Friday, June 14, 2013
Park joins crowded QB field
By Radi Nabulsi
ATHENS, Ga. -- Seldom has the Georgia coaching staff had a week like this. Last Saturday the Bulldogs picked up two commitments from players who choose the Bulldogs on the spot when offered; no waiting, no visits, no nothing. Then on Tuesday, Georgia picked up a commitment from Nick Chubb, the Peach State’s most productive running back last year. On Thursday the Bulldogs received their first pledge from a prospect ranked in the top-10 players from Georgia, ESPN 150 athlete Malkom Parrish. Now Georgia has picked up a commitment from a top quarterback, Elite 11 member Jacob Park.
ESPN ranks Jacob Park as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the country.
Park, from Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C., was in town last Saturday at the Mark Richt minicamp where he spent time throwing for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Towards the end of the day, Bobo, who also coaches the quarterbacks, had seen enough and Parks was given an offer to play in Athens. Park told DawgNation moments later that the Georgia offer was the one he had wanted for over a year. Six days later he committed to Georgia after narrowing his list to the Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Bobo already has five quarterbacks on the roster with Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason, Faton Bauta, Christian LeMay and Brice Ramsey. Murray is a senior and Mason redshirted last season to create enough class separation that he could take over in 2014. LeMay has played sparingly, just five games last season, and Bauta redshirted his first year. Ramsey, who enrolled in January and went through spring camp, will almost certainly redshirt this year.
All those machinations simply boil down to this: Murray is the unquestioned starter in 2013, Mason will take over in 2014 and the race to be the quarterback in 2015 is wide open. Park will undoubtedly want to compete for the starting job next year, just as Ramsey, Bauta and LeMay will. But Mason is the most accomplished and has waited his turn. Plus Bobo is loath to start a freshman in his complicated offense. Murray even had to redshirt his freshman year, although that was slightly due to injury as well. But Park makes the race for Mason’s backup and the eventual inside track for 2015 all the more interesting.
Bauta and LeMay are often overlooked since Bauta played defense often in high school and LeMay has struggled. Ramsey comes from an offense that ran the ball heavily. He has shown he has all the tools to develop into another of Bobo’s long line of successful quarterbacks, but he will have Park to fend off as well.
With all those quarterbacks on campus, Bobo only planned to offer a truly gifted signal-caller. He recruited DeShaun Watson hard, but could not overcome Watson’s early commitment to Clemson. Park is only the second quarterback Bobo offered. Bobo was actually on the Georgia practice field putting some 2015 and 2016 quarterbacks through throwing drills when the news broke that Park had committed.
It now seems unlikely that Bobo will offer a quarterback in the Class of 2015.