It’s a long way until national signing day and the competition for quarterback Christian LeMay is going to be fierce. But the early returns are favorable for Georgia in its pursuit of this elite quarterback, who may be ranked No. 1 at his position before it’s all said and done.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound LeMay threw for 3,296 yards with 44 touchdowns and just two interceptions in leading Butler High toan undefeated record and the North Carolina 4A state championship last season. He projects as one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation for the Class of 2011. Scout.com currently rates him No. 2.
LeMay was at UGA this past Saturday to visit the Bulldogs for their second junior day of the winter. It was the fourth trip to Athens for the Matthews, N.C., resident since first attending an Elite 11 Quarterbacks Camp there last summer. He plans to come back again in the spring.
LeMay brought his entire family on the trip, including his mother, father, sister and two brothers, both of whom are projected prospects. Uriah LeMay is rising-sophomore wide receiver and Benjamin is a freshman running back.
“I didn’t stay overnight. I wish I could have but I had to get back for church,” LeMay said. “I had my whole family there, so it’s always good to see how they feel about things. That’s always big. When a college gets my family there you know you’re doing pretty well.”
LeMay said he got a lot more out of this visit to Georgia than he did his previous trips, which included a summer camp and a game last fall.
“It was more of a recruiting visit,” LeMay said. “I got more time with [offensive coordinator and quarterbacks] Coach [Mike] Bobo personally. We went to the basketball game, which I enjoyed. I was able to get more in-depth with some of the coaching staff personally and to have a good time and enjoy the campus with my family and let them see a place where I could possibly go.”
LeMay also said he came away with a positive feeling about his potential teammates at Georgia.
“I got to see a lot more people than you see typically just at a game,” he said. “I got to see the type of people I’ll be with. There was another kid named Christian, a receiver [Christian Conley of North Paulding]. I really got along with him. I was intrigued by the people that the brought in as recruits that have the same beliefs as me. That really impressed me.
Georgia was already firmly entrenched in LeMay’s top 10, which he announced in early February (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Miami, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina). But he said that list is subject to change as new offers continue to come in every day. He’s up to 21 overall.
“It’s a flexible top 10,” said LeMay, who will be an early enrollee. “Everybody’s getting reevaluated right now. Auburn, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Texas A&M all offered in the past week. So now you have to include more people. You want to give everybody a fair shot. You don’t want to miss out on what could be a perfect fit for you.”
Georgia seems to be doing pretty good in that regard. LeMay is extremely passionate about his Christian faith and, first and foremost, likes that coach Mark Richt shares his beliefs. LeMay’s father, Stacy LeMay, pastors a church in suburban Charlotte. Stacy LeMay, who played football at Florida A&M, was team chaplain for the Florida football team under Urban Meyer before leaving Gainesville four years ago to found his own church.
“That’s definitely a key [in his recruitment],” LeMay. “Growing up, even though I was in Gainesville, I became a partial Georgia fan all because of Coach Richt for the way he displayed his faith and how he always gave God the glory for everything that happened to him on and off the field. I try to be the same way, to give God the glory for everything, even in defeat. That’s something I can definitely appreciate about him.”
Just as appealing to LeMay is the offensive system the Bulldogs employ. Coaches were emphasizing the advantges of their pro-style philosophy during LeMay’s visit.
“Georgia is a pro offense, which they know is what I’m looking for,” he said. “Drop-back passes, a lot of play-action game, they show’d me exactly what I was looking for. They just talked about the QB situation and thinks like that. So it was good.”
Regardless of how many more schools join the competition for LeMay, he plans to stick fairly close to a predetermined timeline. The plans to establish a top five by June and narrow that down to three by late July.
At that point LeMay said he plans to name a leader, though he expressly will not make a commitment.
“The word commitment means a lot to me and I’m not going to say it unless I mean it,” he said.
For now said he has no immediate plans to visit any other schools for the next few weeks. But he said he definitely intends to return to UGA during the spring, possibly for the G-Day Game on April 10.