ATHENS, Ga. -- Christian LeMay knows that if everything goes according to plan, he could be under center as Georgia’s backup quarterback this season.
He knows this spring is when he can prove that he deserves that spot behind All-SEC starter Aaron Murray, with junior Hutson Mason looking to redshirt -- should Murray stay healthy all season -- to gain a year of class separation between himself and fellow junior Murray.
LeMay, who redshirted as a freshman last season, spoke with reporters for the first time this spring after Tuesday’s practice.
Here is some of what he had to say about his progress since arriving last January:
On his progress this spring:
I’m just trying to learn all I can from the quarterbacks ahead of me like Aaron and Hutson and all them -- just learn as much as possible and from Coach [Mike] Bobo and everything like that. I’m just trying to learn right now and perfect my craft.
On difference between now and last spring:
It’s totally different. I look back at a little bit of film and I’m like, ‘What was I thinking here?’ But now I at least have a clue what’s going on and that’s the maturation of a year. You have a year to look on and see what Aaron and other guys are doing when they get in the game and you try to do the best that you can to emulate them and put your own little spin on it. Now I’m starting to come to a full maturation of the offense and I’m trying to moreso perfect my craft and just make things smooth, really.
Is there a different sense of urgency this spring?
Not really. I’ve always been working hard. You never know what’s going to happen, so I’m just trying to be the best that I can be and good things will happen.
Was there a point where he was watching the offense and feel like he finally gets it?
Right. Definitely. Out there on the field, now I’m like, ‘All right, that’s where I’m supposed to go. That’s where it’s supposed to go.’ Before on plays, I’d be like, ‘Uh, so why is it going there?’ I knew it was a good ball, but I’m like, ‘Why is it going there?’ Now I really understand why it’s going there, who it’s supposed to go to, things like that. Of course we all mess up. That’s why we have practice. But I feel a whole lot better about myself this spring.
When was the point where he started to see things and understood what he was seeing?
I don’t know really. I just felt like I started to get it the first day of spring, really. We’re starting to install some more things and re-polish some other things and I just feel like day by day I’m progressing well. Although every day might not be perfect, that’s why you go in there and you have film to go watch and that’s what you want to do to get better.
On how he views the pecking order and competition at quarterback:
Every quarterback that’s in there has a different skill set and they’re all good at it. We all know Aaron’s great and Hutson is very good. So I’m just trying to find my way in here and work as hard as possible and learn from them and that’s all I can do, really. You can’t really look at everything else around you. Something Coach Bobo says is, ‘Be dependable.’ So I just want to be dependable and be the best that I can possibly be.
On how close he feels to being ready to be the No. 2 quarterback:
I feel confident in my abilities. I just want to perfect it. You’re never perfect. You just want to perfect the craft and learn from the guys that are ahead of you.
On whether he’s nervous about playing in a full-speed game after not having played since his junior year of high school:
Being out there at practice has been good, but being hit is a totally different story, so hopefully I’ve put on enough weight to get hit. So we’ll see. I’m not doubting my skills at all. I’m just ready for God to put me out there.
On current weight and what needs to be:
Like 200, 202. That’s about it, really.
What was he when he came in?
Like 180. Even though I might not be the biggest guy, I was a whole lot smaller when I first came here. Coach [Tereshinski] has been doing a good job in the weight room of getting us right and feeding us the right nutrition. I’ve been doing good there, just trying to pack on more mass, but stay light on my feet.
On his reaction to other players like Mason or Parker Welch getting second-team reps at quarterback:
Honestly for me, I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I look at everything as a time to learn. ‘Hey, let me look what the plays are, what they’re running. Let me look at everything that’s going in and see how I can do it or what they did wrong or what they did right.’ So I’m looking at them and trying to see, ‘All right, well he did good on his fake here. He did good on this pass. He did good on the protection call.’ There’s so many little things that you can critique on the sideline while not getting repped. You have to get a mental rep and I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of that this spring.