Richt: Murray can start

Freshman QB has impressed Georgia coach

Aside from the much-publicized quarterback situation, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he's looking forward to the upcoming football season.


The Bulldogs have several weapons at the skill positions with the likes of junior wide receiver A.J. Green and sophomore tailback Washaun Ealey. More importantly, Georgia features an offensive line with three seniors and two juniors.

"Historically, teams with veteran offensive lines tend to do well," said Richt, whose team went 8-5 last season. "They're just kind of your heart and soul."

The 50-year-old Richt spoke at the annual spring Augusta Bulldog Club meeting on Thursday night at Julian Smith Casino. One of the main topics, of course, was the quarterback position.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray sits atop the depth chart at quarterback. Junior Logan Gray, No. 2 on the depth chart, is "weighing his options," which include a possible transfer. Redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger was dismissed almost two weeks ago following his March arrest on five misdemeanor charges at a bar in south Georgia.

If Gray decides to leave Georgia, Murray and Hutson Mason, a freshman who will enter in the summer, will be the team's two quarterbacks.

"I don't like to speculate on something that hasn't happened," Richt said about a possible Gray transfer. "If it happens, we'll address it."

Richt said Murray is capable of handling the starting quarterback gig if he wins the job during the summer.

"You'll be surprised at how strong an arm he has," Richt said. "He's got quick feet. He's very smart. He works tremendously hard. I think he'll know where to go with the ball. And I think he's got good leadership skills."

The quarterback situation is not all gray clouds. Christian LeMay, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback who led the Butler Bulldogs of Matthews, N.C., to a state title last fall in his junior season, has Georgia among his top five teams. LeMay will reveal his college front-runner at a 6:30 p.m. news conference today

According to the Charlotte Observer, LeMay posted one of the best seasons for any quarterback in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), with 3,299 passing yards, 44 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Because of NCAA rules, Richt cannot talk about a potential recruit. But he did say he's been blessed to have "awesome" quarterbacks.

"We run a system that attracts great quarterbacks," he said. "I'm hoping we'll continue to attract those type of young men."

Richt on local players

- Sanders Commings, sophomore cornerback (Westside): "There's nothing like having a big corner. He's really perfecting his trade. I'm really excited about the contribution he's going to give."

- A.J. Harmon, sophomore left tackle (Jefferson County): "A.J. was making a lot of progress this spring at offensive tackle. Then he sprained his ankle and wasn't able to participate in the spring game. He's a guy we need ready to play."

- Cornelius Washington, sophomore outside linebacker (Burke County): "He's one of the fastest big men we have. I think he'll have an impact."

- Reuben Faloughi, freshman outside linebacker ( Evans): "He's proved to us he's capable of playing some downs for us."

- Jakar Hamilton, junior free safety (Strom Thurmond): "I like Jakar a lot. We don't want to ever bring in a junior college player unless we think he's going to play. Jakar's going to play a lot."