Barnes still on "learning curve"

ATHENS – Georgia is loaded with talented quarterbacks. One more committed to the Bulldogs on Friday.

But it is Blake Barnes that, besides Joe Tereshinski, will have been in Athens the longest when Joe Cox and Matthew Stafford arrive. He started his Georgia football career by graduating from high school in Mississippi early and enrolling in the spring semester at Georgia in 2004. He was allowed to travel and practice with the team for the 2004 Capital One Bowl game. However, even a year and a half after Barnes arrive in Athens, he is still struggling to find his way in Mark Richt's offense.

"I am really just working on where to go with the ball and when to go there. I am working on what to check into when a certain defense comes up; what progressions I need to go through; what routes I need to go through," Barnes said.

"I felt really good about the spring. It's been fun getting back out there and playing football again," he added. Barnes' competition for the backup quarterback spot, Joe Tereshinski, seems to have solidified his hold on the number two quarterback spot, and Barnes admitted it.

"Joe T did really well," he said.

Many thought this spring would be the time Barnes would overtake Tereshinski on the depth chart, but they were likely underestimating Tereshinski's development, which seems to have happened all but overnight.

Not discouraged, Barnes said he's still learning.

"I've still got a long way to go because of the learning curve. I am still improving every day, and every day I still understand how much more I need to know. It's definitely a big adjustment (from high school); it is a continual adjustment process. I was talking with Greene last year, and he said he was still learning. Shockley is the same way. I'll be learning until I quit playing," said Barnes.

The soon-to-be redshirt freshman completed four of his seven attempts for 54 yards on G-Day while rotating with Tereshinski.

One intangible that could help Barnes settle into Georgia even more is his family's move to the Peach State.

"Being away from home is getting easier," he said. "My Dad just got a job in Atlanta, so he is there now. My Mom is moving here soon."

The travel burden on the Barnes family is now trouble-free compared to the days of driving back and forth from Athens to Mississippi.

"That makes it easier on them especially when game time rolls around. It will be easier for them to get to games," he said.

Barnes, confessed, however, that there's no place like home, and for him that's a little town called Baldwin.

"I miss Mississippi; I miss my home back in Baldwin. We have fewer than 3,000 people in Baldwin. I graduated with fewer than 50 people in my high school. It was a culture shock coming into classrooms that held more people than went to my high school. The life of Athens is much faster than in Baldwin," he said with a smile on his face.


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