With Hutson Mason gone and no seasoned veterans waiting in the wings, the UGA quarterback will have to be decided with an old-fashioned competition. The contenders are redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey and juniors Faton Bauta and Grayson Lambert.
The competition has spilled into the offseason and beyond the football team, with seemingly everyone having some kind of opinion on the matter.
UGA president Jere Morehead noted this week at fan event that he “did his part” by admitting Lambert from Virginia, he joked at a recent UGA Day event, but added that coach Mark Richt will make the right decision.
UGA basketball coach Mark Fox got creative, joking that oft-injured running back Keith Marshall should win the job and run the wildcat offense.
The conversation has even spilled over into the recruiting trail as the Bulldogs await 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason’s arrival on campus next season — potentially to evict whoever wins the battle this fall.
Among those that will join Eason in 2016, there is a common theme in their current thoughts about the competition — confusion. So who do UGA’s recruits think will win the job?
“Hahahaha,” 4-star defensive end Chauncey Manac laughed for several seconds. “Uhhhh.”
“Uhhh. Umm,” 3-star guard Aaron Dowdell added in perplexity.
“Ahhh, man,” 3-star offensive tackle Chris Barnes said, the angst obvious in his voice.
While their answers included confusion and some stalling, several members of the class of 2016 offered their take on the impending battle.
Darion Anderson, a 3-star receiver, took the safe road and offered “no prediction.” He wasn’t the only one to take the middle ground either.
Dowdell opted not to make a pick because he hasn’t seen Lambert play yet. “Once I see him then I’ll know,” he added.
Barnes also took the middle ground, and instead chose to praise all three players.
“I really don’t know who’s going to start but either one of those guys, they’re great guys,” he said. “They can play the game and I’ve seen them at practice. It really don’t matter to me.”
But some recruits chose to get to the meat of the issue — Ramsey versus Lambert, the two expected to have the best shots to win the job.
Manac gave his vote to Team Brice, but gave it a lukewarm “probably” and added that he was “just making a pick.”
On the other hand, 3-star cornerback Chad Clay came prepared for a debate and he’s backing Lambert.
“I think it’ll be the kid from Virginia,” Clay said. “He’s got more experience than all of them playing in games because he’s already played. And he came a well-polished guy and I just think the experience is going to help him over there, is going to help take him over the top.”
— By Cody Pace, Special for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution