UPDATED w/ Richt quotes...
Logan Gray wants to play. But he wants to be with the Georgia Bulldogs even more.
While the possibility remains that the junior quarterback will get an opportunity to do both, he announced Wednesday that despite reservations about his role on the team, he’s staying in Athens for the remainder of his career.
“I have decided to stay at the University of Georgia because I truly do love being a Georgia Bulldog,” Gray said in a statement released by the school. “I want to be a part of this team getting back to the SEC championship game and winning it.”
Gray met with head coach Mark Richt last month to discuss a possible transfer after he finished spring practice as the team’s No. 2 quarterback for the second consecutive season. Gray was hoping for a larger role on the team and had openly considered a position change to wide receiver as far back as November.
Richt told Gray to think things over and said he would support any decision.
So when Gray called his coach Wednesday to reveal his decision, Richt’s first response was to inquire about Gray’s reasoning.
“He said, ‘Because I love Georgia, I love my teammates, I think we can win, and I want to win. I want to be there,’ ” Richt said, “That was all the right reasons to stay.”
While Gray’s motives were clear, his future still remains a bit murky.
Richt said Gray will likely work only at receiver over the summer, and that’s a possibility for the fall that Gray appears enthusiastic to pursue.
“I’m also looking forward to getting some work at receiver and am going to work hard to make the best out of my opportunity at this position as well,” Gray said. “I appreciate Coach Richt’s patience while I made this decision and his helpful advice. Now, I want to put all of this behind me and focus on getting to work on preparations for next season at UGA.”
Still, Gray remains the team’s No. 2 quarterback for now, with freshman Hutson Mason set to arrive on campus next month.
While Richt said Gray’s work at receiver would likely eliminate his chances of being the starter — and thus making Aaron Murray the de facto winner of the competition — the position change wouldn’t necessarily mean Gray would be dropped from the depth chart altogether.
“I don’t know what (Mason) can do,” Richt said. “If he’s ready, he’ll still play. If we don’t think he’s ready, I would be more than happy to have Logan continue to be our No. 2 and then just go from there.”
After spending all spring — and the first month afterward — assuring fans that no quarterback had won the starting job yet, Richt relented somewhat Wednesday, saying that it would be likely that Murray, a redshirt freshman, would be the starter and appeared ready for the job.
“He’s to the point, in my opinion, where he just needs to play,” Richt said. “The biggest thing though is he needs to understand that you don’t have to do anything spectacular. You don’t have to put the team on your shoulders. You’re not required to carry this football team. You’re required to do your job, and part of your job is to try not to be a hero.”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
UPDATED w/ Richt quotes...