What comes around, goes around and then comes around again.

I saw this tweet yesterday that made me ponder almost 20 years of quarterbacks in Athens.

Really, what a strange path Georgia has taken with its starting quarterbacks since Jim Donnan was canned.  The Richt era was characterized by quarterbacks who started at least three years — Greene, Stafford and Murray covered eleven of Richt’s fifteen years in Athens.  For that matter, the one-year starters before 2015, Shockley, Cox and Mason, were players who stuck around the program from day one until their chance to start arrived.

Quarterback stability was a hallmark, one that we kind of took for granted, even.

That all came to a crashing halt in 2015.  Mason was gone; Bobo left.  Musical chairs at the position was a disaster, culminating in that debacle we saw in Florida.  Even if Richt hadn’t been fired at season’s end, there was no guarantee that matters would settle the next season, because Georgia would be faced with starting a true freshman quarterback (Eason) with a new offensive coordinator calling the shots.

That happened anyway with Smart, with predictable results.  Then Eason got hurt and Fromm got his chance.  Last year, Fromm’s second, saw his passer rating improve from 160.09 to 171.22.  That’s close to Murray’s best mark of 174.82 in his third season.

Murray’s cast of receivers in 2012 was certainly respectable, but not exactly legendary.  Murray’s experience and comfort in the system made them all better.  That’s the realistic hope for Fromm and Georgia’s passing game this year.  (The realistic fear?  Look at what injuries did to Murray’s 2013 season.)

Jake’s got a better surrounding cast than Aaron had, when you take into consideration who will be blocking for him, but, just as importantly, Georgia’s got the luxury of a quarterback running the show who knows what he’s doing.  That counts, big time.

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60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

60 responses to “What comes around, goes around and then comes around again.

  1. dawgxian

    S&C is considerably better, too. Hopefully, that cuts down on injuries

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  2. Got Cowdog

    I do not see Joe Cox mentioned anywhere in this post.

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  3. I was just looking at Fromm’s stats this morning and wondered if he could approach a 180 rating this year (lofty, I know). It’s probably too lofty, but 175 is in play.

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  4. The entire Richt era came down to the failure in the recruitment of one young man exactly 40 miles from Sanford Stadium … Deshaun Watson.

    Were there other cracks in the foundation? Yep, but Jeremy Pruitt was helping Richt to remedy those especially when Bobo was in Athens.

    I’m not going to get into a Richt/Smart debate with anyone. My point is that Richt & Bobo missed on multiple QB prospects during the Murray era, but really whiffed on Watson’s recruitment.

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    • They guessed wrong on Ramsey and probably should have thought twice about LeMay when he got into trouble in high school. Those two calls had a ripple effect that doomed Richt, including waiting too long on Watson’s recruitment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 92 grad

        Mettenburger was supposed to be the successor, wasn’t he? When he got into trouble it really put a lot of pressure on the program in addition to everything else you’ve said here.

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      • Mike Cooley

        And I never understood the Ramsey thing. He played in a wing T offense at Camden County. Basically he played in the Fish Fry offense. They ran the great majority of the time. Why Richt and Bobo thought he would make a good pro style qb is hard to understand. I realize Alabama recruited him too but I will never understand that whole thing.

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        • MGW

          Most hall of fame QB’s you know of played in some sort of triple option in HS. That has quickly changed over the last 10-15 years but the fact that a QB played in an option in HS had no history of precluding them from greatness throwing the ball in college and beyond, at that point.

          And the dude could throw it a mile. Frankly based on what I remember reading it came down to more of a mental thing in college than a talent thing.

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          • Mike Cooley

            Ok so why were they recruiting Cam Newton as a tight end? I understand lots of college coaches have recruited qbs that were in run heavy offenses in high school and transformed them into great passers but that didn’t seem like it was Richt and Bobo’s M.O.

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            • MGW

              That’s a very different question. Can’t help you there but I know they weren’t alone. My best guess is they were all in on pro style qb’s at that point, which Newton was not. Ramsey played in the option but was looked at as a pro style qb.

              Long run, I think we’re better off not having had Newton on the roster. 100% chance we’d have wound up a lot more like ole miss than auburn under investigation for pay for play allegations.

              Also he thrived in Malzahn’s offense. Unlikely he would have been as good in our pro scheme. So again, it’s good we didn’t get him. Watson would have been worth the “risk” as far as fit in the offense.

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              • Mike Cooley

                If you say so. Ramsey was no more of a pro style qb than Cam was so I fail to see how the arbitrary line was drawn between them determining how we could win with one at qb and not the other. There is no understanding it. It doesn’t matter now but it seems more likely that’s Richt and Bobo just did a lot of stupid things in recruiting there at the end rather than we just don’t understand what their plan was.

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                • MGW

                  If Richt and Bobo had a time machine, I’m sure they would agree with you and go back and recruit differently. But if you look at it as a decision to be made with the knowledge at hand at the time, rather than with the benefit of hindsight, it’s actually very easy to understand:

                  Everyone thought Ramsey would turn out to be a pro QB (including every recruiting service and the very not stupid recruiter Nick Saban who wanted him very badly), and everyone thought Newton was a spread QB. They were all correct about Newton, but a spread QB didn’t fit with what Richt and Bobo were trying to do. So they didn’t go all in for him. By the way that would have been a losing battle since Meyer WAS going all in for him and was in the middle of kicking asses, including our asses, and winning a championship with a very similar QB in Tebow at that time. It is not complicated or even remotely difficult to understand, at all.

                  Disagree with the decision to recruit Ramsey all you want… with the benefit of hindsight. Most everyone does, including I’m sure Richt and Bobo (well, as long as you ignore the definite bowl bans, scholarship restrictions, etc. that we would have wound up with, and the giant crater that would have left the program in… since we have the benefit of hindsight).

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              • The thriving occured after ” the Bagman” exited out the back door of the newton family residence…more than once

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            • Gaskilldawg

              “Richt was recruiting Cam Newton as a TE” has been a meme for years but I do not think it was accurate. Sometimes things get repeated and folks accept them as fact. For example, Sarah Palin never said “I can see Russia from my house” but a lot of people believe that quote was from her because it has been said so much. To be non-partisan, Al Gore never said, “I invented the internet” but that has been repeated so much many people believe he said it.

              Richt may have said Cam Newton would have been an outstanding tight end, and in fact Newton may have been an outstanding TE. I do not doubt that Urban Meyer may have said to folks during recruiting that Tim Tebow would be a great linebacker (the Snead guy who signed to play QB at Ole Miss said during recruiting Meyer told him he was recruiting Tebow as a linebacker.) That does not mean Meyer was actually recruiting Tebow as anything but a QB.

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              • Mike Cooley

                Yeah except when asked about recruiting Cam Newton Richt was quoted as saying, “We were looking at him to play tight end.” I mean he said what he said. Richt did lots of good things as our head coach. But he and Bobo screwed up with an recruiting those last few years and that’s why Richt is gone and Kirby is our coach now. I’m not passionate about either side of the Richt vs Kirby argument as it will play its self out right in front of us. But on that one aspect of the story, it is what it is. How else does Lambert become our qb? How else do we end up with Faton Bauta starting to his and everyone else’s surprise against Florida?

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                • PTC DAWG

                  Who was the QB who went to NcState and now plays for the Chargers? He was recruited by a good many schools as a TE…shit happens.

                  That said, I’m glad Scam went elsewhere.

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                  • Mike Cooley

                    “…shit happens.” I know it does. But it’s odd to me that we give Richt a pass on bringing in Ramsey because he had potential as a pro style qb even though he played in an option offense, a pass on Cam because he was a spread qb, but we agree it was definitely a huge mistake that he made with Watson. That doesn’t make sense. It was ok to go after an option qb but not ok to go after a spread qb but not ok to go after Watson who wasn’t a typical pro style qb. I get the hindsight argument but to me it sure seems like Richt was just asleep at the wheel.

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                • Gaskilldawg

                  I have read internet posters say that Richt said that but I have never read an actual attributed quote. I am skeptical that the supposed Richt quote is as real as the “Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house” claims.

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          • Ramsey could throw further on a knee than any of them. You cant discount that when recruiting a QB

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        • I assume he showed off the pure physical skills in camps and 7-on-7. According to 247, he was the #3 QB in the country in 2013 behind Christian Hackenberg and Max Browne.

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          • MGW

            Bingo. The evaluations all said some variation of this:

            “He is super raw, but has NFL Mount Rushmore upside if he can develop. One way or another it’s going to take some time to convert him from running the triple to a pro scheme, but holy shit look at that arm!”

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        • Ramsey in a modern spread attack with a significant RPO game would probably be hell on wheels now.

          Kid was athletic, with a huge gun. Just a bad offense for his skill set.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Said differently, we should be very glad the Auburn bagmen didn’t get to him.

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          • Anonymous

            Don’t forget that he threw a beautifully catchable ball with basically zero effort as evidenced by how easily opposing DBs caught the ball despite their brick hands. Ramsey’s failure was due to the the failure of the coaching staff to convince him he should put in the effort to become great and then adapt to his strengths.

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        • Jeff Sanchez

          Amen – always thought the same.

          He was terrible and wiffing on him cost CMR his job in the end, as the Senator noted

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      • I don’t blame anyone for Ramsey. Saban tried to flip him. The LeMay saga is the one that was the head scratcher. To take a kid as an early entrant who didn’t play his senior year because of a suspension was foolish (of course, my hindsight is 20/20).

        We waited far too long to offer Watson, and, by that time, he was going to Clemson.

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      • Atticus

        Jacob Park too

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      • D.N. Nation

        I was stoked for LeMay, reading about him (on the field), but when he got to Athens, he looked about 90 pounds…and stayed that way.

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        • MGW

          His tape was awesome. Everything I read about him was awesome. But it seems like it was the very day he stepped on campus that it became clear he was nowhere near the hype. Almost immediately everyone was like, “how do I say this nicely….. he’s….. got a long ways to go…. I… think he may redshirt….. shit, I don’t know what you want me to say, the kid sucks big time”

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    • dawgxian

      I’ve gone from being a big Pruitt fan to more of a wait and see approach. He had some great performances but I just can’t understand why he couldn’t get the job done against Fl especially in 2014

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      • UnderDog68

        Don’t forget the botched recruitment of Trevor Lawrence by Schottenheimer and Richt….That could have also been a game-changer.

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      • MGW

        I think Pruitt was a godsend for this program, for one key reason. He went about it the wrong way, but he was the canary in the coal mine that set up the administration to do whatever Kirby wanted from day one. If the first time they heard all that came from Kirby’s mouth, they might not have gone along with it. Instead, they had to think about what Kirby said and go, “you know we’ve heard all this before”

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    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Deshaun was one of the first bricks laid in the building of Clemson’s current recruiting fortress. They were always a solid program, but when they started having real success is when the kids all started to want to play for them. That said, I have a hunch that Deshaun would not have been as successful in Athens especially after Bobo left. No one was going to be truly successful with Shittyheimer as OC.

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  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    IMHO you could stretch the stable quarterback argument back to the Donnan era, where we had the always reliable Quincy Carter as a 3 year srarter. Am I right? Am I right? 😉

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    • Got Cowdog

      Hog, Junebug was the QB when I was there. Y’all remember THAT?

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I don’t remember the nickname. Who was he?

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        • Got Cowdog

          James Jackson

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          • tiredofidsearch

            I remember him putting the live ball down on the field at the end (before the end..) of the South Carolina game.
            I think I lost my voice yelling at him.
            At least I think it was South Carolina (bourbon involved…)

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            • Got Cowdog

              My roomie and I were sitting together at one of the games when JJ did something monumentally stupid. Some of the crap he yelled out would have made the Sasser kid blush. I remember not only being pissed off at Junebug but thinking “This drunk MF’er is fixing to get my ass beat!” Fortunately that didn’t happen.

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          • Russ

            The Thrilla from Camilla!

            Liked by 1 person

      • Mayor

        If you want to go there….Mike Cavan was the QB when I was in Athens–and Kirby Moore before Cavan.

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  6. CB

    “Mason was gone; Bobo left” Brice Ramsey as the starter and Bauta as the backup. That’s basically the catalyst for all the instability at the position. Ramsey couldn’t get a legitimate look under three different offensive coordinators and Bauta couldn’t even win the starting job for Bobo at CSU.

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  7. MDDawg

    Aaron Murray is probably my all-time favorite Dawg (no disrespect to HW, he was just before my time) and I’ll always hate how that 2013 season went for him. That he got injured on Senior night was a cruel twist of fate to cap off that injury-plagued season.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. W Cobb Dawg

    “(The realistic fear? Look at what injuries did to Murray’s 2013 season.)”

    I don’t know how realistic your “realistic fear” is Brother Bluto. If Fromm goes down we have real problems. But at any other offensive position I believe we have backups that are more than capable of filling in. For example, if Thomas, arguably our best offensive player, got injured, we’d have 5-star Mays as a replacement. That 2013 team had nothing like the depth and talent that this 2019 team has.

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  9. J.Maxwell

    The field in Knoxville is bush league just like their football program.
    The great big pumpkin won’t make a difference. He likes to keep his fingers on the pulse of the program, in actuality his fingers stay in the pie or pies!!

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