November 4, 2009

Gray wants to make most of opportunity

Sometimes during the first half of Saturday's game against Tennessee Tech, quarterback Logan Gray is scheduled to finally get an opportunity to show what he can do - when the game is technically still on the line.

At least that's according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who echoed Tuesday's earlier statement by head coach Mark Richt that the redshirt sophomore was guaranteed of seeing at least a series against the Golden Eagles.

"It's probably going to be the first half," Bobo said. "We haven't nailed down precisely what we're going to do but we're going to get him and change things up, get him a little work."

That's music to Gray's ears, whose on-field action at quarterback has been limited to mop-up duty against Tennessee and Florida, along with a spot play here and there where all the Missouri native was asked to do was run off tackle before coming out of the game.

Granted, Gray did get more work in last Saturday's debacle against Florida, but the results were nowhere near close to what he had hoped.

Gray attempted three passes, didn't complete a single one and was intercepted by linebacker Brandon Spikes who strolled into the end zone for a five-yard pick-6 score.

"As a quarterback you always want to have a quick memory, good or bad because there's going to be a new play, a new series, new game or whatever," Gray said. "Obviously, that's not what you want to have happen but there's nothing I can do about it. You've just got to move on and get ready for this week."

Gray said he's looking forward to making the most of his opportunity.

With starter Joe Cox set to graduate after this year, Georgia's starting quarterback role will be up for grabs, presumably between Gray, along with freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger.

Tuesday, Richt announced that both Murray and Mettenberger would redshirt this year, meaning Gray has an opportunity with a strong performance to perhaps get a let up in the competition.

"I definitely want to make the most of it," Gray said. "I want to prove that I can go out and make plays. It's going to be fun to get in there for more than one play, get one drive or whatever it may be to show what I can do."

But even with a strong performance, Gray figures to face plenty of competition from Murray in the spring.

In fact, before Richt cleared the air Monday by naming Cox his starter, many speculated that Murray might get his opportunity sooner than later.

"Anybody that knows football knows that if the team is having struggles the backup quarterback is the most popular guy that everybody thinks can solve all the problems and save the season," Gray said. "Aaron's going to be a real good player but the coaches are going to do what's best for the team and I think we are doing what is best right now. I don't worry about myself when it comes to that. I just worry about me and don't pay attention to any of that stuff, not even with Joe. I just pay attention to what I can control and focus on that."

Tight end Aron White knows Gray better than most.

The two were high school teammates, and believes that many are underestimating what Gray brings to the football table.

"I think people are underestimating him and his play-making ability because he really hasn't gotten the chance to show what he can do," White said. "People underestimate him and that's something I take personal because he is someone I've known for a long time and I've seen him develop as an athlete, the effort he puts into retaining his athleticism, the work he puts in the weight room and everything. He's going to shock some people when he gets the chance."

Gray also wants to dispel the suggestion that he's simply a "running quarterback," a stereotype he feels he's battled since first arriving in Athens three years ago.

"A lot of people when it comes to throwing the ball, I feel like that's what I've always been trying to do, proving myself," Gray said. "But I think everyone has to prove himself to the coaches that they're ready to play and once you get in the game to prove that you can make plays and contribute. That's how you win games."

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