Spring practice is over. What changed, and how much? What still might change? We take a look with out position-by-position evaluation of the Georgia football team, starting with the game's most visible position:
Starter: Hutson Mason, Sr.
Top backup(s): Faton Bauta, Soph.; Brice Ramsey, R-Fr.
Also in the room: Jacob Park, Fr.
On the way: None. (Park enrolled early, participated in spring.)
The skinny: The depth chart is basically unchanged since pre-spring, but the past month did move the ball a bit for Georgia’s quarterbacks. First, Mason solidified his hold on the No. 1 job – not that it was really in doubt, but by the end even the coaches were acknowledging that he had widened the gap. It was an encouraging development for the Bulldogs, as Mason showed a command of the offense, didn’t turn it over and improved his footwork. Of course, spring isn’t the true test, and Mason was passing against a Georgia secondary that is, to put it charitably, in flux. Still, Mason did all that could reasonably asked of him this spring.
The more intriguing story this spring was the Bauta-Ramsey battle for the No. 2 job. Bauta had the better spring game, and frankly looked more ready to play right now. The competition prior to G-Day was apparently closer, but Bauta seemed to leave the spring with a slight edge. The two offer very contrasting styles: Bauta has the mobility and Ramsey has the strongest arm on the team. But Bauta has also showed a pretty decent touch on his passes, and Ramsey’s accuracy has also seemed to gradually improved. This competition will be interesting to watch.
As for Park, his spring went about as expected: Head on a swivel, just trying to adjust to college and learn the playbook. Barring a huge rash of injuries he will be able to redshirt this season, as Bauta and Ramsey did before him, and enter next spring better positioned to show his wares.
What happens next: The battle for No. 2 job will continue into the preseason, and who knows, it may not be settled by the Clemson game. Unless one of the two does enough to separate this summer – Bauta would be the likeliest – then it’s very possible the coaches will make it a week-to-week competition to see who the main backup is. And of course if something happened to Mason, the competition would be accelerated.
Coachspeak: "I can tell you right now nothing's been decided at all. I think the competition's going to go into the fall and see what it looks like the closer we get to the first game. I would say Hutson probably separated himself from the second-team guys. Maybe a little bit more of a gap - not trying to discourage anybody, but realistically probably solidified himself as the starter." - Mark Richt