A Q&A WITH LOGAN 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