With the 2011 recruiting class locked in and all the decisions about early NFL departures finalized, it's time to step back and take a look at what Georgia's got heading into spring practice. We'll go position by position, naming each of the likely contributors and trying to get an early idea of how the depth chart will shake out. Let's start with quarterbacks.
Who's coming back. It's weird to think how unsettled Georgia's QB roster looked less than a year ago; since then, Aaron Murray has given Georgia fans one of the most spectacular performances ever by a freshman Bulldog QB, and it's not a stretch to call him the top quarterback in the SEC heading into 2011. Behind him, Hutson Mason had a solid season, throwing a touchdown pass to Logan Gray on the very first attempt of his UGA career.
Who's not. Speaking of Logan Gray, he's decided to transfer to another D-IA school where he can take advantage of a fifth year of eligibility while earning a master's degree. Gray, of course, had been moved to wide receiver long before the 2010 season started, but his departure leaves the Dawgs without an emergency option should Murray and Mason go down. Except for . . .
Who's new. Early enrollee Christian LeMay gives Georgia some needed depth at quarterback, not to mention an additional level of athletic talent. He's in a bit of an unusual situation in that he chose to skip his senior year of high school in North Carolina due to some nebulous disciplinary issues, and while he's been training regularly since then, he hasn't seen any actual game time since the fall of '09.
Outlook. For the first time since 2008, the Dawgs have an entrenched, experienced starter returning at QB. Aaron Murray obliterated all expectations by throwing for 3,049 yards, 24 touchdowns and only eight packs last year as a freshman, and while he won't have A.J. Green to throw to, he didn't have Green either for the first four games of 2010 and still managed to put up decent numbers.
Mason seems like a pretty solid lock to remain the No. 2 quarterback despite the arrival of LeMay on campus. LeMay has the raw talent to make a move on the depth chart in a year's time, but his lack of playing time over the past year, not to mention his need to build up some additional bulk before diving headfirst into the SEC, likely means the coaching staff will do everything they can to keep him safely redshirted for the entirety of the 2011 season.