ATHENS — It’s not certain how long Greyson Lambert will hold on to Georgia’s starting job. All that’s clear is the transfer from Virginia is the starter this week, and not part of a rotation.
“We’re not thinking a rotation,” coach Mark Richt said on Tuesday, adding: “Not game one anyway.”
A day after Lambert was revealed to be Georgia’s starter against Louisiana-Monroe, the decision remained the topic du jour around the program. Naming one guy as a starter was a surprise to many, as the competition seemed so close.
But it had star tailback Nick Chubb’s endorsement; Chubb said he preferred one guy to a rotation, and gave Lambert a thumbs up.
“I was excited for him. I think he’s good for our program,” Chubb said. “He’ll make plays, he’ll make decisions that we need him to make.”
Malcolm Mitchell, who stands to be Lambert’s most dynamic receiver target, summed up his reaction to hearing the news after Monday’s practice.
“Let’s go. Let’s play football. Now we know who’s gonna lead the team,” Mitchell said. “Now it’s his job to make it happen.”
Still, the consensus among players made available for interviews was that the also-rans, Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta, were good enough to win the job too. There was no huge separation.
“He could have picked any of the three and I feel like everything would have been in sync,” Mitchell said.
“I really couldn’t tell who was gonna win it, and I was really anxious to see,” outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “I was happy that we finally got a quarterback named, period. But I really had no clue who it was gonna be at all. … Every day you would see one person have a good day, the next day you see this person have a good day. And it was like that the whole month.”
Lambert himself was not among the players made available to the media. Richt said Monday night that his new starter wouldn’t speak this week. Neither will Ramsey or Bauta.
But their teammates, perhaps now a bit more free to discuss the quarterback situation, said they could tell early on that Lambert had prepared well. He didn’t arrive on campus until July 13, but already had a good handle on Georgia’s playbook.
“He was just a student of it,” sophomore tight end Jeb Blazevich said. “He really put in the time and effort to learn and change, and really be open to being coachable. I know if you come from a different system, you’re used to a certain thing, you come to a new school and it’s easy to think, Well this is what worked before. But he was just open to being coached.”
Lambert was also able to overcome a late start to be a good leader for the offense, according to Mitchell.
“I don’t think one person led better than the other. I think it’s mechanics, fine-tuning, check-downs and checks in general that separated somebody from the others,” Mitchell said. “It definitely wasn’t who led better on and off the field because they all did that.”