Where did all the quarterbacks go?

If you want to get some idea of the bigger picture behind Georgia’s quarterback situation over the past few seasons, take a look at David Wunderlich’s breakdowns of the classes of four- and five-star recruits over the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 period who either went to high school in the SEC’s geographic footprint, or signed with an SEC program.

Here’s the list of those kids from Georgia:

  • 2012:  Greyson Lambert (4 star)
  • 2013:  Brice Ramsey (4 star)
  • 2014:  Deshaun Watson (4 star)
  • 2015:  Lorenzo Nunez (4 star)

That’s it.  Georgia has two of them currently on its roster, managed a huge whiff in the case of Watson and wasn’t interested in Nunez, because he’s not a pro-style quarterback.  You could say where things are at now result from a combination of bad luck, timing (given that Aaron Murrey was likely staying in Athens for two more seasons, nobody great was going to sign with Georgia in 2012 in any event) and poor evaluation, but some of it’s also a matter of an overall weak talent pool.

Take a look at David’s charts and you see two grand slams over that four-year period in Watson and Winston, a few starters whose careers are fairly undistinguished to this point and the rest who can’t even make that claim.  No wonder it’s been a down period for quarterbacking in the conference.

2016, at least on paper, seems to indicate a change, in that a number of SEC programs signed highly touted quarterbacks.  But development takes time, some kids don’t pan out, etc.  Smart needs a lot more at the position than he has today.  There are hints on the recruiting trail that he’s doing well at building a pipeline at the position over the next couple of classes; part of what helps there is that the state has some good high-school quarterback talent coming through.

The other part was keeping Eason, the non-local talent, in the fold after Bobo and Richt left.  Hopefully that’s the start of something big.

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UPDATE:  David has a follow up piece he posted today.  Of particular note:

There perhaps is no better illustration of the cycle of bad luck the conference has had of late than Georgia of last year. Mark Richt got caught without a quarterback once from 2001-14—remember the Joe Cox year between Matthew Stafford and Murray?—but somehow ended up without one last fall as well. Well, despite the coaching change, UGA signed one of the premier quarterbacks of the ’16 class in Jacob Eason. If he lives up to billing, the Bulldogs will be set at QB no later than 2017.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

15 responses to “Where did all the quarterbacks go?

  1. Jared S.

    “The other part was keeping Eason, the non-local talent, in the fold after Bobo and Richt left. Hopefully that’s the start of something big.”

    The positive impact of this on Kirby’s start in Athens cannot be over-stated, in my opinion. It not only calmed fears and anxiety among UGA power-brokers, opinion-influencers and fan base, it was the anchor of UGA’s ’16 class. A class that is more impressive than it’s #9 ranking (Rivals) suggests because UGA has fewer recruits in its class than any of the eight teams ranked above it – which speaks to the quality of the recruits generally.

    Related to the specific issue of QBs, I wonder if this was actually one of the biggest reasons why CKS decided Chaney was his man for OC. As much his vast experience as an OC might be, his evaluation of and planning for a QB situation in a program as it relates to building for the future, must be very valuable as well.

  2. Macallanlover

    Not from Georgia, but Jacob Park and Christian Lemay were highly rated QB prospects that never developed. And of course, Mettenberg and Murray prior to that. We have had great success in getting Elite 11 QB talent to sign at UGA since 2000, and we have some major talent on board, and leaning our way currently.

    UGA fans can’t get over last season’s QB issues but I don’t think we have any reason to complain with the ones we have gotten into the boat. Watson was a better fit for Clemson’s offense, period, and it was not far from home. I don’t remember Nunez but the one I think we missed on was Connor Shaw. He wasn’t the classic drop back guy, and his timing wasn’t good for us either, but I think we could have gotten him. I am concerned with how we handle having Eason on campus now, Fromm (sp?) verbally committed for 2017, and Lawrence looking promising for 2018. I know we have had 3 Elite 11s on our squad once but these guys are near the very top of the food chain and have almost a total overlap. I know some of these high ratings don’t work out but that seems a little too much to juggle. Not against it, but I don’t think we land both of them.

    • Sanford222view

      Fromm may be the one caught in the wash. Lawrence will have some separation from Eason since he has two more years of HS to play. I am guessing ( and hoping) the #1 overall player in the country isn’t worried about his chances of beating out a QB one class ahead of him. My guess is Fromm transfers if he doesn’t win the job over Lawrence if UGA is able to sign him.

    • @gatriguy

      This. LeMay ended up being a ginormous bust. Park’s situation was just strange. My feeling is that he felt he was never going to get a fair shake, as he simply didn’t look and speak and behave like the type of QB Richt had always had at UGA. It will be interesting to see if his career amounts to anything at Iowa State.

    • Debby Balcer

      Shaw’s best offer before USC was Georgia Tech if we missed him so did everyone else.

  3. kckd

    Honestly, people crap all over Joe Cox, but we were pretty much caught without a QB that was ready in 2006. By far the worst QB year in terms of stats/ratings. what have you, that UGA saw under Richt.

    • This in spades … We could move the ball in 2009. Cox could be a turnover machine, but the defensive situation was a bigger problem then. In 2006, we had a issue because no one was committing as a QB at Georgia with David Greene as entrenched starter and DJ Shockley as clear successor in those ’03 and ’04 classes.

      The problem last year was Lemay was a complete bust, the light hasn’t seemed to come on with Ramsey, and Park left for whatever reason.

  4. PTC DAWG

    Sign a good one every year….

    • Go-kart Mozart

      Yep. You’re one blindside hit or Ron Fairley WWE-type power-slam tackle away from being where we were last year without a go-to backup. Just witness our RB losses over the past several years and think of where we’d have been without depth there.

  5. “Where did all the quarterbacks go?” Down the Nate Hybl-hole.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Perhaps it’s the unwillingness to adjust the offense. They can’t all have arms like Greene, Stafford, and AM. Guys from GA like Sims, Shaw, Dobbs, Marshall, etc. won some games in the sec too. In CMR’s worldview, they’d all be fine WRs, TEs or DBs, but aren’t worth a look at QB.

    • Juan

      Would’ve taken some effort, bud. Where would Richt find the extra time to put in the effort when he is on mission trips and wasting time at church.

      • Is there some reason it’s still necessary to take shots at Richt’s religious beliefs? I think I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve asked some of you to quit being assholes about it.

        • Macallanlover

          More assholes around than anyone can have patience with. Funny how the freedom from religion crowd seems unable to hand others the right to worship as they choose. Seem very insecure, not surprising though. One of the more significant of the “rights” this country was founded on but seems to have escaped some.