ATHENS — Brice Ramsey could win the punting job. Or he could win the quarterback job. He could win both.
At least that’s how it’s being presented as Georgia enters preseason camp. Ramsey, the favorite last year to win the starting quarterback job, never did start a game there, but finished the season as the team’s punter. Then in the offseason he gained competition for punter when the Bulldogs signed freshman Marshall Long to a scholarship.
Ramsey and Long will engage in what Smart called “constant competition” for the punting job. And Smart vowed that Ramsey’s status in the quarterback competition won’t have an effect on the punting situation.
“If he’s the best punter, then he’s the best punter,” Smart said. “If he’s the best quarterback, then he’ll be playing quarterback. But that’s not going to limit his ability to punt, if he’s the best guy for the job.”
Ramsey looked good most of last year as the punter, showing a huge leg. And while consistency and hang time will remain a question, he also pinned a punt inside the 5 on G-Day.
Long’s addition, however, complicates things.
Meanwhile, Georgia also appears to have a two-man competition at kicker, this one a carryover from the spring. Smart also used the “constant competition” phrase to describe walk-ons Rodrigo Blankenship and William Ham, both trying to win the place-kicking and kickoff jobs.
“I don’t have a good read on that. So competition is going to be very important,” Smart said. “I can think of ways I can put these kids in situations that will simulate, in their fall camp as kickers, what they’re going to enter into in the season. So you’re always trying to get that situation emulated. In the spring game we were able to get that environment for the kicker. I think that’s harder to do in camp.”