Georgia added to its ongoing quarterback competition Wednesday with the transfer of Greyson Lambert from Virginia. Lambert’s decision to become a Bulldog is a homecoming for the Jesup, Georgia product.
A 4-star prospect out of Wayne County High School, Lambert drew interest from a number of high-profile programs including Alabama, Clemson, Texas, Notre Dame and yes, Georgia. But ultimately, his commitment to Virginia was a major coup for the Cavaliers and possible answer to the quarterback dilemma they’ve faced for years.
Rather than solving Virginia’s quarterback issues, however, Lambert became another addition to the perpetually turning carousel the Cavaliers have turning behind center. His transfer was Virginia’s seventh quarterback departure since 2011.
Still, Lambert’s play for Virginia was erratic at best. He threw more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10), and completed just 59 percent of his pass attempts. His up-and-down play resulted in his benching in favor of Matt Johns at various times in 2014.
Johns solidified himself as the Cavaliers’ quarterback for 2015 in spring practices, as Virginia head coach Mike London told Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch the competition was “not close.”
So if Lambert was unsuccessful helping Virginia get to bowl eligibility, how equipped is he to lead Georgia to an SEC championship? It’s a valid question, and one Lambert must answer with limited workout time before the start of the season.
The most significant thing working in Lambert’s favor is that comparing the Georgia and Virginia offenses and personnel is comparing apples and oranges.
The Bulldogs return one of the nation’s best and most experienced offensive lines, as well as an absurdly deep running back corps, paced by standout sophomore Nick Chubb.
The presence of Chubb, Keith Marshall and Sony Michel in the Georgia backfield certainly takes some of the pressure off a quarterback’s shoulder. And yet, that begs another question: Why are the Bulldogs taking in another quarterback?
It’s no mystery that neither Brice Ramsey nor Faton Bauta definitively separated himself as the replacement for Hutson Mason. And, while former offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s system made for record-breaking numbers under both Mason and predecessor Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs are adjusting to a different perspective under Brian Schottenheimer.
Georgia’s interest in Lambert demonstrates Schottenheimer’s NFL influence. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Lambert boasts prototypical NFL size.
The ledger on him as a recruit also touted his big arm, an attribute never fully exposed at Virginia, but an unquestionable asset for the Georgia offense, if developed.
That’s the overarching caveat applicable to all phases of his transfer: “if.” If Lambert can take in the playbook over just three months, if Lambert can develop chemistry with the Georgia roster, if Lambert can fulfill the potential he showed in high school but failed to reach at Virginia, he just might be the solution to the Bulldogs’ biggest quandary.