Georgia's Faton Bauta doesn't believe running ability will provide an edge

Georgia's Faton Bauta doesn't believe running ability will provide an edge

August 8th, 2015 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Faton Bauta (10) throws during a college football practice Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, in Athens, Ga.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Greyson Lambert continue to rotate in their competition to determine Georgia's starting quarterback, with Bauta working with the first team Friday afternoon just as he did in Tuesday's opening practice.

If running ability was the determining factor, the candidates know who would win.

"I would say Faton is the most mobile," said Lambert, the newcomer of the bunch after transferring from Virginia. "I guess my best asset is my arm, but last year I was able to make some plays if I had to."

Said Ramsey: "Faton is definitely more mobile than I am, so I would give him the upper hand there."

Bauta is the only categorized dual-threat quarterback to sign with the Bulldogs in Mark Richt's 15 seasons as coach. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound redshirt junior from West Palm Beach was 247Sports.com's No. 7 dual-threat prospect in the 2012 class, with Rivals.com ranking him No. 15.

Redshirt junior Faton Bauta has the best running ability among Georgia's three scholarship quarterbacks but doesn't think that serves as an advantage.

Redshirt junior Faton Bauta has the best running...

Photo by Philip Williams

By definition, dual-threat quarterbacks offer more ability to run than their pro-style counterparts, but Bauta doesn't see that as an advantage this month when compared to Ramsey and Lambert.

"Our offense doesn't really allow for our quarterback to run much considering all the progressions we have," he said. "I think I am athletic enough to run on my own two feet pretty good, but I don't know if it's that much better than them. If I have to make plays with my feet, I will."

Bauta redshirted in 2012 and appeared in three games in 2013, rushing four times for 30 yards. When Aaron Murray tore his ACL in the 11th game that season against Kentucky, Bauta became the backup to Hutson Mason and had a couple of designed running plays in the Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska.

Last season, he was third team again behind Mason and Ramsey and got in three more games. Bauta completed 4 of 5 passes for 48 yards in 2014, and he rushed six times for 16 yards, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the 66-0 rout of Troy.

Bauta had a solid G-Day game in April, completing 16 of 25 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown, and he doesn't view Ramsey and Lambert with any hostility whatsoever.

"We're buddies," he said. "We're teammates. We're only going to have to help each other. The most important thing for all of us is winning games as a team."

Of course, that doesn't mean Bauta can't look elsewhere for help. He arrived in Athens when Murray, a fellow Floridian, was halfway through a playing career that saw him rewrite the Southeastern Conference record books.

"Aaron is my man," Bauta said of the second-year quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs. "I really looked up to him when I first got here, and I used to pick his brain a ton when he was here playing. I really look up to him as a quarterback and an athlete with the way he carries himself, and I do take his advice, because he's doing something right."

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs practiced Friday for 90 minutes and will put on full pads for the first time today at 3. Junior inside linebacker Tim Kimbrough said he's been helping Leonard Floyd when Floyd is the other inside first-teamer. New running backs coach Thomas Brown tore his ACL with the Bulldogs in 2006 and told reporters he is using that experience to help Keith Marshall mentally recover from his setback in 2013.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.


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