Richt to announce Georgia's starting QB on Monday

The biggest question heading into the 2001 season for the University of Georgia Football team will be answered on Monday, August 20.

That's when new Georgia head coach Mark Richt says he will announce the Bulldogs starting quarterback. Richt, offensive coordinator Neil Callaway and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo have been feverishly studying film from fall practice to help them determine who the top signal-caller will be.

Junior Cory Phillips, redshirt freshman David Greene, Matt Redding and true freshman D.J. Shockley are all vying for the post.

Each has shown times of brilliance in spring and fall drills and scrimmages. However, the general consensus is that with their improved consistency and ability to avoid making bad decisions, Greene and Phillips have made this a two-man race.

If so, Greene, a 6-foot-3 southpaw from South Gwinnet, GA High School, may be the favorite to get the starting nod. Greene, whose poise and strong arm quickly separated him from other freshmen a year ago, outplayed Phillips in spring practice.

When Richt made Greene and Phillips co-starters entering fall practice, it was an obvious victory for Greene.

Phillips twice passed for 400 or more yards while making five starts in place of injured starter Quincy Carter during the 2000 season. Phillips tied a school record by throwing four touchdowns in Georgia's 34-30 victory at Kentucky last fall.

For much of fall drills, Greene and Phillips have gotten the majority of the snaps with the No. 1 offense, which practices against the No. 2 defense. But all four quarterbacks took at least one turn with the No. 1 and the No. 2 units at Saturday's practice.

Redding is more athletic than Greene and Phillips and has been considered a candidate for a position change since his arrival at Georgia. However, he has impressed Richt enough to keep himself in the quarterback race.

Shockley has also performed well enough in practices and scrimmages to remain a candidate for the starting position, and has great potential.

Richt has said of Shockley: "He's good enough to play and contribute as a true freshman more than any quarterback I've ever coached."

Shockley will play either at quarterback this season or redshirt, according to Richt.

"Somebody's going to win the job rather than somebody losing it," Richt said in Sunday's Athens, GA Daily News and Banner-Herald. "It's more of a competition of four players doing certain things well now."

He added: "It's just going to be a tough call. Whoever gets No. 1, No. 2 is going to be close behind and No. 3 is not going to be far back, either."

Photo: Dean Legge/

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