history at the time.

Murray is an outstanding qb. All the rest of the SEC qb’s played the same types of schedules over four years. And he’s about to break all their records.

Payton Manning never beat Florida and won the SEC because the opposing qb literally placed the football on the ground and left it there.

I like Greene and Murray both but Greene literally had perfect timing with that offensive line and defense. It’s not Muuray’s fault he doesn’t have that.

LawDawg

April 3rd, 2013
3:29 pm

Battle of the Band Nerds? Looks like Tech may actually win at something vaguely connected to football!! Feel proud Bumblebees. Feel proud.