Not only will Georgia enter spring practice for the first time in nearly a decade with an offensive coordinator other than Mike Bobo, the Bulldogs will also be searching for a new starting quarterback for the second time in as many years.
After Aaron Murray more than ably handled the job from 2010-13, the signal-calling baton was passed to Hutson Mason for the 2014 season. With Mason’s eligibility expired, the new starter is expected to come from a group of three players: redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey, redshirt freshman Jacob Park and redshirt junior Faton Bauta.
Ramsey served as Mason’s primary backup in 2014, completing 24 of 39 passes for 333 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Bauta completed four of his five pass attempts in 2014, while Park, a four-star member of UGA’s 2014 recruiting class, took a redshirt as a true freshman.
Based on experience alone, Ramsey will enter the spring as the favorite to win the job. The Bulldogs’ head coach, though, made it perfectly clear that, in the first year under the highly-paid coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the job is available to anyone for the taking.
“It’s just a lot of work to be done between now and that first game and a lot of competition to happen,” Mark Richt said according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “You know, the quarterback position is as wide-open as it’s ever been since I’ve been at Georgia probably. It’s going to be an interesting battle I would say.”
It’s unknown if Richt will name a starter exiting a spring, or wait until the competition shakes itself out a little more during summer camp before pulling the trigger.
Regardless of who lands the job, they’ll be able to ease into the position as UGA will open the 2015 season at home against Louisiana-Monroe before traveling to Vanderbilt for the SEC opener the following weekend. The next three games are at home, with a game against FCS-level Southern sandwiched between matchups with SEC East rival South Carolina and West heavyweight Alabama.