Give McGarity credit. I’ve gone from fretting over why Georgia wouldn’t spend a few bucks to enhance support for the coaching staff as most of the competition in the SEC has done to wondering if there’s enough space at Butts-Mehre to house everybody.
What’s intriguing to me about the contest to see who becomes Georgia’s next starting quarterback is the mental approach taken by the three candidates. They really couldn’t be more different.
Park is confident, almost to the point of being devil-may-care about it.
“People tend to follow people that get excited and want to play. I just came to scout team and told them, ‘We’re playing back-yard football, why not have fun over here?’ ” Park said. “So we came out every day and had fun.”
Park, who moved to South Carolina in middle school, brought his fun attitude to the media room earlier this week.
“I don’t think anybody talks about the competition but you guys,” Park said Tuesday, during a media session in which the 20-year-old also referred to a 38-year-old reporter as “bro.”
Ramsey feels the pressure of being the anointed leader, whether he is or not at this point.
“Obviously I know I’ve got two or three other guys gunning for my position,” Ramsey said. “Everybody’s trying to get it. You’ve just gotta come to work every day, you’ve just gotta prepare, and just try to win the day.”
And Bauta? Perhaps he’s the most interesting, because he’s the philosophical one.
Bauta was asked this week how he keeps from letting the competition consume him. He took a deep breath.
“The way I go about it personally is understanding that this job is not for everybody, and this kind of job that we have open here, a quarterback’s job disturbs his mind, body and soul and disturbs his peace all the time. And how you handle that is up to the quarterback as an individual,” he said. “So I don’t care who you are, this is your life, this is what you do. If you want to live the quarterback life then you’ll live the quarterback life.
“It keeps you uneasy at all times. If you show it, I don’t think it’s good for you. But the guys who don’t show it, more power to you.”
I don’t know who eventually comes out ahead. I don’t even have a personal favorite at this point. But whoever it winds up being, I hope a little of Bauta’s uneasiness rubs off on him. Because I think that’ll help keep the winner grounded in the job.
Sigh. We lost another great last week, as John Renbourn, one of the giants in the British folk scene, died. He was one of the mainstays of Pentangle, which put out a few brilliant albums. He also compiled a number of noteworthy solo albums. His work with his fellow Pentangle guitarist, Bert Jansch, shouldn’t be missed. (I saw the two of them in concert once; to call their performance dazzling would almost be an understatement.)
Anyway, here’s an example of his style, which ranged over about as broad a spectrum of musical genres as is possible for a guitarist to play.
More links to clips here, if you’re interested.
So the first 2015 scrimmage is in the books. Contrary to my jokey post yesterday, Richt did release a fair amount of information about it and where things stand in many areas at this point.
First, here’s a stats summary. So there’s that. It should be obvious that the stats from any scrimmage that ended without Nick Chubb generating any yardage – or touches, for that matter – should be taken with a grain of salt. And it’s clear if you listen to what Richt had to say yesterday about the scrimmage, that he took the numbers in context.
Still, there was more to take away from yesterday than I expected. On to the bullet points:
- Richt’s demeanor. He’s almost always laid back in these settings (except when he’s responding to a Chuck Oliver question), but there was a certain sense of calm in how things are progressing that emerges as you watch him answer media questions. It’s not that he was blowing smoke; he acknowledged there are several areas of concern. What comes across to me, though, is a feeling that there haven’t been any big surprises so far. When you consider the overhaul of the offensive staff, that’s not a bad thing.
- The offense. Evidently it’s been going through growing pains through the first week of spring practice, but smoothed out some of the rough edges in the scrimmage. Per Richt, “We looked more like an offensive unit today.”
- Center. It’s not as high-profile as the battle for the starting quarterback position, but the search to replace David Andrews is important in its own right. Yesterday, Isaiah Wynn received the first-team snaps at center, followed by Hunter Long. This is pure speculation on my part, but my guess is that the coaches would prefer for Wynn to emerge as the starter, simply because Long is a senior and if he winds up as the first-teamer, it means they have to go through the same shuffle at the position next year.
- Injuries on offense. They’ve made something of a mess at running back and wide receiver, which is why Quayvon Hicks is now getting training at yet another position, tailback. There are only seven or eight healthy receivers right now, which makes the math kinda shaky when the coaches are trying to run three teams out there. On the other hand, it’s kind of nice to see some serious production out of Justin Scott-Wesley.
- The quarterbacks. Basically, no surprises at this point: “There were flashes by all of them at certain times,” Richt said of three quarterbacks, who are competing to succeed Hutson Mason. “Sometimes they’d drop back and do exactly what they were supposed to do and throw beautiful strikes. … And then there were some times where you shake your head a little bit. They all have to learn that every play is not going to be successful and sometimes you’ve got to throw the ball away.” Gee, where have we heard that before?
- The defense. Obviously the big statistical story was Jake Ganus’ day, but keep in mind he was working second-team. More interesting to me is that Jarvis Wilson, an early enrollee at defensive back, keeps doing enough to get attention (although Richt makes a point of talking some of that down). With the job Pruitt did with Sanders last season, any db who steps up early is worth keeping an eye on.
- Isaiah McKenzie. The one surprise from Richt’s presser was the way he gushed about McKenzie – as a receiver. We all saw a lot of promise from him last season – he ran routes pretty well and did a good job with separation – that was tempered by a case of the dropsies at certain key moments. So to hear Richt say “He’s got good hands” makes me hope he’s about to step up and become a key contributor on offense. Sure would be good timing for that.
Anyway, that’s what I saw. What about you guys?
If Jim McElwain actually starts a full-blown pissing match with Boom, he will immediately become my favorite Florida coach of all time.
And, yes, that’s a very short list.