February 13, 2011

LeMay not looking back

For freshman quarterback Christian LeMay, there's no looking back to last year's off-the-field issue that cost him his senior campaign at Butler High back home in North Carolina.

He prefers to focus on the future, although questions about his past were still on the minds of reporters during a recent interview session at Georgia's signing day press conference.

LeMay led Butler to a 15-0 record as a junior, a season which saw him throw for 44 touchdowns with just two interceptions, but last July he was suspended by the Charlotte-Mecklenberg system for violating its code of conduct last spring.

The suspension was for 30 days, and after an unsuccessful appeal last August, LeMay decided to withdraw from Butler, working out on his own before enrolling at Georgia in December.

"It was a tough time, but I prayed about it, but felt it was the best option left for me," LeMay said during a recent interview. "I was glad my younger brother did well, and everybody else did well."

But LeMay, who despite sitting out was still Rivals.com's No. 3 pro-style quarterback, didn't just sit around biding his time.

On Monday through Friday, LeMay would go to the gym for two hours of workouts beginning at 2 p.m. followed by another two throwing to his father, uncle and some of his friends.

LeMay feels he has moved on in several ways.

In fact, the young quarterback said he is adapting very well to the new strength and conditioning coach Joe Tereshinski's program, having gained 10 pounds since his arrival in Athens and now says he weighs 195.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said the young player is doing everything that's been asked of him, and more.

"His main purpose right now is to be the best that he can be in that weight room. He hasn't played in an entire year in football and we understand there's going to be some rust," Bobo said. "I'm glad he's coming in mid-year because I view that as almost a redshirt season. The only thing he can control is what he can do. He can't worry with what else is going on, he's just got to get better but that's how I'm going to treat him."

Although conventional wisdom suggests LeMay will redshirt with Aaron Murray about to enter his sophomore year, Bobo said he hasn't told that to the North Carolina native yet.

"There's going to be competition for every position on this football team and that one is included. The initial responses are this guy is doing a tremendous job in the weight room. He's come in from Day 1, worked extremely hard and made an impression on our players. That's exciting," Bobo said. "I want every guy in that room thinking he's the No. 1 guy. If they're not thinking they're the No. 1 guy, then we've got the wrong dude."

But LeMay isn't na´ve, either.

He knows that Murray is coming off a season which saw him throw for 3,049 yards and 24 touchdowns with just eight interceptions as a freshman, numbers which ranked him second in SEC history behind former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen.

"Aaron had a great year and everybody who saw him play last year knows that," LeMay said. "I'm just going to go in there and learn from him, try to help the team get better than 6-7, that's for sure."

LeMay said he'll use the days remaining before the start of spring practice March 10 to get his body and mind as prepared as he can.

"I'm just going to work hard, that's all I can do," LeMay said. "I'm just here to improve and to help the team as best I can. I'm not trying to be the vocal person right now; I'm just trying to help the team."

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