‘It’s a little bit scary in there,’ Richt says of youth in QB room

ATHENS — Georgia’s football team opened preseason camp Monday with its most experienced quarterback a redshirt freshman who has never played a snap in a college game.

“That quarterback room has got to be the youngest maybe in the history of college football,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’s a little bit scary in there.”

There are four quarterbacks in the room: Aaron Murray, who won the starting job in spring practice, and three backups who were still in high school in the spring.

The young quarterbacks moved from the meeting room to the practice field on an overcast Monday afternoon, with the redshirt freshman Murray taking the first snaps, followed by true freshmen Hutson Mason, Parker Welch and Greg Bingham. Mason, from Marietta’s Lassiter High, is on scholarship, while Welch and Bingham are walk-ons from Wayne County and Columbus, respectively.

Four quarterbacks. Zero college experience.

“Coach Bobo is really going to earn his pay,” said Richt, referring to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo.

“I feel a little bad for Coach Bobo,” Murray said. “But he has, like, five kids under the age of 5, so he’s a little experienced dealing with [youth]. Hopefully he can keep his hair.”

“I told him I’m probably going to be bald after this camp,” Bobo said.

“But I’ll tell you what,” Bobo added after Monday’s practice, “those young guys did a nice job and a lot of credit goes to Aaron and how he prepared those guys this summer.”

The thinness at quarterback results from attrition that occurred after spring practice. Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the team shortly before pleading guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, and Logan Gray was granted his request to play wide receiver after being slotted No. 2 behind Murray on the QB depth chart and briefly c”

Gray, a junior, opened preseason camp Monday as a full-fledged receiver, although Richt told him to stay mentally prepared to return to quarterback if needed later in camp.

“Once we get into this thing a little bit further, we’ll know,” Richt said. A lot will depend, he indicated, on how Mason progresses as Murray’s potential backup.

In practice No. 1, Bobo said he was impressed with Mason’s “command in the huddle . . . and the way he carried himself out there.”

The dearth of experience at quarterback might be inconsequential –- provided Murray stays healthy, avoids the triceps tendinitis that bothered him last fall, and plays well.

Although he has never played in a college game, Murray has been in the Georgia program since January 2009, going through two years of spring practice and a redshirt season and earning the confidence of his teammates and coaches along the way.

“Aaron is really doing a very good job,” Richt said, “and he knows the deal extremely well.”

“I’ve never seen anyone who watches as much film, especially at an early age,” tight end Aron White said. “He picks things up pretty fast. . . . He’s always at the front of the pack, being vocal and making sure guys are working. He’s going to do just fine.”

Still, Murray understands if Bulldog Nation finds the absence of experience in the quarterback room a bit scary.

“I mean, I’m not scared,” said Murray, who trusts his veteran offensive line to keep him healthy and on the field. “I don’t think I’ll be hit too much this year. Just from the guys we have up front, I think they’ll do a tremendous job of keeping my jersey clean.

“From an outsider’s point of view, it’s probably kind of scary knowing it’s just three younger guys and me. But those three younger guys are working their tails off right now, doing a tremendous job of making sure they’re prepared.”

87 comments Add your comment

Frank Lane

August 2nd, 2010
6:25 pm

I am not concerned either. I have seen Murray’s films.

Frank Lane

August 2nd, 2010
6:26 pm

Wow. I was first.

Mikey in the SAV

August 2nd, 2010
6:30 pm

Before someone says it….Murray is tall enough to get the job done. If you say he isn’t, at least have the balls to come back on here later in the season and back it up.

Mikey in the SAV

August 2nd, 2010
6:30 pm

He is as tall as he needs to be.

superDawg

August 2nd, 2010
6:30 pm

No UGA is first!

txdawg

August 2nd, 2010
6:30 pm

2nd – oh well

Uncle Shawn

August 2nd, 2010
6:31 pm

2nd, just like another family member. Go DAWGS!!!

Uncle Shawn

August 2nd, 2010
6:31 pm

Dag Nabbitt!

manboob

August 2nd, 2010
6:33 pm

Thirtieth ! I mean 24th! I mean 30-24.. Oh Im so confused !

Pete

August 2nd, 2010
6:38 pm

Richt had to think this would happen, when he decided to stay with Joe Cox last year.

So, here we go.

I’ll say this, Mark Richt can coach QB’s.

I wouldn’t bet against Georgia this year.

Moss

August 2nd, 2010
6:40 pm

Too much is made of age.

Lebron and Kobe did fine early.

Guys in basketball do great their freshman year with ‘no experience’.

These guys coming out of the toughest conferences in the country are ready to go at 18, times have changed.

Washaun Ealey did great last year, age is irrelevant.

Brent

August 2nd, 2010
6:42 pm

Kosar did awesome his Freshman year in college at QB, won a National Championship. J. Hollaway won a National Championship at Oklahoma his freshman year at QB too. If you got a mature guy, who has a good crew around him, it’s been done before.

Spin It

August 2nd, 2010
6:45 pm

Murray beat out the best QB’s in the country, TWICE.

First time at Elite 11 camp, where Murray beat out the Best 10 QB’s in the nation to win E

Spin It

August 2nd, 2010
6:46 pm

Murray beat out guys at Elite 11 camp, and then again, he beat out 2 Elite 11 QB’s at Georgia. He’s gonna do ok folks.

jack bull

August 2nd, 2010
6:54 pm

Mikey in SAV, I’ll be man enough to come back on here ‘eat my words’ on him not being tall enough, IF, you’ll be man enough to come back on here and do the same if he has balls being batted down all over the place and making throws like he did in the spring game that got picked. you know, the one where he didn’t see the LB right in front of him..sounds like a deal to me…and for the record, I’m hoping to be the one eating my words, not you..lol…

jack bull

August 2nd, 2010
6:59 pm

and Brent, sure, there’s exceptions to every rule..yeah, it’s been done, but you can count em on one hand…just trying to be realistic..although, on my blog, you’ll find that i have UGA finishing the year at number 4 blowing out TCU in another boring Sugar Bowl…with Alabama/Oklahoma playing in the BCS, getting each others helmets mixed up the whole time…

superDawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:03 pm

boobs that was funny.

superDawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:04 pm

but not as much as gt.

bobo is still the coordinator

August 2nd, 2010
7:06 pm

Keep telling yourselves these things guys…We are one injury away from 6-6 and are 8-5 at best with this current QB. Freshman QBs do not do well in the SEC…he will struggle with interceptions and if the running game doesn’t improve big time…he will be getting picked off all the time! Im sick of people saying Ealey was great last year…he only broke 100 yards one time…King only broke 100 yards one time too…these are supposed to be 4 and 5 star running backs…yet they looked terrible at times last year. Georgia Tech’s defense made them look good…I saw nothing to get me excited when I watched the other games. Lets keep talking out our @sses though…we always talk big during the offseason….at least the East will be down this year.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2010
7:11 pm

” I think they’ll do a tremendous job of keeping my jersey clean.”

What? Are they going to do your laundry as well?

Junkyarddawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:16 pm

Murray has Big “O” line, great backs, and a arm to sling it to AJ. Every lil thing is gonna be all right!

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2010
7:17 pm

“That quarterback room has got to be the youngest maybe in the history of college football,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’s a little bit scary in there.”

Don’t worry about it Coach Richt, just leave the night light on for them after you read them their bed time story. They will be fine.

dawg daze

August 2nd, 2010
7:25 pm

The Butler Bulldogs started practice today sans LeMay. It may be difficult to graduate/enroll early if one is still suspended.

ugaclassof2004

August 2nd, 2010
7:30 pm

bobo is still the coordinator

A little negative aren’t we? Look I actually agree with some of your points, especially the depth at QB and well as Bobo’s inconsistent play calling. But there has been a lot of negativity around this program the last few years, so let’s try being positive for a change and support the team. Many Dawg fans are overly pessimistic and some are overly optimistic, which means the correct answer is usually in the middle. So here is my take on the program:

The Todd Grantham Project will be a moderate success
Murray will be as good as Greene, Shockley or Stafford: but won’t turn the ball over as much as Joe Cox or Joe T. I think he’ll be like how Corey Phillips used to be: not a stud but can get the job done if need be.
The O-Line will be great at run blocking but will struggle some in their pass protection.
Ealey and King will put up numbers similar to Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin: 600-700 yards for each. * Note: don’t be surprised to see Carlton Thomas and Fred Munzimier get more carries this season*
A.J. Green will have a good but not great season since teams will be keying in on him. He will declare for the NFL draft taking with him 2-3 other guys who have no business even considering the NFL as an option.
Blair Walsh and Drew Butler will come up big for this team in close games.
Final Record: At best 10-3. At worst 7-6. Best bet 9-4.

ugaclassof2004

August 2nd, 2010
7:32 pm

Meant to say Murray will NOT be as good as Greene, Shockley, and Stafford.

The Real SugarHillDawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:39 pm

ugaclassof2004, you sure you wanna stand by your statement that Thomas and Munzenmaier will get more totes? That has ZERO chance of happening AND if King and Ealey ONLY get that many yards, we’ll be 7-6 if we’re lucky!!!!

Willie Wonka Dawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:48 pm

How is that Oompa Loompa gonna keep that jersey clean while being so low to the ground?

Willie Wonka Dawg

August 2nd, 2010
7:51 pm

Hope there is a kiddie pool at the Ramsey Center for CMR’s QB when he takes his team for a dip.

ugaclassof2004

August 2nd, 2010
7:53 pm

The Real SugarHillDawg

I think Thomas or Munzenmier get worked into the rotation similar to how Danny Ware was used back in the day( more than likely Thomas). I think the carries will be divided up pretty evenly between Ealey and King. Ealey had 728 and King had 616 last season. Their carries will be up this season, but I also think opposing teams will be geared to stop our run game as well. So maybe both will be in the 700-750 range, but I really don’t see either one of them being at the 900-1000 mark at seasons end. That’s tough to do in a “RB by committee” arrangement.

DILLIGAF

August 2nd, 2010
8:06 pm

There must not be a huge sense of urgency at QB, if there were, then Gray would be working at QB instead of receiver. I think that there must be alot of confidence in Matson to step up as the #2 guy if need be but I can’t say that I get the same “warm and fuzzies” with these two kids. Does Gray at receiver mean that even at this stage, Matson is that much better? I am inclined to believe that this is probably true.

UGA/85′
GATA!

Mcdawghna

August 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

AM will be just fine…….He’s a more athletic version of David Greene……also scored 3rd highest all time at the Elite camps……Number one was Matt Stafford…….The height is not an issue……and he really is, if you watch films, much like Drew Breese…..very smart kid with exceptional accurasy and can run!…….If he stays healthy, QB won’t be a problem at UGA…..Yes, he’ll have to grow up on the job but in the long run the dawgs will be ok……great command in the huddle with the respect of his team mates……..redshirt freshman isnt really an issue either….there have been many great young QB’s in the sec…..Greene, Mcelroy, Tebow, Stafford, Manning, and the list goes on…..

superDawg

August 2nd, 2010
8:09 pm

Just remember Dawgs like to eat and W taste better than an L.

bob

August 2nd, 2010
8:13 pm

After realizing that Joe Teraseski IV was not up to it last year, Murray should have been playing around game 5. If he turns out to be all that he will pull a Stafford, Moreno and bolt after his Jr year any way.

cadawg

August 2nd, 2010
8:26 pm

ugaclassof2004: that’s a sensible perspective by and large, though i think ealey will establish himself relatively early in the year as “the guy” and will go for 1,000+ this year. king is a good back (better receiver than ealey and a huge asset for us on third down) and i think we’ve yet to see his best, but he doesn’t have the burst that ealey does.

to the list of successful RS freshman qb’s, let’s not forget sam bradford. AM’s diligence, accuracy, and leadership will help to compensate for less than ideal height and experience.

Blowuhfart

August 2nd, 2010
8:51 pm

Yeah Murray, he will be just fine…. That kid won’t finish the season. This is going to be the Dogs worst season ever, and if you think any different, then go glad hand Mark Richt for Jesus.

kerryb

August 2nd, 2010
8:57 pm

I’m not worried at all about Murray. Ask all of those Bama fans if they were worried about McElroy last year. He was not as highly regarded as Murray was coming out of High School.

Mcdawghna

August 2nd, 2010
8:58 pm

Uh Blowme!….why won’t he be?……..Already playing behind what is being rated the top offensive line in the country, one of the best running back tandems in the country, best kicking game in the country and one of the two best wide recievers as well…….too many things are in his favor for this to be a failure……worst season ever?….pahleeeeze……..better worry bout your own squad!

kerryb

August 2nd, 2010
9:04 pm

Are all the idiot fans of other schools going to come on a UGA blog trying to talk idiot smack and eat humble pie when UGA wins 10-11 games this year. My guess is that you won’t have the guts to. I remember last year when we wiped Bobby Dodd Stadium with their team you could’nt find one gutless Tech fan on a UGA blog. I know they won’t be around after we destroy them this year at Sanford Stadium.

guy

August 2nd, 2010
9:11 pm

you call winning by 6 points after tech’s best (first round draft pick) receiver dropped a gimmie pass on 4th down that would’ve given them the ball in the red zone with 2.3 min left wiping the floor? granted we did what we needed to do to win, but we hardly dominated that game.

for examples of domination, see uga vs florida or tennessee the past couple of seasons.
we have a ways to go before the product on the field is good enough for a lot of the talk on these boards.

kerryb

August 2nd, 2010
9:26 pm

I call rushing the ball down your throats to the tune of 349 yards a wiping.

Mcdawghna

August 2nd, 2010
9:27 pm

Guy, The dawgs were up 2 scores for the most part of the game….thats pretty much dominating….Yes, Tech’s best reciever dropped a pass late but great players come thru when needed most……thats a Tech problem, not ours…..As far as the Fla and Tenn scores are concerned, thats a UGA problem but there’s no reason to think that the tides are’nt turning……different attitude in Athens than in recent years

Gator Lou

August 2nd, 2010
9:33 pm

Mcdawgna….. yall have been singing that same tune for the last 20 years. Get ready for another annual beat down in Jacksonville to make it 18 – 3 baby !

Gator Lou

August 2nd, 2010
9:36 pm

Big difference Florida has Great talent and Great coaching. UGA has good talent and Clowns !

guy

August 2nd, 2010
9:40 pm

sorry but i dont buy it. we ran all over tech last year and they still had a very good chance of winning that game at the end. on the flip side, the florida game has been over by half time for us the past two years. we’re a whole lot closer to playing at tech’s level than we are to playing at florida’s. there’s a reason that we play teams like usc, kentucky, etc. close every year. it’s because we’re not really that much better than them, despite all the chest pounding by the uga faithful.

different attitude this year? hardly. its the same preseason national title crap every year, only to get completely blown out a couple times a year by a team that actually shows up to play every week. if we couldnt make it happen with first round nfl talent returning forgive me for being skeptical of a freshman qb and green/new defense this year. maybe the new d will be the difference, but i’ll believe it when i see it. way too much hype the past several years with not much to back it up once the toe hits leather.

Just Saying

August 2nd, 2010
9:50 pm

Hey Guys, A freind of mine is in constant contact with Kirby Smart. Smart had a lot of good things to say about Grantham . So good, that he said it would not be suprising to see UGA win the east….furhter stating….”thats how good Grantham is.”

Just Saying

August 2nd, 2010
9:53 pm

Gator Lou,

How old are you. Success comes in cycles. UF has had UGA’s number for the last two decades, and they are still (9) games behind in the overall wins/losses.

Just ask Miami, Nebraska, FSU, etc. ….. IT cant last forever. Hats off to UF, but most UF fans that talk smack are still breast feeding….know what I mean.

guy

August 2nd, 2010
9:54 pm

just saying: one could say the exact same thing about uga and tech’s recent relationship

Jimmy

August 2nd, 2010
10:02 pm

Even if Mettenburger had not gotten kicked off the team, that would be FIVE QB’s who have never taken a snap. How did this happen?? I understand Stafford left a few years early, but shouldn’t CMR have been recruiting QB’s at least every other year to make sure there is always an experienced QB on the roster??

Murray should have taken some snaps by mid year LAST year, even started a few games so he would have experience for this year and next, his BIG years surrounded by all that talent on offense.

For those of you saying he would burn a redshirt, so what? In three more years either Mason or LeMay would have enough experience to start.

Gone are the days when youre going to start a guy for four straight years. Burn his redshirt his freshman year to get him some experience, knowing that the year he should have been a fifth year senior, doesn’t matter. You just line the next guy up. This way the situation that exists currently NEVER happens!

Just Saying

August 2nd, 2010
10:04 pm

True, but i dont hate on GT when UGA wins. Never have. They are still a GA team and I genrerally pull for them.

PJ does a great job with “lesser”( argueable) talent then UGA has done. Only problem is their defense has not played well in years, and they dont have a passing game to balance the run.

Just Saying

August 2nd, 2010
10:09 pm

Jimmy,

Here is how it happens. Even thought Stafford was putting up big scores, so was our defense. We never, and have never, been able to “put a team away”. UF does this. They get up in a game and put teams away,……thus, they have backup QBs with experience.

But I do agree with you in principle. Our 2nd sting QBs need experience.