How will he overcome the whole freshman QB thing? There’s enough coming out of practice to make any on-edge Georgia fan that much more nervous. Murray’s talking about his nerves and being too amped up. Richt is downplaying expectations. All this to remember that, yeah, the guy’s a freshman. You don’t want to read much into scrimmage stats, but it’s encouraging that he’s cut down on (or cut out even) the interceptions. What remains seems to be a little accuracy problem. We don’t know it it’s nerves, drops, the new defense confusing things, or a combination, but the numbers are there. He’s had one impressive scrimmage throwing 12 for 21, but most of his scrimmages so far have been around or on the wrong side of 50%. That said, I’d gladly take accuracy issues starting out if he continued to avoid the turnovers. A few incompletions might kill the occasional drive, but you can punt your way out of that situation.
Waushaun Ealey, Caleb King, A.J. Green
Can they stay healthy for the entire season? The big question is the same for all three of these standouts. An injury delayed Ealey’s debut until the season showed signs of slipping away. King earned much respect by playing with a freaking broken jaw. The Murray-doesn’t-have-to-do-much line counts on a solid running game carrying much of the load, and the Georgia running game is much better with both Ealey and King able to go. Green’s season was cut short after the Florida game, and it’s hard to imagine Georgia losing to Kentucky with him in that game. With “when in doubt, throw it to #8” as the default instruction for young Murray, #8 needs to be on the field.
What the heck got into him? No one, and probably not even Mark Richt, would have told you at this point last year that we’d owe a lot of Georgia’s late-season success to Josh Davis stepping in at right tackle. The first step in finding a successful line was Clint Boling moving to left tackle sometime around the Florida game. Vince Vance and then Justin Anderson were supposed to be the answer at right tackle. But it was Davis who got the call and started the final six games at right tackle. The line finally solidified around a Boling-Glenn-Jones-CDavis-JDavis group that coincided with (or led to, if you prefer) the emergence of the running game late in the season. Two healthy backs didn’t hurt either. The question for 2010 is whether Davis can keep up that level of play as Sturdivant is eased back in. If so, a nice tackle rotation of Boling, Sturdivant, and Davis will let Aaron Murray sleep well.
Can he make strides at a crowded position? Orson Charles deservedly gets plenty of press, but guess who’s led Georgia tight ends in TD receptions in each of the past two seasons? While the world waits for Charles to take a big step forward as a sophomore, White’s entering his junior season. I doubt we’ve seen his ceiling, but opportunities could be limited unless Georgia uses more multiple tight end formations. That possibility has been floated by the coaches, and it makes sense – White can make plays and has more receiving touchdowns to his credit than anyone on the team not named A.J. Green.
Can he finish his career with a strong season? Chapas showed promise as a freshman in 2007 and added some receiving yards in 2008. But injuries slowed him last year, and his role in 2010 is uncertain. Fellow fullback Fred Munzenmaier is the one named as a possible third option at tailback while Ealey is out. If Georgia increases its use of a 2 TE set to maximize the production from that deep position, the fullback is usually the odd man out. The Dawgs aren’t going to forget the I-formation any time soon, so there will still be plenty of playing time for the senior.