Q&A: Logan Gray wanted ‘more opportunities’ to play QB at UGA

A Q&A WITH LOGAN GRAY

Gray

Gray

In an exclusive interview with the AJC on Tuesday, Logan Gray confirmed that he has settled on Colorado as his next destination. The former Georgia quarterback plans to transfer there via the NCAA’s postgraduate transfer rule which allows qualifying student-athletes to be immediately eligible at another school as long as they have received an undergraduate degree from the original school. However, the move is not yet finalized. Gray, who is due to earn a speech communications degree from UGA in May, has yet to be accepted into the Colorado’s grad school.

In the meantime, I wanted to talk Gray about that decision and ask him about his experiences at UGA. The former prep All-American and consensus top 10 quarterback prospect will leave without ever starting a game for the Bulldogs and switched to wide receiver last season after failing to beat out freshman Aaron Murray for the job. As you’ll learn in the following exchange, Gray felt like he wasn’t given a realistic shot to win the quarterback job after Matthew Stafford left in 2009. But he admits that Murray won the job fair and square and insists that he’ll leave Athens late next month without any hard feelings toward Georgia or its coaching staff.

Following is our  exchange:

Q: So spring practice is underway. What are you up to now that you’re not playing football?

A: I’m just finishing up school so I can graduate come May with a degree in speech communications.

Q: The news has been circulating that you’ve settled on Colorado as a transfer destination. I know your younger brother Quinn attends there. Was that the main reason you chose the Buffaloes?

A: Yeah, that’s kind of how it started. It kind of went from there after that. It’s definitely ironic that we just went out there and played them.

Q: What has the transfer process been like?

A: At first I didn’t really know exactly how the whole process worked. So I just went through my high school coach (A.J. Ofodile), who helped me get recruited in the first place. I asked him to call a few schools and find out who might actually be interested. I was kind of looking to get back closer to home mainly. Once I found that out I just kind of went from there.

Q: What other schools showed interest?

A: I had a wide range of schools that I talked to. Probably my number two school would be Southern Illinois, which is a I-AA school only a few hours from where I live (in Columbia, Mo.). I talked to schools all the way from Louisiana-Monroe to Northern Iowa to Valdosta State. So I looked at D-1, I-AA all the way down to Division II.

Q: When did you make up your mind that it would be Colorado?

A: Actually I just had an official visit last weekend. I got to go visit and watch their spring game, meet all their coaches, pretty much check everything out. It went very well. That was pretty much the clincher there. They have a brand new staff out there, they just brought in a receivers coach from the University of Texas (Bobby Kennedy) and I really see them as a program on the rise.

Q: Any thoughts about trying to resurrect your quarterback career somewhere?

A: That was definitely something I thought about and it would have been cool to do. But the thing about it is, with the limited time I have, it would have been tough to pick up an entire system as a quarterback. That’s what several schools were saying. There were a couple that talked about me coming as a quarterback, but the majority were thinking wide receiver would be an easier transition.

Q: Were there any schools that recruited you specifically as a quarterback?

A: Valdosta State told me they needed a quarterback that could play right away. Then there were a few schools, like Louisiana-Monroe, that were talking to me about playing quarterback and receiver. A lot of teams were talking about putting me in a kind of Wildcat package.

Q: So what graduate degree will you be pursuing at Colorado?

A: Honestly, I still have to get accepted into their grad school. So, I mean, nothing is official yet. . . . I don’t know that I can tell you just yet. I’m just trying to make sure everything is official before I say anything. It’s a little different than coming out of high school.

Q: When is everything supposed to be finalized?

A: Hopefully I’ll find out in the next two weeks. Hopefully it won’t take too long, but I also have to get a waiver by the NCAA that clears me to be able to do that and I don’t know how long that process takes. I’m not positive how all that works. I feel pretty strong about it. I think it will work out just fine. Nothing is 100 percent just yet but we just need to take care of the rest. Hopefully I’ll be there for summer workouts.

Q: OK, how would you describe your experience at Georgia?

A: Honestly, I really don’t have any regrets deciding to come to Georgia out of high school. The relationships I’ve built with my teammates and the friends I’ve created, they will be life long. It’s definitely been a positive experience.

Q: What about on the football field?

A: As far as football goes, I do wish I had been given a few more opportunities, especially when I was playing quarterback. I don’t have any regrets. It didn’t work out. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I’m still excited I’m able to get my degree from the University of Georgia and have an opportunity to go to another school like Colorado. Hopefully I can fulfill some of my dreams of making plays and being a key contributor at the college football level.

Q: You said you wished you had more shots at quarterback at UGA. When did you feel like was your best shot at Georgia, when Joe Cox ended up starting in 2009 or last year when Murray got the nod?

A: I’d probably say the year Joe Cox started. It’s tough talking about all this because Joe is one of my best friends and, Aaron Murray, I have great respect for him. But as far as how things played out, I just kind of wish it would have been handled in a different manner. After Matthew [Stafford] left, they immediately named Joe the starter before spring practice even started. I was hoping to get on the field and compete for that job and show what I could do. During the season the opportunities I got were really only at the end of the Florida game and at the end of the Tennessee game, which didn’t pan out for the best. After Joe graduated, going into last year, it was a wide-open competition, which was different than the year before. Aaron ended up winning the job and obviously had a great year last year and that’s just the way things went. Like I said, no hard feelings. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Q: Knowing what you do now, what advice might you give recruits?

A: I think if I gave advice it would be to make the most of your college experience. Not every single person is going to come to college and have an awesome career and end up in the NFL. It just doesn’t work that way. But I still feel you should work as hard as you can in the field and in the classroom. You just have to make the most of all the opportunities your given. Coach Richt gave me a scholarship and I wanted to honor the University by getting my degree here. I’m most proud of that.

Q: Did you consider staying at Georgia and giving it another go as a full-time wide receiver?

A: Obviousy I thought long and hard about that. In the end I just kind of wanted a fresh start. I was hoping to be able to play some place a little closer to home. Colorado is still a little bit away from where I live, but with my brother going to school there it will allow my parents to see both of us quite a bit, which will be nice. And I just thought that it was time for a change. I don’t know exactly which way the program is heading and I kind of just wanted to jump on board somewhere that I could just have a fresh start and prove that I’m a guy that can make plays and really help a team win.”

Q: What memories will you leave with from UGA?

A: I definitely made some of my best friends ever and I will miss them. Drew Butler, Clint Boling, Tanner Strickland and [walkon] Eric Elliott, those are some of my best friends. And there are many other guys I have very close relationships with. And it’s not like I’m leaving here without a great experience. My freshman year I was part of a Sugar Bowl championship team. On or off the field I’ve had memories that I’ll cherish for years.

Chip Towers, The UGA Blog

206 comments Add your comment

JDawg

April 12th, 2011
6:58 pm

Good luck Logan. You were not quite good enough to be a D-1 QB, but you were certainly a solid college football player. I hope you have a great year out at CU. What an awesome place to be for the next couple of years at your age. Life’s ahead of you, make the most of it.

Worm

April 12th, 2011
7:03 pm

Best of luck Logan..I believe if he was our best option at QB, he would have received PT..See Brian barnes,Joey Hester,Preston Jones, James Ray,Dickie Clark,Jeff Pyburn etc.etc.

soldierman

April 12th, 2011
7:07 pm

51WTGW50

April 12th, 2011
7:09 pm

He didn’t throw anybody under the bus. He did basically say Richt has been a idiot for having Seniors Play First over anybody until proven different. It sounds to me like if HUTSON MASON doesn’t get Any Significant Playing time in the first 2 games he should consider transferring. It is Murray’s team with LeMay the next QB.
Leave now Hutson before Richt loses his job and you are screwed even more. Just My Opinion.

Jim

April 12th, 2011
7:13 pm

A prime example of another wasted tallent at UGA. Sometimes I think the coaches at UGA are like a spoiled kid who has so many toys they throw away the goods ones as soon as a new one comes in. Best of luck Logan I wish you had gotten a better shot to prove yourself. I’ll be watching CU this year knowing if your fielding punts the whole world isn’t expecting you to fair catch the ball.

JDawg1785

April 12th, 2011
7:35 pm

I’ll definitely be cheering for him next season. Thank you, Logan! Best of luck in all you do.

Nick

April 12th, 2011
7:50 pm

He is right, joe cox was terrible, classy kid. Good luck.

Joe the Preacher Man

April 12th, 2011
7:53 pm

That whole Joe Cox thing, I think I just threw up in my mouth. Joe Cox was NOT A DIV 1 QB. He was horrible, Logan Gray has a point, why did he name him the starter right after Stafford left. What a crock of crap, I love CMR but that was a horrible decesion.

Dawg89

April 12th, 2011
8:01 pm

I think we all wish he had gotten a real chance to play QB. It may never be known the real reason why Richt rode Cox to the bitter end. It certainly didn’t make any sense.

Good luck Logan. I hope you have a great season with the Buffs. I wish all players would represent UGA the way you do.

dawgerbrown

April 12th, 2011
8:11 pm

The best of luck to you Logan. You are a classy young man and a great “team player”. Hope you have a great season at Colorado, I’m sure you’ll be successful in the years to come.

JT

April 12th, 2011
8:13 pm

I would agree that Cox shouldn’t have simply been named starter before Spring of 2009, but let’s not just assume that Gray could’ve beaten him out. The coaches see these guys day in and day out and Logan always looked shaky at best during the few opportunities he had in real games. They should have switched him to WR sooner than they did. But I will say that I’m always puzzled why Richt/Bobo don’t do a better job developing backup QB’s by giving them more field time.

holy cow

April 12th, 2011
8:14 pm

” I don’t know exactly which way the program is heading and I kind of just wanted to jump on board somewhere that I could just have a fresh start and prove that I’m a guy that can make plays and really help a team win.”

I undertand this perfectly. You mean Richt isnt delivering the “change we can believe in”???? shocking

UGASlobberknocker

April 12th, 2011
8:19 pm

Gray wasnt an SEC caliber QB thus explaining why he didnt play. In fact, I thought he was a disappointment at every position..including returning kicks since he fair caught everything. I wish him the best of luck in the future in all of his endeavors, but the Dawgs football team will not be impacted one iota with his departure.

If they toss Gray his diploma in Colorado..

April 12th, 2011
8:20 pm

He will call for a fair catch.

tc

April 12th, 2011
8:25 pm

good luck to Logan. I would also agree that he never had much of a chance. It is also interesting that he does not no which way the program is going. I would say that that is a nice way to say that he does not have confidence in CMR and thinks that CMR is not capable of turning it around. I have to agree with him. CMR is a crappy HC. Poor at judging talent and developing talent. Both qualities are required to succeed!

51WTGW50

April 12th, 2011
8:33 pm

tc
Logan is talking about the CU Buffs. CU has a new coaching staff.

ugab

April 12th, 2011
8:48 pm

Thanks for everything Logan. Thanks for having sure hands on punt returns. You was the only one that I trusted to catch a punt securely. Your are a great athelete and a fine young man. Uga will miss you.

Dr. Phil

April 12th, 2011
8:49 pm

Richt is particularly bad about leaving the starting QB and other players in a breather game to pad statistics. Of course, breathers have jumped up and bit Richt in the buttocks recently.

Sloan

April 12th, 2011
9:00 pm

Classy guy and a team player!

Doug

April 12th, 2011
9:01 pm

tHEY ONLY THREW 9 PASSES TO gRAY.

Also, he earned a shot to start some games at QB.

Richt has a tendancy to make up his mind early about players, and never change.

Joe Cox, Murray, etc.

Regardless of how bad they do, or how many games they lose.

Doug

April 12th, 2011
9:02 pm

The guy was the ultimate team player. Fair catching punts. Lot of humility there.

UGA should have used him in a wildcat, since they won’t let Murray run.

Doug

April 12th, 2011
9:04 pm

One of my favs on the team. Fast guy. Humble. Team player. Wish him the best. Hope he has a monster year at Colorado.

Vance Duly

April 12th, 2011
9:06 pm

We will never know if Logan could have been a good UGA quarterback. But, in his defense, he seldom had an opportunity, and I remember his chance against Florida came after we were getting our butts handed to us (again) by the Gators, and he was put in backed up to our own 7 yard line. I’ve been amazed that Coach Richt (as much as I like him as our coach) gives the backup quarterback almost NO meaningful playing time, only occasional mop-up duty. Joe Cox was thrown into a similar situation after Stafford left for the NFL – he’d had almost no playing time since his 2 appearances years earlier against Colorado and Ole Miss. It’s bad coaching strategy to leave your backup QB in the “inexperienced and untested” category……..

As a punt returner, it’s fair to point out that he was mostly used as the “possession” punt returner (fair catch, no fumble) when backed up deep on our end of the field.

dawgbone

April 12th, 2011
9:09 pm

We are becoming the breather for the better teams I’m afraid.

BG

April 12th, 2011
9:11 pm

Good luck Logan. You will always be a DGD!!

Mike

April 12th, 2011
9:13 pm

I played on a number of teams growing up – some I did very well, some not as well, but I never quit my team. Logan, you were not the starting quarterback for one god reason – you weren’t good enough. So you help your team any way you can, but you don’t leave your team mates.

What does this mean in your life? Are you going to quit your marriage if it isn’t peaches and cream 100% of the time? Are you going to quit your jobs because you’re not mad a senior vice president within two years? Your’re quiting your team and your friends, and that’s not a good way to start your life, son.

tide roll

April 12th, 2011
9:14 pm

Bobo went after this guy instead of Cameron Newton.

Buster

April 12th, 2011
9:15 pm

Class act, period!

Beast from the East

April 12th, 2011
9:21 pm

I don’t read this as if he’s questioning the direction of UGA’s program. I take it as he’s not sure of the direction of Colorado’s program but he was willing to go there to get a fresh start. Not shots taken at UGA.

dawgster

April 12th, 2011
9:23 pm

@tc…I believe that Logan is talking about which way the Colorado program is headed as they have a new coaching staff…don’t try to turn this into something it isn’t…Logan is a great kid and will always be a dawg…things didn’t work out for him as he expected, but he kept working and made some contributions…He also got his degreee and thats something no one can take away from him…I suspect Logan will do just fine…I think realistically everyone including himself probably knew that the NFL would not be where he would land…but I agree that he probably should have gotten more opportunities, but as someone else said the coaches see these players all the time so I don’t know what he did or did not show in practice..I do recall that one particular player, won’t call any names though, said that Joe Cox was more accurate…for whatever that is worth…go dawgs and best of luck to you Logan….

mag

April 12th, 2011
9:25 pm

Tide roll – at least Logan never cheated on tests or bought a stolen lap top only to throw it out a window.

Wallace

April 12th, 2011
9:34 pm

I’ll never forget Richt’s comments after G-Day when he tried to explain why he was going with Murray over Gray, when Gray had a better G-Day.

Watch Murray’s highlight video. That was Richt’s thinking.

It never occured to Richt, that Plant won a State Championship the year before & after Murray QB’d. Murray didn’t have much to do with Plant winning the Championship, his back up started 7 games that year.

Now we can watch the whole season’s videos, only highlights were beating teams with losing records.

Can’t blame Logan for being jilted a little.

VA DAWG

April 12th, 2011
9:34 pm

Best of luck Logan. You’re a class act and a DGD! GO DAWGS!

dawgster

April 12th, 2011
9:35 pm

@mag…don’t forget Logan’s dad didn’t ask for money to play for his son either…enough said for “tide rolls’ comment…

Down South Dawg

April 12th, 2011
9:35 pm

Logan was recruited along with Aaron White. Stafford showed up and stole the show, Joe Cox and Logan displayed comparable talent in their early days. Cox was from Charlotte N.C. which has proven to be a very rich recruiting venue for UGA. After Coe’s physical demise he still held TRUE-BLUE to Richt and the Dawgs, organizing the off season programs and the like. Logan certainly could compete with Joe on the field but the staff really didn’t want to mess up their good-thing-going in Charlotte, N.C. — I.E. — Lemay & others. It just never went Logans way, and that’s a crying shame. Logan is a classy guy.
He was raised right and was a great H.S. quarterback. He probably could have been a hell of a good UGA quarterback if circumstances had been different!

dawgster

April 12th, 2011
9:36 pm

@Wallace…I’m sorry but your comments are absurd…think about what you said, please….

Smiling Jack

April 12th, 2011
9:37 pm

Mike, I don’t think anyone but you thinks of Logan as a quitter How are you so perceptive about another man’s life? Best wishes, Logan, for all the successes in your future.

78 Dawg

April 12th, 2011
9:38 pm

Logan was a higher rated dual threat than Nesbitt, how can his career end like this? Richt is like Tom Landry (he made Staubach sit for years), because he doesn’t want someone scrambling making plays, you gotta run the play that’s called and throw it down field. Good thing Tarkenton is still around, he’d be a db.

bucket

April 12th, 2011
9:40 pm

Exactly what is the point of this exercise of obsession with Logan Gray? Are we still trying to throw egg in CMR’s face? No credible UGA fan wants to say anything negative about Logan, but this drumbeat is getting old. Logan was a nice young man and DGD, but he chose not to be on the team any longer in Athens. Can we have some articles about the guys who will be playing Saturday?

TommyP

April 12th, 2011
9:42 pm

Best of luck, Logan. Thanks for all your dedication.

Can’t be TOO bitter since he’s not transferring to play QB somewhere.

Chip: Gotta check this out on Aaron Murray….very lucky to have this kid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnyQreLkNkI&sns=fb

TommyP

April 12th, 2011
9:43 pm

bucket: Click on the above link for some positive stuff.

dawgster

April 12th, 2011
9:45 pm

@bucket….good job bucket..I agree totally…go dawgs

bucket

April 12th, 2011
9:47 pm

@ Wallace – Murray broke his dang leg during that year and he came back at the end of the year and QB’d the team to the freaking championship!!! Aaron Murray was not the problem last year. Better teams beat UGA last year because they had better TEAMS!!! With a little more defense Murray’s record as a starter would have been much better. Going into the year we all said Murray needed a running game and UGA got squat out of the running game. Again. Murray’s 3 INT’s against UF was not helpful, but the offense scored over 30 in that game even with those turnovers. You gotta play more D than that!

bucket

April 12th, 2011
9:48 pm

Will do Tommy P and thanks dawgster!

Wallace

April 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

No, Murray didn’t lead his team to the Championship, his back up did. But Murray got to QB the big game. We don’t have to theorize about Murray anymore, 6-7 as a starter, 0-6 against winning teams, lost to Gray last G-Day, losing to Mason this Spring.

tc

April 12th, 2011
9:55 pm

the reason CMR does not play any 2nd string QBs is because he is never in control of a football game.

TommyP

April 12th, 2011
9:56 pm

Wallace: You’re showing a lot of stupidity right now. Pretty sure it’s unanimous that Aaron Murray might be the SEC’s best returning QB.

Name another Georgia QB that led his team to more consecutive 30+ point games than Murray?

Buzz 2010

April 12th, 2011
9:58 pm

Why didn’t he start for Joe Cox?? No, I wish Cox was still dealing….

Skole

April 12th, 2011
10:00 pm

51WTGW50

April 12th, 2011
10:01 pm

TommyP
Look at the majority of the teams he scored 30 against. Everybody in the SEC was sure BAMA was going to have a cake walk to a 2nd straight SEC title too. Murray has to do it on the field. The only reason Murry is getting the nod next year is because most team are getting New QBs or coaches plus Garcia is a head case. I think Dooley and Tennessee have a great young QB that came on the last half of the season.