… he’s doing fine, thanks.
Daily Archives: August 25, 2015
Or something, anyway.
Georgia’s quarterback race may indeed have finally narrowed down to two, and the gap between them appears to be very close.
Brice Ramsey was first in the pecking order during the media viewing period of Tuesday’s practice, while Greyson Lambert was second. That was a flip-flop from Monday’s viewing, when Lambert was first.
Faton Bauta was third on both days, a heavy indicator that the junior, while not necessarily out of the running, is definitely third.
Until this week, the pecking order had rotated evenly each day. This is the first time that someone has been third team on consecutive days, at least as far as media viewing periods.
So there you have it. Or something.
For some reason, this creeps into my mind.
The Sam Ukwuachu affair just gets curiouser and curiouser. Art Briles has strongly suggested that Chris Peterson and Boise State did not offer him or anyone else at Baylor details about Ukwuachu’s checkered past. Yet, according to SI.com’s Evans and Thamel, somebody else sure got word about it.
Florida considered taking Ukwuachu in May 2013, but then-Gators coach Will Muschamp decided against it after a Boise State athletic department employee detailed Ukwuachu’s troubles with a girlfriend, according to two former Florida athletic department employees.
That included the former freshman All-America defensive end’s alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple’s home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)
“There was no way,” one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. “[Muschamp] wouldn’t touch him.”
… “Just a bad situation,” one of the former Florida staffers said. “It just wasn’t good.”
Ukwuachu also wasn’t completely forthcoming with Florida about his relationship with his former girlfriend, the former Gators athletic department employee said. But the Boise State athletic department employee was clear about Ukwuachu’s issues, according to the former Florida staffer.
Said the ex-Florida official: “There was absolutely no doubt.”
First of all, good on Boom and Florida to walk away after due diligence.
Second, it sounds like Ken Starr needs to add somebody to Baylor’s witness list.
Chip Towers manages to sum up neatly where my head’s been at with the quarterback battle:
Here is what I think: Ramsey is going to be the first quarterback in for the Bulldogs. And I believe it’s his job to lose thereafter.
This is Ramsey’s time. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound product of Kingsland was recruited to Georgia with the intention of him taking over at this point, after Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason had moved on. I think the coaches are disappointed that Ramsey hasn’t stepped up and owned the position the way they would’ve liked him to at this juncture. But the fact that there hasn’t been enough separation between the three quarterbacks makes me believe they’ll fall back on Ramsey by default.
That’s how it feels to me, too. And what happens if the coaches choose the default position? Ramsey’s high school coach thinks that’ll be the ticket for his former player to take control.
And every indication I get is that it is in actual games where Ramsey will distinguish himself. Jeff Herron, Ramsey’s coach at Camden County who is now at Prince Avenue Christian School, told me that Ramsey is one of those athletes that simply needs to play to truly show his wares. He’s a proverbial “gamer.” Not that it would sway Schottenheimer one way or another, but Herron has shared those insights with the Bulldogs’ new offensive czar.
Herron thinks Georgia should start Ramsey and leave him in the game so he can fall back on his instincts and do what comes natural to him. Let him make some mistakes and learn from them, he said, and not be looking over his shoulder for the hook to come from the sideline.
Regardless of whether his faith in Ramsey’s make up is valid, I couldn’t agree more with that last sentence, no matter who gets the nod to start. And I’m not going to deny that I’m a little worried it may not be how things transpire.
In the end, the best remedy for quarterback nervousness is a killer defense. No pressure, guys.
I urge everyone who’s ever made the comment that “based on recruiting, Georgia ought to be in the hunt for championships regularly” to read this post by Bud Elliott.
Yes, based on the number of blue chippers Richt has signed over the last four classes, Georgia is an élite recruiting program. But, as this chart illustrates…
Blue chip % Odds to make Playoff Alabama 77 +190 USC 70 +340 Ohio State 68 -350 Notre Dame 67 +600 LSU 61 +550 Florida State 60 +260 Michigan 59 NL Auburn 56 +350 Texas 55 NL Texas A&M 54 NL UCLA 53 +600 Georgia 51 +450
… there are four other programs in the SEC that have recruited at a higher level. And Florida would have been a fifth, except for its very recent fall off. You may notice that, with the exception of TAMU, those are the schools that have been crowding Georgia out of what some of you see as its natural birthright. Maybe that’s a coincidence, though.
This would seem to reinforce the background chatter I was hearing upon Pruitt’s arrival about the Georgia roster’s relative lack of strength compared to some of its conference rivals. So perhaps the lesson to be taken from this is that before we rip the coaching staff up for things like lack of preparation, dumb play calls at key times or lack of fire in the head coach on the sidelines, we ought to keep our eyes on the prize.
In other words, it’s the recruiting, stupid.
Vince Dooley nods his head in approval over this:
Jeremy Pruitt tossed out phrases like “very inexperienced,” and mentioned his group was in the “process of building.” When he talked up players, it tended to be those whose time at Georgia has come and gone.
It’s less than two weeks away from the start of what many expect to be a very good season for Georgia’s defense, but its defensive coordinator is downplaying what he’s got.
“We’re very inexperienced, first of all,” Pruitt said after Monday’s practice. “You’ve got (outside linebacker) Jordan Jenkins and you’ve got (linebacker) Leonard Floyd, that’s the two guys that have played a lot of football. (Safety) Dom Sanders started every game last year, and besides those three guys there’s a couple of guys that have started some games here. But other than that there’s not a whole lot of experience, okay?”
Saban would have concluded with an “aight?”, but we get your drift, Coach. Even if, as you admit, replacing experience with new talent is a commonplace occurrence.
As the press conference wrapped up, Pruitt was asked if he was intentionally trying to temper expectations.
“No, y’all are asking the questions, I’m answering them,” he said. “When you lose three defensive tackles that start for you, and you lose two inside linebackers that – I think one of them made All-SEC and another made second-team All-SEC – and you lose a guy that’s drafted in the secondary and he’s played a lot of ball. It’s hard to replace guys like that. That happens everywhere. It’s nothing new. We’ve just gotta do it.”
I just wish someone would have asked him about Louisiana-Monroe’s long snappah. Although there’s still time for that.
Ah, August practice, when green football players hone the skills necessary to make them regular contributors to their team’s success.
And at Georgia Tech, there’s one special skill that’s gotta be worked on.
Willis, a walk-on who has been put on scholarship for the academic year, said that freshmen are showing more understanding of the offense through their ability to recognize and communicate play calls made on the line of scrimmage.
“I think everybody’s learning (to block),” he said. “We’ve just got to learn when to cut, when not to cut. I feel like Mikell’s a bigger guy, so he’s been looking good. TaQuon, he can get guys on the ground. … I feel like we’re all coming together.”
Yeah, because nothing builds team cohesion on the Flats like going after opponents’ knees.
With regard to all the back patting that the SEC did in the wake of passing its no transfer “Jonathan Taylor” rule, it’s worth considering what Dan Wolken wrote in response to the Sam Ukwuachu debacle unfolding at Baylor:
And yet, given what we know, it isn’t clear-cut that even the SEC’s new transfer rule would have prevented one of their schools from accepting Ukwuachu. Again, no police report, no formal university discipline.
Rules or no rules, in the end, it boils down to coaches, or the athletic directors those coaches allegedly answer to, having enough of a moral compass to look past the short-term goal of winning. Especially the latter, who often seem to lack the balls to deal with the pressure coming from successful coaches.
The problem, though, is that too many schools have yielded too much power over those decisions to coaches who risk nothing by taking the player (“Hey, if he screws up, we can just dismiss him”) and have very little incentive to say no.
As long as there’s an envelope to push, there’s always a head coach out there willing to take that chance.
As I joked with Brian Fremeau on Twitter after seeing this, it turns out that advanced stats can quantify brain farts. Who knew?