Smart still considering No. 18 Georgia's 3 contenders at QB

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) There has been no change in Georgia's three-man competition at quarterback.

The No. 18 Bulldogs are moving closer to the one-week countdown before their Sept. 3 opener against No. 22 North Carolina, and coach Kirby Smart still hasn't narrowed the competition to two quarterbacks.

Smart said Wednesday the competition is ''not really any clearer.''

''We're going to eventually narrow it down to two,'' Smart said. ''We haven't done that yet. I don't have a timeline for doing it.''

This quarterback competition is old hat for center Brandon Kublanow and other Georgia veteran players.

''I did it last year so it's nothing crazy or new to me,'' he said Tuesday.

One year ago, former coach Mark Richt announced Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert as the starter less than a week before the Bulldogs' opener. Lambert beat out Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta and held the job most of the season.

Now Lambert and Ramsey are competing against freshman Jacob Eason, who was the biggest name in Smart's first recruiting class. Eason, from Lake Stevens, Washington, is widely expected to take the job at some point this season.

Smart said he hoped to find more clarity ''here in the next couple of days, but nobody has jumped out right now.''

Last week, Smart said each quarterback continued to make ''bonehead'' plays.

Smart may not reveal his starter before the opener, though he acknowledged there may be no strategic advantage to keeping a decision private.

''It's different when you have truly distinct, different quarterbacks to get ready for, but that's not always the case with our guys because none of our guys are truly dual-threat guys,'' he said.

There was no sign of leader at the position in the brief, early portion of Wednesday's practice open to reporters. Lambert, Eason and Ramsey alternated snaps as they've done throughout preseason practice.

Last week, Smart said Eason was given more snaps with the starters only to catch up with the other quarterbacks.

On Wednesday, Smart said ''We're still working through it. All three guys are still working and rotating.''

Asked if any quarterback has proved he can flourish as the starter, Smart said ''I think all three of them at times have and all three at times haven't.''

Some coaches prefer to announce a starter at least one week before the season in order to give the team time to adjust. Smart said that is not necessary.

''The team is behind whoever is back there,'' he said. ''We saw that since day one. It doesn't matter who it is.''

Kublanow said any of the three will have support of the players.

''I think all of them have done a great job,'' he said. ''... We'll see what happens this week.''

NOTES: Freshman RB Elijah Holyfield, the son of former boxing champion Evander Holyfield, rode a stationary bike in practice as he continues to recover from a right ankle sprain. ... RB Sony Michel (broken forearm) still has not been cleared to play. If healthy, Michel is the top backup to Nick Chubb, who has made a strong comeback from knee surgery. ... Smart said freshman Marshall Long is ahead of Ramsey at punter.

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AP's college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org

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