Bulldogs Beat

Morning musings: Georgia's first football scrimmage brings questions

Jason Butt

jbutt@macon.com

Georgia quarterbacks Greyson Lambert (11) won the starting quarterback job, with Faton Bauta (10) and Brice Ramsey(12) backing him up.
Georgia quarterbacks Greyson Lambert (11) won the starting quarterback job, with Faton Bauta (10) and Brice Ramsey(12) backing him up.

Friday will mark the first day Georgia's coaches have a chance to see their players in live action.

The Bulldogs will participate in their first scrimmage, giving each man a chance to show what they've learned through the installation portion of preseason practice. Recently, Georgia changed the way it's operated its scrimmages. The idea Georgia's running with now is to put the best against the best and let the coaches see who stands out.

“For years, we went one offense vs. two defense and one defense vs. the two offense," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "We go ones vs. ones now. I think it’s been good. I think it's been healthy. There are some rotations, just like if you were in an eight play drive and you’re no-huddling, it’s hard to have a core of receivers run eight plays in a row or eight routes in a row without getting some kind of substitution. We tend to roll our backs about every four plays or so. We’re not looking to wear anyone down. You may get some twos with the ones and that kind of deal, but it will be ones vs. ones, twos vs. twos and threes vs. threes.”

Here are three questions heading into the scrimmage that Richt and the coaching staff will want better answers for:

1) Which quarterback stands out the best with the first team?

This is the obvious one. Thus far, Richt has maintained that each quarterback has received an equal amount of reps with the first team. The evaluation process, to this point, has been guarded at Fort Knox standards. No one knows what Richt is thinking and he's not letting anyone on the outside know.

What we do know is that Brice Ramsey has the best arm strength and release of the quarterbacks. Greyson Lambert might have the best football IQ of the bunch, which combines with his 16 games of experience as Virginia's signal caller. Faton Bauta is the steadiest, but more in the lines of Hutson Mason. He may not have the live arm the other two have but he offers a running threat that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer could adjust his scheme to.

Any of the quarterbacks could have looked better than the other up to this point. But this will be the first true test for the quarterbacks in a game situation.

2) Will Trenton Thompson impress to the point he's assured a starting spot?

Thompson, Georgia's most ballyhooed recruit in this year's class, has done his part to stay even keeled through the process. He looks great in individual drills, has a quickness you can't teach for his size and looks the part of someone that can play college football right away. But like any true freshman, Thompson will still need to face some live bullets before that can become a reality.

Thompson showed a shy and reserved persona when he met with the media. I'm sure the coaches love the fact they got a star player that doesn't seem too interested in answering many questions about himself. It's a cliche, but Thompson does come across as a team-first guy. And if he can prove Friday that he'll help his team in a starting role, he could elevate his stock in that department.

3) Which receivers are game-ready?

Malcolm Mitchell is Georgia's No. 1 receiver. From there, it's a crapshoot. Isaiah McKenzie was working as the No. 2 receiver before a hamstring pull. Freshman Terry Godwin was working as a top five receiver before his shoulder injury. You'd have to assume, out of caution, that neither receiver will participate in Friday's scrimmage, opening an opportunity for other wideouts to make their presence felt.

Reggie Davis could work his way as a first-teamer if he can show he's more than a nine-route receiver with speed. True freshmen Michael Chigbu and Jayson Stanely could show why that they are deserving of playing time. Kenneth Towns, a fundamentally sound junior walk-on, has a chance to show why he can be counted on for more game reps this year.

Hitting the links

Four-star freshman Pat Allen waits his turn on a loaded Georgia offensive line. Included is a funny anecdote Allen gave about beating Juwuan Briscoe's team in the Maryland state semifinals last year.

Georgia's freshman defensive backs are embracing competition early on.

Freshman Rodrigo Blankesnship is competing for both the punter and kickoff specialist roles this preseason.

Freshman defensive back Rico McGraw eyes an early-season trip to Nashville when Georgia takes on Vanderbilt, writes the Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer.

Connor Riley writes for The Red & Black that two-a-day practices are beginning to come to an end.

22-year-old freshman Nick Moore transitions from professional baseball to being a first-year college football athlete, posts Bulldawg Illustrated's Greg Poole.

The AJC's Seth Emerson writes that Georgia's receivers will need to come up big this season.

Quotable

Freshman cornerback Juwuan Briscoe on adjusting to defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt: "My coach in high school coached me hard. But coach Pruitt, he’s on me 24/7. He wants me to be great. He wants me to accomplish my goals. That’s how he is.”

Song of the day

"Red Rain" by The White Stripes

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