May 8, 2006

Can UGA bring in another top QB?

INTRO

With four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, the Georgia Bulldogs might not look like an attractive program to top prospects at the position. However, one will leave the program following the 2006 season and there is a very good chance that the two youngest player on the depth chart will play this season thus creating a bit of separation between himself and any new comers. Furthermore, head coach Mark Richt is known for his ability to develop quarterbacks.


POSITION

UGA's current situation: Currently the Bulldogs are set up very well at the quarterback position. With four scholarship players from freshman to senior, the team should have no problem in getting adequate performance out of the group. The problem is that the order of talent is nearly flipped from the order of experience. Nobody doubts senior Joe Tereshinski's dedication to the program and knowledge of UGA's offensive system, but few believe he has the necessary tools to lead the team back to the Georgia Dome for a fourth time in Mark Richt's tenure as head coach. He started against Florida last season when D.J. Shockley was injured, and nearly led the team to a storybook win. However, prior to 2005, he had never thrown a pass in a game.

Redshirt sophomore Blake Barnes, who many expected to pass Tereshinski on the depth chart by now, had a descent spring, but a thumb injury caused him to miss the G-Day game and perhaps give up ground to the two youngsters behind him on the depth chart. Redshirt freshman Joe Cox played well with the scout team last fall, and seemed to learn a lot as spring practice went on, but if it were neck-and-neck between him and true freshman Matthew Stafford out of Dallas, the nod would have to go to the Texan.

Looking down the road: Perhaps the best thing that could happen for UGA as far as quarterback recruiting goes is for it to come down to a Cox-Stafford race with the latter at least playing this season. Cox used his redshirt last year so his clock is running, while Stafford could conceivably redshirt in 2006 (quit rolling your eyes) and still have four years to play heading into 2007. If Stafford were to redshirt, it is doubtful that the Bulldogs will reel in their top targets, but if he plays, they stand a very good chance of putting another quarterback on the roster.

Top Targets

Logan Gray (6-2/180/4.45, Columbia, MO, list) - Gray has family ties to UGA and has been interested in the Bulldogs for some time. A duel-threat quarterback, he will be one of the more recruited prospects for 2006, and already has several offers including SEC schools Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Probably the Dawgs' biggest competition here is Gators. With head coach Urban Meyer already saying that freshman quarterback Tim Tebow will play in 2006, they could take the lead if Stafford redshirts. If both play, then the Bulldogs stand a very good chance of reeling in Gray.

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