“This isn’t to say a true freshman can’t succeed in the SEC.”

But it ain’t exactly a walk in the park, either.

Over the past 20 years, 15 SEC quarterbacks have started at least half of their team’s games as a true freshman. Only five of those quarterbacks saw their teams finish with a winning SEC record: Georgia’s Quincy Carter (1998), Tennessee’s Casey Clausen (2000), Florida’s Chris Leak (2003), Tennessee’s Erik Ainge (2004) and Arkansas’Mitch Mustain (2006).

Ainge is the only true freshman quarterback over the past 20 years to win an SEC division title. When Arkansas won the SEC West in 2006, Mustain began the year as the starter and later got benched.

Carter holds the SEC record for passing yards by a true freshman quarterback (2,484). He was 21 years old at the time because he had been playing minor league baseball.

When Quincy Carter is your gold standard, I’d say there’s every reason for Kirby Smart to proceed with caution.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

12 responses to ““This isn’t to say a true freshman can’t succeed in the SEC.”

  1. Puffdawg

    How many games did Stafford start? Didn’t we finish with winning record in 2006?

  2. JCDAWG83

    I think he started 6 games, we were 4-4 in conference play with losses to Tenn, Vandy, Kentucky and Florida. We beat SC, Ole Miss, Auburn and Miss St.

  3. 81Dog

    has there ever been a 3 year starter at UGA, in a period where we played in 3 bowl games, who was less missed than QC? I remember that big road win in Red Stick against then 6 ranked LSU early in his freshman year, and thinking then that the sky was the limit. Little did I realize he wouldn’t improve one little bit the whole rest of his time in Athens. If it makes me one of the rednecks Buck Godfrey sneered at after QC went on his way to observe he was the model of inconsistency, so be it.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    We had a qb transfer to Oklahoma when Quicey got the nod after a month on campus. Went on to win a conference title and bowl mvp. I believe CMR thanked QC and then said no thanks.

  5. Go Dawgs!

    Quincy Carter was brilliant as a freshman. He regressed every year in Athens. And, naturally, the rumor mill gave us plenty of reasons why which seemed to be confirmed later by Quincy’s inability to stay clean in the NFL.