We’ll start here because it’s obvious. Georgia is dangerously thin at the quarterback position. Only two snaps stand between Georgia’s current situation and having to trot a walk-on quarterback out to play the most important position in college football. That’s going to scare a lot of coaches…
This is a situation where if everyone stays healthy Georgia won’t ever really be affected by it. If Eason remains healthy and Fromm gets some mop-up duty, it could turn out to maybe help aid in Fromm’s development somehow. But it creates far from an ideal situation.
It hadn’t worked out for Ramsey as the starter at Georgia but he did have a little experience and helped UGA win the Belk Bowl in 2014. He had some experience and it may have allowed UGA to give Fromm a red shirt. That probably won’t happen now.
Alas and alack. Who’d have ever thunk losing your backup punter could create such a crisis?
Seth Emerson takes a deep breath and notes what the more realistic picture appears to be.
It’s not good. It’s pretty worrisome to only have two scholarship quarterbacks, one of them a true freshman and the other a sophomore.
It’s also not unprecedented.
Back in 2010, Aaron Murray was a redshirt freshman who ended up starting every game. His backup was Hutson Mason, a true freshman who was the only other scholarship quarterback on the team. There was also Logan Gray, but he switched to receiver before the season.
So while this year’s situation is far from ideal, it’s manageable. Jacob Eason will in all likelihood start again, with Jake Fromm ready to pounce if Eason falters or gets hurt. It would take both getting hurt for the depth to become a real problem, at least as far as playing time.
Where it could hurt more is practice, where you tend to need good scout-team quarterbacks, and just have enough guys to run drills. But even then, Georgia is hoarding walk-ons, bringing in Stetson Bennett this year, and bringing back Sam Vaughn and Parker McLeod (who was a scholarship quarterback at Alabama before leaving the team, then resurfacing at Georgia last year.)
This isn’t a good situation for Georgia to be in for one year, which is why Smart and Jim Chaney are hitting the recruiting trail hard. But for one season, it can be managed.
Let’s get real for a minute. If Ramsey had stayed and wound up being pressed into service this season, that would mean one of two things. Either Georgia was finding itself on the winning side of some blowout games — and, boy, would that be a welcomed departure from last year — or 2017 went south in a hurry.
The biggest downside in the short run would seem to be that they won’t be able to redshirt Fromm to get some class spacing between the two quarterbacks on scholarship unless Eason stays healthy all season and the coaches can trust at least one of the walk-ons to handle mop-up duty and the rare occasion or two when Eason has to come out of the game for something like a helmet coming off during play.
Even that can be overcome, I suppose, by having Fromm take a redshirt the following season, assuming the next recruiting class brings in a couple of quarterbacks, similar to what the previous staff did with Hutson Mason. But that’s a move that can have repercussions of its own.
I’m guessing they won’t be calling a lot of quarterback runs this year. That would bring a whole new meaning to dual threat.