Gray getting attention

ATHENS – Maybe, if Logan Gray had injured his foot doing quarterback drills in practice, things would be different.

"I think if I would have hurt my foot playing quarterback, they might have looked at it a little different," the redshirt freshman quarterback said.

Instead, Gray suffered a minor foot injury during an audition at wide receiver in the first week of practice, and, at that moment, the thought of letting Gray moonlight left head coach Mark Richt's head immediately.

"I don't know if his body is ready for the type of punishment it could get as a receiver, whether he's trying to block or catching the ball over the middle," Richt said. "Things happen so fast out there. It's not a good place to be learning your trade. You end up getting in vulnerable positions when you're really not sure what you're doing."

Gray is the Bulldogs' third string quarterback and his only hope of moving above that as long as Matthew Stafford is in Athens is injury. With that in mind, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo wanted to get a glimpse of Gray's athleticism at another position this year.

"I was kind of excited about it at first," said Gray, who played receiver as a freshman in high school while waiting to take over as the starting quarterback at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo. "I was kind of mad or whatever after I hurt my foot so it was kind of tough."

Gray, who is up to 190 pounds, hasn't given up all hope on playing receiver yet.

"We'll see what happens this fall," he said. "Whatever they tell me to play, I'll try to go in and do it. I thought I was getting the hang of receiver a little."

Gray, who is healthy enough to run quarterback drills this week, could be used as a change-of-pace quarterback next year in select situations if he learns enough of the Bulldogs' offense, but he still has a lot to learn before that could happen, Richt said.

"Right now I doubt that's in the works," Richt said. "I think he still just needs to learn so much, but I can't sit here and say there wouldn't be a spot he could come in and do something for us."

"I think I still have a long way to go," Gray acknowledged, "but that is definitely something I'd love to do if the opportunity presents itself."

Even if another year of sitting and waiting is in Gray's future, he's happy at Georgia, he said. He has plenty of friends at the University of Missouri who questioned him on that repeatedly last year, particularly when the hometown Tigers rose to No. 1 in the nation for a brief time last year.

"Everybody was telling me I should have stayed home," Gray said.

The Tigers run an offensive system behind current starter Chase Daniels that's a perfect fit for Gray's blend of throwing and running, and Missouri recruited him furiously, offering a scholarship after his sophomore year in high school.

"It was tough not to go there, there was a lot of pressure, but I think I would have left home even if I didn't play football," he said. "I kind of just wanted to get away from home. I've been happy here since the beginning."


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