Georgia Football: Summer Workouts Matter

Georgia Football

The past two season’s we have heard about the work of quarterback’s Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason leading these “player-led” workouts during the summer months. They have seemingly both been the namesake for the early season storylines in 2012, 2013, and 2014 for setting the tone at the beginning of those campaigns.

As many of you know by now, the Georgia Bulldogs are without a starting quarterback at the moment. If things hold up to what head coach Mark Richt said at the end of spring practice, we might not know until late August who indeed will be the starting signal-caller.

All this being the case, the team still needs leader’s to lead them during the months of June, July, and early August to get them ready for the start of fall camp. Richt said back in April, that he would expect those involved in the quarterback battle to be up to the task. Primarily junior Faton Bauta and redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey.

“I know that Faton being the senior man in the group, I know he’s got the skills to do that and I think Brice does too,” Richt said. “I’m not exactly sure how we’ll get that done, but that will be something that we’ve got to discuss. More than likely if there’s going to be any QB led meetings, they’d probably rotate that like everything else.”

Richt at the end is alluding to the fact they rotated first team reps for those quarterbacks from practice to practice during the spring. Plus, let us also not forget that redshirt freshman Jacob Park and new transfer Grayson Lambert will probably also be looked to for leadership ability.

The quarterback position isn’t the only one that will be looked to lead the team over the summer. That said, former Georgia quarterback DJ Shockley says normally they’re the best guys for the job.

“The quarterback is the neutral guy on a team that you look at and say ‘ok here’s our leader,’” Shockley said. “If you look at any good team or look at any good program that’s had success, it’s always run by the quarterback. If you have a good quarterback as a leader in place, everybody else is going to follow that guy because he is the one that’s going to get everybody together.”

Shockley speaks from experience, if you’ll remember he would split time on the field with David Greene during his career. Of course, his senior season is when he was called upon to lead the Bulldogs all be himself.

Through those experiences he knows that the current Bulldogs quarterbacks will face a lot of what he and Greene faced during their playing days.

“If one was doing something, we both were doing it,” Shockley said. “So there’s never a divide between the team and nobody had to pick sides. We were always running with each other, working out with each other, and doing everything that is possible so there isn’t a divide. On the outside people were trying to divide the two of us and that’s the same thing that’s going to go on here. People want people to pick sides and say ‘oh I like Faton or I like Brice’ all that kind of stuff.”

Leadership is indeed what the coaches are looking for. Shockley knows that and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer even said as much when he met with the media earlier this week.

“Looking for the leadership,” Schottenheimer said. “Looking for these guys that are hungry, I want to see the guys obviously around the building, spending time and putting in the work. Obviously there’s a lot of work to be done between now and the first game.”

That is huge, because we all know that a person who does the job instead of telling you what they’re doing commands more respect from people. Shockley says that is huge for the quarterbacks.

“When you’re in the weight room every day or in the film room and guys see you putting forth the effort, that’s going to speak more than you talking,” Shockley said. “A lot of guys are going to say ‘ok this guy is doing the work, he’s out here every day working just hard as everybody else.’ Everybody on the team knows exactly what is going on.”

At the moment, it does seem that Faton Bauta would be the man most up for the job. We read Mark Richt saying as much with his earlier quote. Players like senior tight end Jay Rome agree that the junior is up to the task.

“Probably Faton (Bauta),” Rome said. “That guy is… I don’t know if I would necessarily say gym rat, that’s kind of a term we use in basketball. But he’s a ‘field rat.’ Faton’s always up here working and trying to get guys to come up here and work with him.”

Both sides of the ball will work out at separate times doing individual drills and then later in their voluntary workouts they’ll both come together to practice together. That is at least the way that Shockley says work was down during his playing days.

Now while we have talked about the quarterbacks being looked at to lead the whole team in workouts. Each position will no doubt have their own leader.

The natural fit for the more experienced group on the team, the offensive line would be senior tackle John Theus.

“The good thing is you tell someone on our team we’ve got this at this time and they’re going to be there,” Theus said. “It’s not like it’s a hard thing to do. But me and Kolton (Houston) will get the O(ffensive)-Line going.”

The offensive line has four starters coming back this season. They will have to find a new center with David Andrews having graduated.

These next about two and a half months will be up to the players and we won’t know who truly emerged as the leaders of this team until they return for fall camp. Someone will have to lead or this season could be a disappointment because of a lack of leadership.

It sounds like that will not be an issue with the 2015 Georgia Bulldogs football team.

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