Bobo: QB Race Wide Open

ATHENS – Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo needs just two words to describe the quarterback competition for the Bulldogs this spring – wide open.

Redshirt freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenbeger and junior Logan Gray will each battle for the top spot on the depth chart, but Bobo said it could be months before he and head coach Mark Richt decide on a starter.

"I can't say it's one week, two weeks, three weeks," Bobo said. "It might be the end of spring, it might be into the fall. It depends on which guys step up, show an ability to lead the offense and execute the offense."

And Bobo has some specific ideas of just what stepping up entails.

While Murray and Mettenberger have yet to take a snap in a college game and Gray has limited playing time and considered moving to receiver as recently as last month, Bobo expects his starting quarterback to be able to step in and lead the offense by the fall.

Bobo said he'll be looking for each of the three candidates to show an ability to read defenses, make the right run vs. pass calls and, most importantly, protect the football.

What he doesn't want to see is three quarterbacks overly concerned with where they stack up in the competition on any given day.

"The big thing for them is to worry about improving themselves and not worry about where they are on the depth chart, what their statistics were for the day or certain scrimmages," Bobo said. "It's about getting better every day and trying to put them in the best position to lead the offense. They need to worry about that, and we'll figure out all that as we go."

Georgia's last major quarterback competition came in 2006, when four players competed for a job and Joe Tereshinski wasn't named the starter until well into fall practice.

Bobo said he hopes he won't have to wait that long to find his man this time around, but he also said he hasn't ruled out the idea of going with more than one quarterback.

"I'd definitely be comfortable with that," Bobo said. "You have to play it out sometimes if it's close. You can't overestimate playing in a game-like atmosphere and experience. I'm not saying yes or no, that's what we're going to do, but I would not be against it."

Georgia's ‘luxury' item

After missing all but about 40 minutes of the past two seasons, Trinton Sturdivant hasn't been forgotten by Georgia's coaches. But just the same, they're not exactly counting on him either.

After an impressive freshman season at left tackle in 2007, Sturdivant tore multiple ligaments in his left knee in fall camp in 2008, then suffered a torn ACL in Georgia's opening game last season. Bobo said Sturdivant is ahead of schedule in his recovery from his most recent knee surgery, but the battle plan for the Bulldogs' offense is to proceed as if their left tackle won't be around in 2010.

"When we're talking about our objectives as an offense and what we want to accomplish this spring, we want to establish depth at the offensive line with out counting on Trinton Sturdivant," Bobo said. "He's a luxury. We think he's going to be back, he's ahead of schedule, he's doing great, but we have to establish depth besides him."

Quieting the controversy

After soon-to-be Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers spurned Georgia just days before signing day this year, Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo voiced some displeasure with the lack of commitment shown by players who were once committed to coming to Athens.

On his Facebook page, Rambo wrote he though it was "messed up" for players to renege on a commitment at the last minute and promised, "When I catch you on the field I'm going to knock fire from you."

That started an ongoing war of words between Rambo and Rogers in which the receiver lambasted the safety via Facebook and Twitter and Rambo returned serve with a few quips of his own.

Now that the feud seems to have simmered down, Rambo said it was all a bit of a misunderstanding.

"I wasn't really directly talking to him," Rambo said. "I was just shocked that you would say you were going to one school and then change your mind at the last (minute). It wasn't directed to him. It was directed to no one. I was just confused and curious as to why they would do things like that. But if he wanted to think it was him, I can't stop him from thinking that, so it's whatever."

A good move

A large contingent of Georgia fans that drooled over Richard Samuel's physical skills but scratched their heads at his inability to avoid contact as a tailback got their wish this offseason when the rising junior was moved to linebacker.

As it turns out, those fans weren't alone in hoping for a change for the talented former tailback. Junior linebacker Marcus Dowtin said he has been lobbying Samuel to make the switch for two years.

"I spoke to Richard when we first got up here freshman year and told him you should make that switch and come over to linebacker with me," Dowtin said. "So I always wanted him to do that, and now that he's over there, he's definitely going to do something great. He's an athlete. He's strong, he's fast, and I think he'll be a great complement to me, and I can be a great complement to him out there. He's made our linebacker corps a lot more athletic and a lot faster."

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