Hey guys, let's not read too much into what Coach Franklin says after practice. Many of our fans want to jump off a bridge when they hear him praise Larry Smith. But listen to what he says about him: Larry's got a strong arm. Larry's got a great body.
We already knew that.
Larry's the only quarterback he's got who's ever played in a football game. Why in the world would he come out and bash Larry?
And you know why he's praising Larry so much? Because the stupid reporters are asking him after a handful of practices who's going to start at quarterback next season. Well let's see... there's Larry, who looks great in the airport and has a cannon; there's Charlie Goro, who's starting his third season and has never taken a snap in a game; and there's Aaron Rodgers' little brother, who's still recovering from shoulder surgery.
What do you think he's going to say? He and Ricky Rahne and the other coaches are gonna coach him up and the light bulb's either gonna come on or it's not.
I think you'll see one of three scenarios by the season opener:
1. Larry Smith blossoms under the first real quarterback coaching he's had and easily wins the starting job over Rodgers, much to the chagrin of the Larry haters.
2. Larry struggles, Rodgers takes the reins when he joins full-contact practice and even dazzles everybody with his running and scrambling ability and wins the starting job.
3. Larry struggles, Rodgers struggles and the one who sucks the least gets the start while everybody calls for playing time for freshmen Grady and Thorougood, who look good in practice but aren't quite ready.
Clearly, Franklin doesn't want to go into his first SEC season with a brand-new quarterback. He's got an experienced guy, and he'll give him every opportunity to win the job. He also has a kid with Super Bowl champion bloodlines, and he'll give him chances too.
If he's got to throw a youngster into the fire, Grady's the most polished and could get the nod, but hopefully Smith or Jordan will grab the job and Grady will redshirt.
If that happens, Franklin has to decide what to do with Thourogood: Do you redshirt arguably the team's best athlete and let him develop as a quarterback or do you get him on the field as soon as possible and get him some touches?
We really, really need Larry to shine in the spring. That way, he'll either be our best option or he'll push Rodgers and if Rodgers wins the job then he'll likely be a solid starter. Then that takes the pressure off the freshmen and gives the staff time to evaluate both Thourogood and Grady as quarterbacks and athletes.
OTHER NOTES FROM THE SPRING
R-SO Blake Southerland has switched from linebacker to fullback, where his older brother started for Georgia. He'll compete with SO Fitz Lassing and R-JR Marc Panu. Not sure what role fullback will play in our offense, but I like Panu, a walk-on who's big and strong.
R-SO Javon Marshall and JR Eric Samuels have moved to safety. Franklin really likes Samuels as a big, fast athlete. Don't be surprised if he's our No. 1 nickel back.
JR Trey Wilson is having a great spring at cornerback despite tough competition from SR Casey Hayward, JR Eddie Foster and SO Andre Hal.
Don't be surprised if R-FR DE Kyle Woestmann and R-FR DT Vince Taylor start this season on the defensive line.