April 22, 2010

Murray tops post-spring depth chart

The wait is over. Well, sort of.

Thursday, head coach Mark Richt announced his highly anticipated post-spring depth chart, and as of today, Aaron Murray tops the list at quarterback ahead of Logan Gray and leads the race to be under center when the Bulldogs open their season Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"We just see Aaron ahead of Logan right now. That's not a guarantee that he'll be the starter, but that's where it stands today," Richt said during a teleconference with reporters. "It's just a matter of consistency. Basically, Aaron has performed better than Logan to this point; that's all there is to it."

Richt added that Murray would have topped the depth chart even if former Bulldog Zach Mettenberger had not been dismissed from the team.

"I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but Aaron would have been No. 1," said Richt, who elected not to include injured players in the depth chart.

Richt admitted he'll be crossing his fingers that neither Murray nor Gray gets hurt.

The Bulldogs do have incoming freshman Hutson Mason, who will arrive with the rest of the Bulldogs May 31. However, Richt would just as soon the former Lassiter standout be allowed to learn the system at a normal pace.

"If we don't get hurt I think we'll be fine," he said. "But if we had an injury, it could be tough, especially if the top two guys get hurt. That's not a knock on Hutson, but it's just real difficult for a true freshman to be able to come in, function and not make mistakes. We saw that with (Matthew) Stafford his first year."

That said, Richt said Mason won't be coddled when the Bulldogs kick off preseason drills in August.

"There's no question there's going to be a greater sense of urgency in the quarterback room to get him prepared," Richt said. "But I think he's got that sense of urgency anyway. That's just the kind of young man he is. Anytime you get one step closer, it changes the amount of reps he would have gotten and he'll have to prepare more quickly than he would have had there been another quarterback in the mix."

Although injured players were not included in the depth chart, Richt did make one exception in regards to tailback.

Washaun Ealey is listed as the starter, but Richt said he and Caleb King are technically Co-No. 1s, and will continue their battle to determine the starter in preseason. King missed the last two weeks of practice with a sore knee.

Elsewhere, sophomore Orson Charles tops the list at tight end, followed by Aron White, Bruce Figgins and Arthur Lynch. Shaun Chapas is the starter at fullback.

The offensive line remains status quo with Clint Boling (left tackle), Cordy Glenn (left guard), Ben Jones (center), Chris Davis (right guard) and Josh Davis (right tackle) listed as the starters.

A.J. Green and Tavarres King top the charts at flanker and split end, respectively.

Defensively, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense features DeAngelo Tyson at nose, Abry Jones at left end, Demarcus Dobbs at right end with Justin Houston at Will linebacker and Cornelius Washington at Sam.

Akeem Dent and Christian Robinson hold down the top spots at Mo and Mike, respectively.

The secondary features Brandon Boykin and Vance Cuff at corner, with Bacarri Rambo at free safety and Nick Williams at strong.

"Although this entire list is still a post-spring depth, it's where we see these young men right now," Richt said during a teleconference. "It's like the last day of spring. All the players have had their exit meetings with the coaches, so that was the reason we did it. It was important to let everyone know where they stand."

Injured players and incoming freshmen will certainly get their opportunities come fall.

That list includes injured veterans like Justin Anderson, Trinton Sturdivant and Tanner Strickland, plus any number of Georgia's recent signees who will be receiving their first taste of college ball.

"I don't think there's any doubt there's going to be an opportunity for freshmen to come and play, possibly even win a job along the way," Richt said. "You just don't know. We had nine scholarship receivers when A.J. came in and he performed well enough to force himself into the starting lineup. The bottom line is, if they're good enough, they'll move up."

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