Georgia Bulldogs: Parker Welch

LeMay, Fluker bound for FCS program

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
4:50
PM ET
Quarterback Christian LeMay and safety Shaquille Fluker both intend to transfer from Georgia and enroll at Jacksonville State for the 2014 season.

A source told ESPN.com on Monday that Georgia granted releases to both players and that Jacksonville State has agreed to sign the two Bulldogs.

LeMay, whose brother Uriah is a freshman receiver at Georgia, was a highly recruited prospect when he signed with Georgia in 2011. The Matthews, N.C., native was ESPN's No. 100 overall prospect and No. 5 quarterback -- sandwiched between Ohio State's Braxton Miller and UCLA's Brett Hundley, and four spots ahead of Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater -- when he joined the Bulldogs' "Dream Team" recruiting class as an early enrollee that January.

However, he actually fell on Georgia's depth chart this season after playing for the first time last fall. LeMay started the 2012 season as Aaron Murray's primary backup in order to allow Hutson Mason to redshirt. LeMay played in three of the first four games that fall but lost ground to walk-on Parker Welch after losing a fumble and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in mop-up duty against Florida Atlantic.

Welch was the first backup to enter games behind Murray from that point on in 2012, and Mason and Faton Bauta both ranked ahead of redshirt sophomore LeMay in the pecking order this season. He missed at least two practices last week while coaches said he was dealing with a "personal matter" and rumors began to circulate that he was preparing to transfer, although he returned to practice at the end of the week.

Fluker already announced plans to transfer last week after sitting out the entire 2013 season with medical issues. He was the No. 36 overall prospect and No. 2 safety on ESPN's Junior College 100 when he signed with the Bulldogs in February.

Both players should have two seasons of eligibility remaining when they enroll at Jacksonville State.

UGA 2015 QB race already under way

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. – They aren't making any guarantees, but Georgia's coaches have made it abundantly clear that they expect Hutson Mason to replace Aaron Murray as their starting quarterback next year.

That said, the redshirt junior plans to compete over the next 10 months like he hasn't won anything yet.

“I've been here for four years, obviously, and everybody wants to say, 'He's the next guy, he's the next guy,' but no one owes you anything,” Mason said. “Just because you're here for four years doesn't mean that you're going to walk in the day when Aaron leaves and you're going to be the starting quarterback. … That's the way our coaches coach, that's the right way to go about it and I know that there's other guys in that room that are capable of making plays and they're capable of being really good quarterbacks.”

[+] EnlargeHutson Mason
Todd Kirkland/Icon SMIHutson Mason should enter the spring with an advantage to be Georgia's starting quarterback in 2014. The more interesting battle might be for the No. 2 role.
Because of the season-ending knee injury that Murray suffered in the second quarter of the Kentucky game, Mason should have had two-and-a-half games of experience as the Bulldogs' No. 1 quarterback when they kick off the 2014 season against Clemson.

He has performed adequately as Murray's replacement – he has completed 46 of 71 passes for 648 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, which should only solidify his place for next fall. The more interesting aspect of the competition might be the jockeying for the position behind Mason among a group of young quarterbacks who could take over the reins in 2015.

“I don't see Hutson doing anything to self-destruct and make himself lose that job,” center David Andrews said. “But these young guys, they'll understand. Hutson, he came out every day and he competed no matter what, even in his redshirt year [2012], when he knew he wasn't going to play. I think those young quarterbacks seeing that can understand, 'Even if I'm not going to play, this is setting it up and every day you don't try to get better, you're going to get worse.' I believe that, so I think Hutson sets a great example in that aspect.”

As of now, the Bulldogs have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster who will have eligibility remaining next fall: redshirt sophomore Christian LeMay, redshirt freshman Faton Bauta and freshman Brice Ramsey, who is redshirting this season. Georgia also has a commitment from Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford), ESPN's No. 94 overall prospect in the 2014 recruiting class and No. 4 dual-threat quarterback.

Exhibiting a strong work ethic and intriguing run-pass skills, Bauta seized the backup spot behind Mason and will reportedly be tough to beat for the No. 2 role next season.

“He's really come into his own, not beating himself up every time he makes a mistake and going back out there to make another play,” said receiver Chris Conley, who predicted that Bauta would claim the No. 2 job next fall. “He's a hard worker, so he's always going to be his toughest critic. But he's made a lot of plays this year out there. He made a lot of plays in the spring and that kind of turned people's heads to say, 'OK, I didn't know that he could play like that.' ”

Ramsey is also an interesting prospect, having impressed coaches and teammates with his prototypical 6-foot-3 size and possibly the strongest arm among any of the quarterbacks on the roster.

As with most freshmen, Ramsey made use of his redshirt year to settle into a college routine and learn Georgia's offense.

“He has a gun on him,” receiver Michael Bennett said. “He has a very good arm. He's just a freshman. You've got to mature a little bit, but he's going to be a good player, too.”

That redshirt year was a particularly valuable experience for a green quarterback like Ramsey who executed a run-heavy Wing-T offense in high school – a far cry from the pro-style offense he'll run in college.

“I've grown so much,” Ramsey said. “In January [when he enrolled], I couldn't have even have told you what a zone was or what all that was. It was just coming in and actually having to put forth effort and trying to learn the playbook and study and everything. Now I'm picking everything up and just excited for the future.”

For now, though, the starting job in 2014 is Mason's to lose. He's the only quarterback aside from Murray to have attempted a pass this season – Bauta has run three times for 29 yards in mop-up duty and LeMay hasn't played this season at all, although he saw the field as a reserve in 2012 – and Mason will be far and away the most experienced quarterback on the roster next fall.

That will be a major departure for Mason, who up until 10 days ago has spent his entire career playing second fiddle to SEC career passing leader Murray.

“It's going to be weird just not having the guys that I'm used to being around, like Parker [Welch, a senior walk-on] and Murray,” Mason said. “We've had a core group of guys that have been around for a long time in that QB room and we're going to be a whole lot younger with a lot of new faces. It's going to be different.

“It's exciting, though. It's what you come to Georgia for. I've been waiting for four years to go out there and compete for that starting position and I know every other guy in that room, that's why they're here. So that's an exciting time.”

Recapping UGA post-spring reviews 

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Over the last two weeks, we reviewed the competition for playing time at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and identified a player to watch at each position.

A defense that lost 12 significant players will be a focal point well into the fall, and it was in our post-spring recaps. Let’s take a look at the defensive positions first:

Post-spring position review: QB

April, 15, 2013
4/15/13
7:00
AM ET
Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll take a closer look at each of Georgia’s position groups at the end of spring practice. Today we begin with the quarterbacks:

[+] EnlargeAaron Murray
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY SportsMichael Thornton (left) hopes to play a bigger role on UGA's D-line in 2013.
Returning players/stats: Aaron Murray, Sr. (14 starts in 2012, 249-386, 3,893 yards, 36 TD, 10 INT); Hutson Mason, Jr., (Redshirted in 2012); Parker Welch, Jr. (3-7, 39 yards, 1 TD); Christian LeMay, RSo. (1-2, 43 yards, 1 INT); Faton Bauta, RFr. (Redshirted in 2012)

Newcomers: Brice Ramsey, Fr. (ESPN’s No. 7 pro-style quarterback signee in 2013. Enrolled in January)

Key storyline: After passing for 10,091 yards in his first three seasons as Georgia’s starter, Murray is poised to break all of the SEC’s key career passing records as a senior. He is 1,437 yards away from former Bulldog David Greene’s SEC-high 11,528 career passing yards. With 696 completions, he is 199 away from Florida quarterback Chris Leak’s record of 895. With 1,131 attempts, Murray trails Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen’s SEC record by 383 passes. And with 95 touchdown passes, he is 19 behind Florida’s Danny Wuerffel’s 114.

Murray is also the FBS active career leader in touchdown passes and is fourth with a 158.55 career passer rating. He’s already the first SEC quarterback ever to pass for 3,000 yards in three straight seasons.

Breakout candidate: Considering that Murray has started all 41 games of his career and will enter the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, there is no reason to expect a breakout player to emerge at quarterback this season. However, it will be worth watching the competition behind him over the next year as players jockey to become Murray’s replacement in 2014.

Reviewing 2012: Murray ranked second nationally in passing efficiency with a 174.82 passer rating and threw for 330 or more yards in four of the last eight games, including 427 yards and five touchdown passes -- both UGA bowl records -- in a Capital One Bowl win against Nebraska. His low-water marks were a 109-yard effort against South Carolina and a three-interception first half against Florida, but otherwise Murray enjoyed an outstanding season.

Walk-on Welch and LeMay played behind Murray in mop-up duty -- second-stringer Mason redshirted in order to establish a year between himself and Murray -- but neither player had much of an opportunity to distinguish himself. Welch passed LeMay on the depth chart after the freshman lost a fumble and threw a pick six against Florida Atlantic.

Projecting 2013: Murray has improved statistically -- and the Bulldogs’ win total has also increased -- in each of his three seasons as a starter. If he can continue that progress and cut back on his interception total a bit, he should rank among this season’s Heisman contenders throughout the fall. The key will be the first month of the season, when the Bulldogs face Clemson, South Carolina and LSU. Murray’s mediocre results against ranked opposition have been extensively covered, but he seemed to turn a corner in that regard late last season. The Bulldogs need him to be close to error free in the first month if they are to remain in SEC championship contention.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Considering the state of Georgia’s depth chart -- with 10 starters returning from last year’s record-setting offense and 12 key performers missing from the 2012 defense -- Tuesday’s first spring scrimmage has to be viewed as a win for Todd Grantham’s rebuilding defense.

Practicing under blustery conditions at Sanford Stadium, the defense surrendered just one touchdown off a traditional drive before the Bulldogs began working on situational possessions such as third-and-long and goal-line scenarios.

“There were some good plays made out there offensively. As far as putting together drives and scoring points, it just didn’t happen today. The defense did a really nice job,” said Bulldogs coach Mark Richt, who added that the offense scored two more touchdowns in four goal-line possessions.

(Read full post)

ATHENS, Ga. -- Week two of Spring camp had the Georgia Bulldogs hitting the practice field in full pads while preparing for a scrimmage on Saturday. Position battles and projected performances dominated the questions we received for this edition of the DawgNation Mailbag.

Adam (Charlotte): What is your view on the post-Aaron Murray quarterback position battle? Brice Ramsey comes out very highly recruited but played in a pure running team and didn't really showcase his talents. Could the big bad SEC be too much for him?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Coaches' take: Brice Ramsey 

January, 26, 2013
1/26/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Brice Ramsey has a boatload of untapped potential as a quarterback, and Jeff Herron has believed for years that Ramsey would one day become a big-time college signal-caller.

“I actually could go back to Brice when he was in the fifth grade at a youth camp that we were hosting and watching him run around and lead people and throw the ball as a fifth grader,” said Jeff Herron, who coached Ramsey at Camden County High School in Kingsland, Ga. “It’s rare that you can tell with kids that early, but you certainly could [then].”


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Depth chart stacked behind Murray 

January, 17, 2013
1/17/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- While Georgia makes across-the-board changes with its defensive personnel, the Bulldogs will deal with the exact opposite situation at quarterback.

They have a depth chart loaded with five scholarship players, plus a walk-on who essentially served as the No. 2 quarterback by season’s end.

One thing is clear, however.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Position scouting report: Quarterback 

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
7:00
AM ET
Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and project how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s quarterbacks:

[+] EnlargeHutson Mason
Dale Zanine/US PresswireQB Hutson Mason, coming off a redshirt season, looks to have at least one more season as the backup.
Current two-deep depth chart: Aaron Murray (Jr.), Hutson Mason (Jr.)

Who’s ready to move up for more playing time?: With Murray’s announcement on Sunday that he plans to return for his senior season, it’s hard to say how much playing time will be available. Mason just completed a redshirt season that would allow him to compete to be the starter in 2014. He would probably be the first option to play over several younger contenders.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

3 up, 3 down: Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10 

November, 25, 2012
11/25/12
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia took care of business and did it quickly in Saturday’s 42-10 win against Georgia Tech.

The third-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) removed any question of whether they might look past their in-state rivals (6-6), scoring four touchdowns in their first five possessions as they swept into next Saturday’s SEC championship game matchup against No. 2 Alabama (11-1) with their 11th win in the last 12 tries against Georgia Tech.

Let’s recap some of the highs and the few lows from Saturday’s victory.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Film study: Georgia vs. Auburn 

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Let’s take a look at three key plays from Georgia’s 38-0 win at Auburn on Saturday.


Conley scores first touchdown

The score: 0-0

The situation: Georgia raced 70 yards in five plays on its first drive when it faced third-and-goal at the Auburn 6-yard line with 10:57 left in the first quarter.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UGA midseason report card: QBs 

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
10:00
AM ET
Editor’s note: Georgia’s football season is halfway over and the Bulldogs will take this weekend off before resuming SEC play next Saturday at Kentucky. We’ll take a look at a different position group each day this week and evaluate how it performed in the first half of the season in our DawgNation midseason report cards.

ATHENS, Ga. -- The overall feeling about Georgia’s quarterback position changed in one night in Columbia, S.C., but it was not entirely All-SEC junior Aaron Murray's fault.

[+] EnlargeAaron Murray
Dak Dillon/US PresswireAaron Murray has been one of the nation's best QBs despite a rough outing against South Carolina.
Through five games, it appeared as if Murray had turned a corner and was now legitimately among the nation’s top players at his position. But passing under relentless pressure from South Carolina’s talented defensive front, Murray was ineffective and often inaccurate.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Upon Further Review: Georgia-Vanderbilt 

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
10:03
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Another week, another blowout win for Georgia in Saturday’s 48-3 victory against Vanderbilt.

Let’s review some of what I learned from watching a recording of ESPN2’s broadcast in this week’s “Upon Further Review.”

• I don’t want to go too far overboard in praising Georgia’s offensive line. Interviewing Will Friend will condition you in that way, I guess. But they truly have played great in the last two games. I don’t know how many times I’ve written down Chris Burnette and Dallas Lee’s names for pulling and knocking a potential tackler out of the screen while rewatching the last two games, but it has been a frequent occurrence. Great job on their parts.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Random thoughts from UGA-Vandy 

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Emptying the notebook with some late-night thoughts and observations from Georgia’s 48-3 win against Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

* It’s amazing to see the strides Aaron Murray has made as Georgia’s quarterback. Rarely does he force a throw. He has such a great grasp of the offense, which Mark Richt said is a product of a relentless work ethic.

“All of our guys work hard in preparing, but Murray, he does take it to another level in how he prepares for the game and because of that we have a high cover level to let him check out of any play that doesn’t look good,” Richt said. “He checks from a run to a run or a run to a pass at times, he’ll change the protection at the line of scrimmage, he’ll change a pass play from time to time. We rarely run bad plays because he studies so well and he has certain keys that he can kind of anticipate what’s happening and just get us out of bad situations.”

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

3 Up, 3 Down: Georgia 48, Vanderbilt 3 

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Motivation and focus might have been issues in a couple of Georgia’s first few games, but the Bulldogs (4-0) had no such problems in Saturday’s 48-3 dismantling of Vanderbilt (1-3) at Sanford Stadium.

With the memory of last season’s heated win in Nashville still fresh in their minds, the Bulldogs set out to prove a point against the Commodores on Saturday and sent them back to Tennessee with a humiliating loss that matched the widest margin of defeat in series history.

Let’s review some of the highlights and lowlights of the game from a Georgia perspective:

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

CFL Extra: Gurley Or Cooper?
Danny Kanell and Joey Galloway debate which player they would start up a team with: Todd Gurley or Amari Cooper.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 9/27