ATHENS -- It didn’t matter where Brice Ramsey was. He could be out and about on campus, or he could log on to Facebook and find a message from a fan.
Each time, it was the same question: Who will be Georgia’s starting quarterback? Over time, that can become tiresome to deal with.
“Craziness,” he said.
Ramsey, a sophomore, is competing for the starting quarterback job with juniors Faton Bauta and Greyson Lambert, the latter a graduate transfer from Virginia. Since the spring, this has been the hottest topic concerning Georgia football.
Each quarterback had a different perspective. Ramsey admitted he isn’t a fan of the constant questioning but said he won’t let the noise distract him. Bauta said the fact he’s even in the position to compete for Georgia’s starting quarterback spot is thrilling. Lambert, who has 16 games worth of FBS college football experience, said he has brought a “quiet confidence” with him to Athens to help earn the trust of his new teammates.
“I’m not worried about all the outside stuff,” Ramsey said. “I’m just worried about what I can do and control on the field and prepare and take advantage of my opportunities. I got a good relationship with both of those guys. We want nothing but the best for each other. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. I’m not going to beat myself up. You just take it day by day and control what you can control.”
During Tuesday’s first preseason practice, Bauta and Ramsey appeared the most comfortable during position work and in seven-on-seven drills. Bauta was accurate with the majority of his throws and got plenty of time with the first team. Ramsey showed off his quick release and strong delivery, which made him an intriguing prospect coming out of high school. Lambert, in his first full practice with the Bulldogs, experienced some accuracy issues but didn’t let the mistakes bother him too much.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt said that all three quarterbacks will get equal playing time with the first team, and each candidate saw multiple chances to throw to first-team receivers Tuesday.
Lambert, in particular, has begun preseason practice behind Bauta and Ramsey in terms of familiarity with the offense and personnel. To make up for lost time, Lambert admitted that while finishing his undergraduate studies at Virginia this summer, he would hide a whiteboard in class to study Georgia’s offensive playbook.
“I may have more game experience, but when it comes to knowing the offense and running it correctly, you have to take that in account,” Lambert said. “I’m playing catch-up a little bit, but I feel pretty confident in how I’ve been treating it and learning the offense.”
Bauta sought advice from former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray during the offseason, hoping it could help him in his effort to win the starting job. At the same time, Bauta isn’t approaching the three-way competition like he’s going against adversaries. Bauta and Ramsey, along with other teammates, helped organize player-led practices together and maintain a positive friendship. Bauta said he would prefer to look at the quarterback competition in a different light so that it doesn’t take away from the goals Ramsey and Lambert are also gunning for.
“For me, specifically, and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think about it as you have to compete against yourself every day,” Bauta said. “You have to be better than you were yesterday.”
All three quarterbacks have prepared all summer for the opportunity to be the next Georgia starting quarterback. Bauta and Ramsey spent between three to four hours per day at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall to practice on their own. Lambert was busy studying his soon-to-be graduate school’s playbook up the east coast at his undergraduate alma mater.
Only one day is in the books, and the quarterback competition will continue for the rest of the preseason. Richt is hoping to see growth from all three of his quarterback options.
“We talk about in terms of perfecting your trade,” Richt said. “The more you know about your position, the more you are prepared, the faster you can play, and you’ll make better decisions as a quarterback if you get in a good habit of how you think, how you progress through your reads. Even your fundamentals, the balance that you have when you throw the football, all those things together help you become the best you can be. That’s what we’re hoping for everybody.”