Georgia’s new No. 2 quarterback is a lot like the Bulldogs former No. 1 quarterback in one particular way.
“Everybody talks about Aaron Murray,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “This guy works as hard as Aaron Murray.”
This guy in this case is Faton Bauta, who backs up Hutson Mason now with Murray’s college career over after a torn ACL.
“When I did first get here as a freshman, I did look up to (Murray) a lot,” Bauta said. “Might as well pick up the things he does, what does he do? Maybe you can get some things out of his daily routine that you can implement in yours.”
Murray earned a reputation as a player who spent countless hours in the film room to get better during his time at Georgia, where he leaves as the SEC’s career passing yardage and touchdown passing leader.
Bauta has similar traits, said Bobo, who coaches the quarterbacks.
“I don’t know what y’all can see when y’all are over here, but he’s always over here working and staying out after,” Bobo said after practice this week. “He’s probably still out there right now. A guy we recruited as an athlete, we give a shot at quarterback. He’s got his mind set that he wants to play quarterback. He’s still got to improve on some things and do some things, but he’s a strong-willed individual that I’m excited to see compete in the spring and maybe in the bowl game.”
Bauta, a 6-foot-3, 216-pound redshirt freshman from West Palm Beach, Fla., is a threat with the ability to use his feet with quarterback power runs. He’s rushed for 29 yards on three carries in limited playing time. Murray ran at times with the zone read.
Bauta said his approach hasn’t changed at all now that he’s moved up a spot on the depth chart, a spot he’s not content to be in.
“I don’t want to hear, ‘He’s the hardest worker,” Bauta said. “I want to hear, ‘He’s the best player.’”
After the Gator Bowl, Bauta will be among those competing for the backup job in the spring, along with redshirt freshman Brice Ramsey and incoming freshmen Jacob Park.
“It’s going to be fun,” Bobo said. “Let’s win this game and then I’ll be ready to compete with those guys this spring.”