ATHENS — On the one hand, Kirby Smart called Georgia’s quarterback competition a “see-saw battle.” On the other hand, he came close to acknowledging that last year’s starter remains the favorite.
Greyson Lambert, the fifth-year senior who started all but one game last year, has been first in the pecking order at every media viewing period of practice this spring. He’s been followed by junior Brice Ramsey and freshman Jacob Eason.
The vast majority of practices are not free to be viewed by the media, and none of the scrimmages are. Smart also hasn’t released scrimmage stats. But in evaluating the race, Smart said “there hasn’t been much separation,” then hinted that Lambert has come the closest.
“There’s been a couple times where I thought Greyson was going to stick his head and shoulder above the pack, and then maybe he makes a poor decision,” Smart said. “Then Brice makes a play. Then Jacob makes a throw. It has really been a see-saw battle.”
Lambert, while very inconsistent last year in his first season at Georgia, draws raves for how he manages the offense. Ramsey’s strong point is his arm and even lately his feet. But Smart has also called on Ramsey to exert more leadership. As for Eason, the five-star recruit, his talent has been evident, so has been the fact he should still be in high school.
Smart said three days ago that the competition “almost has to” carry into preseason practice in August. But he said Tuesday that wasn’t his preference.
“It’s frustrating, because I think we would rather have a guy take the leadership role and take the bull by the horns,” Smart said. “But it seems like every time a guy takes a step forward, he makes a poor decision and comes back.”
A definite plan hasn’t been set for splitting snaps on Saturday. In order to get three quarterbacks an equal number of snaps, it’s likely that at least one quarterback will take snaps with both teams.
“We want the reps to come out even, and it’s really not about for who wins or loses, it’s how these guys play for their respective units,” Smart said. “It’s really important for us to get a fair look. I mean if there’s 100 snaps, we want it to come out relatively even.”