Interesting little note Marc Weiszer shares with us:
Smart, hired in December, did not sign a kicker in his first class, but did ink a punter in Marshall Long from South Rowan High in China Grove, N.C., who decommitted from Virginia Tech.
“The decision on a punter, in my history, I’ve found that you can find more quality kickers through the walk-on route than you can quality punters,” he said. “After sitting down, sharing ideas, talking to people in the NFL, people that even have experience on the college level, we felt like as a staff it was going to be harder to manufacture punting than it would be placekicking.”
So Georgia offered the 6-foot-2, 223-pound Long who averaged 46.5 yards per punt as a senior and knew special teams coach Shane Beamer when he was a Virginia Tech assistant.
Long is the No. 8 rated punter nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
Two in-state punters were higher-rated and signed elsewhere: No. 2 Blake Gillkin from Westminster School with Penn State and Anthony Lotti from West Hall with Wisconsin.
Georgia already has Brice Ramsey, a quarterback, who took over for scholarship punter Collin Barber last season.
“Brice Ramsey finished the season out punting, but (Smart) said he wanted him to play quarterback a little bit,” Long told the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. “He’d seen my tapes, and Coach (Shane) Beamer had talked to him about me. I guess he just felt good about it. I was glad they finally did pull the trigger.”
I don’t want to read too much into the tea leaves there, but it sure sounds like Richt was prepared for another season with Ramsey as the punter and that Smart has decided to put the kibosh on that. Before we get all wrapped up with Eason as the 2016 starter, wouldn’t it be something if Chaney were able to salvage Brice Ramsey’s college career?
And before you dismiss that possibility out of hand, remember that Chaney is the man responsible for the creation of the Beyond Crompton meme. He also made a functional quarterback out of Nathan Peterman last season. If he’s capable of pulling those off, Ramsey’s got a chance.