Georgia Football: Is Christian LeMay Ready to Take the Next Step?

Brian JonesContributor IApril 19, 2012

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  Georgia Bulldogs mascots Hairy Dawg (R) and UGA VII pose together for photos before the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Yellow Jackets defeated the Bulldogs 45-42.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

We have a quarterback controversy brewing in Athens.

It’s not what you think, because Aaron Murray’s job is not in danger. The coaching staff, though, is trying to figure out who is going to be the backup quarterback for the 2012 season.

For the last two years, Huston Mason has been Murray’s No. 2 guy, but the head coach Mark Richt has said they would like to redshirt him if possible to give him a year separation between him and Murray.

Because of that, Christian LeMay is the likely No. 2 quarterback for the Bulldogs. LeMay had a strong spring performance, completing seven of his 10 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Mason was just as efficient, going 5-of-8 for 62 yards, no touchdowns but also no interceptions.

I feel the coaches want to see what LeMay is capable of, so he will have his shot to see some action this fall. But is LeMay ready to take that next step in his career?

One of the things that has to be mentioned is that LeMay has not played a down of football since 2009 when he led Butler High School, located in Matthews, N.C., to a state championship. He did not play for any high school his senior year because he was suspended in July 2010 for violating the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School System’s code of conduct. The suspension was for 30 days and would have eliminated half of his season.

So LeMay decided to forgo his senior season and finish school in a “private setting." He enrolled at UGA in January of 2011.

He took part in the G-Day game of that year and completed 3-of-6 passes for 38 yards. But because LeMay was behind Murray, Mason and Parker Welch, the coaching staff put the redshirt on him.

Since then, LeMay has done everything he can to earn playing time and has grown into a more confident quarterback. In the two spring scrimmages before this year’s G-Day game, LeMay tallied five completions out his 13 attempts for 62 yards and one interception.

While those numbers aren’t impressive, LeMay has said he has learned a lot from the two scrimmages and he said he is leaving spring practice with a lot of confidence.

What it comes down to is fans are hoping not to see LeMay in action this fall. That is not a bad thing because if he does play, that means Murray is injured, and as talented as LeMay is, he should only see playing time in the second half of games such as Buffalo and Florida Atlantic.

But if there is an injury to Murray, the redshirt will be taken off of Mason because he does have more experience than LeMay, and the coaches like the way Mason has progressed this offseason.

There's no telling what's going to happen this season with the backup quarterback position because both Mason and LeMay are both capable of handling the pressure that comes with it. But if there’s one thing that's certain, when Murray leaves Athens, this position will not be a weakness.