July 6, 2012

Freshman focus: F. Bauta

Player: - Faton Bauta

Number: 10

Height/Weight: 6-3, 222

Position: Quarterback

High School: Dwyer High (West Palm Beach, Fla.

Tale of the Tape: Bauta will give depth to the quarterback position, although a redshirt appears in his future, unless Bulldog coaches decide to draw up some "Wildcat" type packages to take advantage of his excellent athletic ability. Still young by quarterback standards, last year was Bauta's first season playing solely quarterback but still completed 65-of-120 for 1,097 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing 92 times for 424 yards and scores.

Strengths: One of Bauta's greatest strengths is the fact that is a very strong, explosive individual. As a runner, he is powerful and runs with a balanced base. He has great natural arm strength and a very powerful upper body. Bauta is also a very smart football player with a tireless work ethic. He brings leadership and ability to make plays to any offense. While Georgia recruited him to come in and play the quarterback position, Bauta is also versatile and could help the Bulldogs in a variety of positions. He could play tight end or linebacker, and could definitely play in some short yardage situations with designed runs from the quarterback position. Bauta has all the tools physical tools to succeed at the next level with the competitive nature and work ethic to capitalize on those tools.

Weaknesses: Bauta lacks polish at this point in his career. While he has a strong arm, he doesn't get the most out of it due to a throwing motion that will need work. He has inconsistent footwork, and doesn't appear as if he is comfortable throwing from the pocket. He made great strides in 2011, but is still a bit quick to pull the ball down and run with it. Due to his inconsistent mechanics, he lacks accuracy on throws over 10 yards and throws to the outside at this time. He will need to improve upon that if he is going to be successful in the SEC.

Overall: There is no question that Bauta was a solid take for UGA in 2011. He is a player that could develop into a valuable red zone and short yardage quarterback in the short term, and has the tools to maybe win a starting job down the line. If things don't work out at quarterback, he could move positions and still be very successful. The one thing Bauta will do is push those around him. His high school coaches were shocked at how much he loves to work and push himself, and that has a good chance of spilling over to those he is competing with.

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