Can we please stop with this stuff already?
If Mettenberger can live up to the promise he showed when he was neck-and-neck with Aaron Murray in spring practice as a freshman at Georgia…
I hate to pick on Year2 here, because he’s just repeating a line others have uttered before, but that’s not how things played out in Athens.
Mettenberger went through two spring practices at Georgia. As a true freshman, he defined the term “raw”. He looked better as a redshirt freshman, wowing the crowd at G-Day. But some of that has to be colored by him throwing against a second-string defense that was just starting to learn the ropes under Grantham.
Looking back, it seems that this whole story was first tossed out on a national level by Stewart Mandel, who claimed he received his information from some well-placed sources:
What began as a quarterback derby in Athens has devolved into a quarterback panic. Redshirt freshman Murray, ranked only behind USC’s Barkley and Texas’ Garrett Gilbert in Rivals.com’s 2009 quarterback rankings, will take over the reins this fall just as Georgia fans always imagined. But the Tampa native didn’t exactly wow observers this spring. In fact, classmate Zach Mettenberger finished spring on even footing, if not slightly ahead of Murray.
Mandel wrote that on May 4th. The problem is that Mark Richt told a very different story two weeks earlier.
After briefly hesitating, Richt answered the inevitable question of whether Murray would have been No. 1 even if a third quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, had not been kicked off the team on Sunday. The answer, Richt said, is yes.
“I’m not out to hurt anybody worse than they may have been hurt to this point,” Richt said, “but Aaron would have been the No. 1 quarterback.”
Maybe some of this is a quibble over semantics, but there are many who cling to a romantic picture of Mettenberger having moved ahead of Murray before being unceremoniously booted from the program by Richt. It never happened, according to the head coach. And nobody with any familiarity with the situation has ever stepped forward to contradict Richt’s account of things.
Things have worked out for Mettenberger. He’s landed at a place where he’s seen as having a better shot at an SEC title and a run at a national title than Murray. That’s fine. There’s just no need to make him out to be more than he was. (Not that I should expect Uncle Verne to pass on the story, right?)