How exactly are we to interpret the quarterback situation in Athens? It’s still mid-August, so there’s plenty of time for the Georgia coaches to figure things out. There’s still plenty of time for one of the three candidates to emerge and win the job.
But, still ...
The fact that no quarterback shined Friday in Georgia’s first scrimmage shouldn’t shock anyone. That’s why Georgia is in this situation. Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Greyson Lambert are locked in a good battle. Or is it more appropriate to believe all three just aren’t very good?
That’s as big of a question as the one asking about who will win the job, which is asked every time you turn around.
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Ramsey is supposed to be in the driver’s seat. Anyone you ask will tell you he’s the leading candidate. So why has Ramsey not taken the lead? Why is head coach Mark Richt not singing Ramsey’s praises as someone who has taken advantage of the opportunity to win the starting job?
Bauta is the athlete, with more mobility than the other two. Lambert is the transfer from Virginia who was simply not a very good ACC quarterback last season. And the question is fair and logical. If Lambert couldn’t even keep his job as Virginia’s quarterback, what makes him good enough to win the gig at Georgia?
When Richt was asked about the quarterback situation following Friday’s scrimmage he paused for five seconds and then said, “Well, let me think.” Then there was another pause, for another five seconds. Uh, oh. That’s not good.
His eventual answer did not include any glowing recommendation for anyone. Richt did say he didn’t need anyone in the media tell him who should be starting. Don’t worry, coach. If you can’t figure it out, we won’t try to either.
Richt usually shares the statistics from scrimmages, but he didn’t Friday. Does that mean the numbers for the quarterbacks were so bad he didn’t want to share the information? Now that is scary.
This is a bizarre situation. The winner of this competition might only have the job for this season. A year from now, we likely will be speculating on which game in early September 2016 young Jacob Eason will be taking over as the starting quarterback.
Eason is the heralded quarterback out of Washington who has committed to Georgia. It’s easy to be taken in by recruiting, but if you watch Eason’s video, it’s hard to come away thinking anything except he will have the most snaps at quarterback for Georgia in 2016. He’s that good. Eason is Matthew Stafford-like, perhaps a future NFL star.
Could Eason’s arrival be haunting Ramsey? No one wants to be a lame duck the moment he gets the job, but if Eason is that good, the winner of this current competition might be just that. That’s unusual, but you would hope the three candidates would be mentally strong enough to not be impacted by a high school senior all the way across the country.
Georgia is fortunate this year with the schedule. The Bulldogs play Louisiana-Monroe to open the season Sept. 5 and then are at Vanderbilt on Sept. 12. Richt admitted more than one quarterback might play in those opening games if there is not a clear-cut starter. That would be fine. But on Sept. 19, when Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks go to Athens, there needs to be one player who can be called the starting quarterback of the Georgia Bulldogs.
It might take another month, but at some point, one of the three candidates must step forward and win the job. And until that happens, this will be the biggest sports question in this state.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org