Greyson Lambert begins quest to be Georgia's quarterback

Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert works during a college football practice Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, in Athens, Ga.

ATHENS, Ga. -- New Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert didn't graduate early from Virginia without possessing some common sense.

So he knew just where to turn when it came to buddying up to new teammates.

"I've been hanging out with the offensive line a lot," Lambert said Tuesday. "I love those guys, and I kind of did the same thing at Virginia. They're just really good guys."

The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder from Jesup. Ga., joined redshirt junior Faton Bauta and redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey in a competition that has no timetable according to coach Mark Richt. Ramsey played in eight games last season and finished off last December's Belk Bowl win over Louisville after Hutson Mason was hurt, but Lambert has the experience edge, having made nine 2014 starts for the Cavaliers.

Lambert completed 154 of 261 passes (59 percent) a year ago for 1,632 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

photo Greyson Lambert, who was Virginia's starting quarterback last season, went through his first practice Tuesday with the Georgia Bulldogs.

"You've always got to be prepared for what's going to happen," Lambert said of his change of locale. "I didn't think this was going to happen, but I feel like I'm prepared for it. It's been moving pretty fast, but I'm all settled in and ready to get to work."

Lambert believes Georgia and Virginia have similar offenses conceptually, especially in the route running, but the verbiage is a little different.

This is just the third time in Richt's 15 seasons that the Bulldogs do not know their starting quarterback in early August. David Greene and Cory Phillips vied right up until the opener with Arkansas State in 2001, and the quartet of Joe Tereshinski, Joe Cox, Matthew Stafford and Blake Barnes received equal reps until midway through camp in 2006.

Richt then gave first-team reps to Tereshinski and Cox as the Western Kentucky opener approached.

"We're going to rotate our three scholarship quarterbacks," Richt said. "One guy will be with the first unit, one guy with the second unit and one guy with the third unit, and we'll just keep rotating them around on a day-to-day basis until we think we need to stop. It could go all the way to the first game, or somewhere along the way we may drop it to a two-man race.

"It's just hard to say how it's going to go, but that's our starting point."

Richt pointed out that Lambert has to earn the trust of his teammates but that Bauta and Ramsey do as well. Ramsey completed 24 of 39 passes (61.5 percent) for 333 yards last year with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Bauta was 4-of-5 for 48 yards in three games.

The three competitors are trying not to let Georgia's biggest storyline this month serve as a distraction.

"I've just got to go out there and compete and take advantage of my opportunity and try and get better every day," Ramsey said. "I've got to be consistent. I can't be all over the place."

Said Bauta: "The only thing I'm trying to do is stay consistent every day and be the best quarterback I can be."

Lambert and Ramsey have known each other since high school, and all three consider one another as friends. Sophomore tailback Nick Chubb, who rushed for 1,547 yards last season and averaged 7.1 yards per carry, is keeping an open mind about the race as well.

"They're all pretty much the same for me - just hand the ball off or just drop it down to me," Chubb said. "They're all pretty much the same. They all do a great job at that."

Contact David Paschall at [email protected] or 423-757-6524.