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What is a Mark Richt Quarterback?

The make-up of QB’s Mark Richt employed at UGA

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With all of the talk about “dual threat” or “mobile” QB’s including an ESPN ACC article about N’Kosi Perry... I’m taking a look at the QB’s Mark Richt recruited and started over the years back in his time at Georgia as Head Coach of the Bulldogs. In Athens, Coach Richt liked an athletic QB that was well rounded and could make all of the throws. He seemed to sacrifice mobility and sometimes even size for a high football IQ and an accurate arm. His QB’s won a lot of games and 2 SEC titles but never won or played for a national title.

David Greene (6’3 225lbs) - GA - 2001-2004 (42 wins)

Greene was statistically not a runner, hell he wasn’t even physically much of a runner, but he was able to move enough to sprint out, escape a rush, and move the pocket. If open, he could pick up the first down on foot. A pure drop-back passer more in the Chris Weinke mold than the Charlie Ward mold (both Heisman Trophy winners that Richt coached at FSU), but he’s athletic enough not be a sitting duck. David got the nod to start at QB as a redshirt freshman and could be ‘the man’ for Mark’s offense for four years.

I have the clip cued up to a good example of Greene’s “mobility.” I believe this is what Coach Richt is looking for. A guy to move the pocket, extend a play, and pick up a first if needed. A QB who can sprint out and not throw a pick 6.

DJ Shockley (6’1 220) - GA - 2005 (10 wins)

Unlike Greene, Shockley had to wait until it was ‘his time’ in the Bulldogs offense. DJ made the most of it throwing for 2500 yards and 24 TDs and rushing for 300 yards. He guided the Bulldogs to an SEC title in 2005.

Shockley was far more athletic than Greene but he was also in a ‘pro style’ offense. Some under center I, some shotgun 2-backs. The type of offense Coach Richt would love to run at Miami. I have the video above cued up to a nice escape by DJ off a blitz. He could run but wasn’t being asked to win games with his feet, much like incoming Miami freshman Perry, it was just gravy for him.

Matthew Stafford (6’3 225) - TX - 2006-2008 (30 wins)

Stafford came on campus in Athens in 2006 and became the starter. Obviously Matt has NFL size and ability and was another of Coach Richt’s outstanding QB’s in his time at UGA. Stafford showed some escapability versus a typical Bama defense that brought pressure, size and speed to his face. He was a 3 year starter that threw for 3,000+ a season and is now the Lions starting QB.

Stafford, Shockley, and Murray would strike me as the QB of Richt’s dreams. A guy that can pull and run off inside zone read, can sprint out, and can escape a rush- but doesn’t rely solely on his running abilities. Teddy Bridgewater strikes me as a strong resemblance to a “Richt QB” as would Carson Wentz and current #Canes 1A QB Even Shirreffs.

Joe Cox (6’1 198) - NC - 2009 (8 wins)

Cox has the more N’Kosi Perry type build at 6’1 and just under 200lbs. Cox was a ‘wait your turn’ guy at UGA and threw for 2500+ and 24 TDs in his only year as a starter. Cox used precision passing to his advantage but didn’t have elite talent to really get the UGA offense going. He was a transitional QB while Murray settled on to campus recovering from shoulder surgery.

Aaron Murray (6’1 205) - FL - 2010-2013 (36 wins)

Aaron took over as the ‘Dawgs QB in 2010 as a redshirt freshman. Murray, a record setting QB from Tampa Plant HS, Quarterbacked Mark Richt’s only losing season in Athens. UGA finished 6-7 in 2010 throwing for 3000+ yards but losing 6 close games.

Murray eventually turned into the QB everyone expected and really shined bright in 2012 when he threw for 3800 yards and guided Georgia to the SEC title game losing 28-32 to the Crimson Tide. Murray was the “next Stafford” in a lot of ways using athleticism to move the pocket, extend plays, sprint out, and occasionally pick up the first down with his legs. Murray was the start of some read option being ran in UGA- just enough at least to keep Defensive Ends from crashing down in the run game against Todd Gurley.

Hutson Mason (6’3 210) - GA - 2014 (10 wins)

Something you’re able to see from Coach Richt is his ability to keep two highly touted QB’s on the same campus while one played and one sat. Mason was no different. He redshirted and waited behind Murray to only start as a senior.

Mason wasn’t quite the athletic specimen of Stafford or Murray but you can see the ability to move the pocket and scramble for yardage present. Mason and Cox are probably the least athletic QB’s Richt had at UGA at the time.

Greyson Lambert (6’5 235) - GA - 2015 (10 wins)

In Mark Richt’s last season in Athens, Lambert was tabbed the guy. He was a redshirt junior that had transferred from UVA but was a local Georgia boy. Lambert would have possibly been Mark Richt’s first multi-year starter that wasn’t a true or redshirt freshman.

Lambert is the most physically imposing of the Richt UGA QB’s, carrying an NFL body but not an NFL arm. Lambert led a Sony Michel and Chubb driven offense to 85th in the country at only 26PPG. Lambert was the Brad Kaaya for Mark Richt at UGA. Underwhelming and in doubt of owning the starting role going into his senior year. Kaaya bolted for the NFL draft, Lambert was replaced by hot shot recruit and true freshman Jacob Eason as they went into the Kirby Smart era.

Jacob Eason (6’5 235) - WA - 2016-? (8 wins)

Jacob Eason is the son of Quarterback Tony Eason, but not THAT Tony Eason. His dad played for the Fighting Irish, not the Patriots. Eason came on the Athens campus as the Gatorade player of the year in 2015. He threw for 2400 yards and 16 TD’s as a true freshman and has the NFL size and make-up. Eason is not a burner, he’s more in the David Greene mold where he can move enough but wouldn’t have been a read option QB in Richt’s offense.