February 25, 2010

Bobo talks about the QB race

There's no favorite and there's no timetable for a final decision.

According to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, that's the best way to sum up Georgia's impending quarterback battle that's set to officially get underway when the Bulldogs kick off spring practice next Thursday.

"The quarterback competition, the way we're viewing it going into the spring, is that it's wide open," Bobo said Thursday afternoon. We've got three guys - Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger - there's not a clear-cut No. 1 going into the spring. Logan will take the first reps with the No. 1 offense, but we plan on rotating all three and give each one an equal amount of looks with the first group."

The rest, Bobo said, is up to them.

Bobo said there is also no time frame in place to have a new starter named.

"I can't answer that right now. I can't say it's one week, two weeks, that will be over by the end of spring; it might go into fall. It's just going to depend on how those guys progress, which guys step up and show the ability to lead the offense and execute the offense," Bobo said. "It could be one guy, it could be two or three guys. It's just way too early to make that decision. We're just going to give them equal reps with the No. 1 unit and have each guy go out there and try to improve every day and get them in position to lead this football team."

Teammates - regardless of past allegiances - choose their words carefully when talking about the competition that's about to get underway.

That includes Orson Charles, who played with Murray at Tampa's Plant High, along with Aron White, Gray's teammate at Rockbridge High in Columbia, Mo.

"It's going to be a good battle," Charles said after a short pause. "I want the best to win."

White also toed the company line, although he admits he hopes Gray does well.

"I feel we have three guys who have a whole bunch of different talents. I'm obviously rooting for my boy Logan because we went to high school together and I love the guy; I've been catching passes from him for a long time," White said. "But Zach has one of the more unbelievable arms and people call him the second-coming of (Matthew) Stafford. He's a guy who has all the talent in the world; it just depends on what he does with it. Then you have Aaron who is a guy who came in highly recruited, who has all the tools, too. It just depends on which one gets it done and how they perform."

Ultimately, that's what Bobo wants to see, too.

He doesn't want either QB worrying about the depth chart, statistics or performances in scrimmages. He just wants them to improve on a daily basis.

But Bobo added it's going to be up to him to make sure he puts each quarterback in position to succeed.

"You've got to put them in position to be successful when you're scripting plays. You know what they can do and what they can't do. You can't ask Zach Mettenberger for instance to do something you might ask Logan Gray to do. I want them to do things that I think they can be successful in and have success," Bobo said. "A lot will depend on the personnel around them, who steps up and who we think the playmakers are and what direction we might need to go at quarterback. But the bottom line is whoever plays quarterback, he's got to be able to make good decisions in the run and pass game, he's got to be able to execute the offense, throw the ball accurately and respect the football. It's going to be up to each one to play fundamentally sound."

Physically, Bobo said all three quarterbacks are in excellent condition and will enter spring practice at 100 percent.

That includes Murray, who missed 21 practices last fall after coming down with tendinitis in his elbow.

"All of them look great. Zach came in last year at 245-250 and he's down to about 234, he's really changed his body. Aaron is at 210-211, looks really good. He's done a good job in the weight room and he looks very good," Bobo said. "Logan, when we signed that kid he might have been 175 pounds but he's at 196-197 with a really good athletic body. All three are in good shape physically, ready to go and are excited about the opportunity they have this spring."

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