The Spring Finale

ATHENS - It's implausible to assume Georgia has its starters decided following a few weeks of spring football.

For starters, don't ask about defensive starters - there aren't any. That list includes standouts Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson.

"Number one, they're not starters," inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler said. "That's jumping the gun right there. We've got several other guys who are competing for the job and so it's wide open right now."

Players are competing, and even Mark Richt wasn't prepared to comment on possible first-teamers, offense or defense.

"I would say we don't know where anybody's going to line up yet," Richt said. "What I mean to say is I don't know if anybody's nailed down a starting position anywhere."

While the defensive battles are currently wide open, at least one spot has been spoken for on the offensive side of the ball - quarterback.

Hutson Mason will be the starting quarterback - that much is certain. However, it's still a battle between Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey for the backup spot. While Bauta clearly had the better G Day, Mike Bobo isn't quite ready to make a call on that race yet.

"I'd say really all three of those guys are progressing well; Faton, Brice and Jacob (Park)," Bobo said. "As far as how I set the depth chart out of spring, I don't know yet. But I can assure you there's going to be competition in the fall."

One player has solidified his spot as starter in Georgia's depth chart, though - a senior from Marietta, Ga.

"I'm confident in one guy right now, and that's Hutson Mason," Bobo said. "The other guys are gaining confidence in the coaches, but we've still got a lot of work to do."

In a bit of good news, the injured players on the offense are set to make a summer return as early as June. Richt said he spoke with Ron Courson recently, and expects Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, Keith Marshall and Jay Rome to be ready to go with no limitations in two months.

The offense is shaping up, and not in the same way Jeremy Pruitt and Tracy Rocker implied the defense needs to shape up. Instead, players are starting to make new names for themselves. One player in particular is redshirt sophomore Greg Pyke. The offensive guard from Baltimore, Md. has had a productive spring, and with some work can be a consistent name among Georgia's top offensive linemen.

"Pyke's done a nice job. He's been one of our most consistent guys all spring for a guy that has been basically scout team his first year and last year had very few reps," Bobo said. "You've gotta stay on Pyke's butt and we're going to stay on it because he'll do what he's supposed to do if he's got a chance to be one of the better players."

Bobo was especially optimistic about the offensive line following Georgia's final spring practice of 2014.

"I'm a pretty pessimistic person - period," Bobo joked. "I was pleased with the whole group. I thought we got better this spring. We've really did a nice job protecting for the most part and we're playing three guys in there that really haven't gotten a lot of significant minutes and played some different spots."

Bobo didn't clarify on how deep the offensive line's rotation would go in the fall, but plans to make that decision based on the best fit for his offense.

"I think the offensive line has played well," Bobo said. "I think we've got a chance to be better up front this year. I think we've got a chance to be more athletic at all five positions - maybe a little bit physically stronger than years past."

Last spring practice of the season - can't hold anything back. It'll be a while before we see this team practice as a unit again, but they're at where they're at for the moment. It's now up to a few veterans to lead their position groups through the summer workouts.

"I told them we've got a long way to go, but I think they at least know what the coaches are expecting from them," Richt said.


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