Putting a defensive twist on Georgia's quarterback competition

The quarterback competition has surrounded the Georgia football team since the Sugar Bowl ended back on New Year’s Day. At his media availability on Sept. 15, seemingly every other question directed at Kirby Smart concerned the battle that, for now, seems to be between D’Wan Mathis and J.T. Daniels.

The highly-touted Georgia defense has to go up against that duo every day, sporting a front row seat to the competition. But what if the roles were reversed?

What if, instead of defending against a quarterback battle, the defenders were participating in it?

The Bulldog defense definitely has plenty of worthy candidates to start under center. However, there’s one clear and obvious choice - senior safety Richard LeCounte.

The Riceboro native is already one of the quarterbacks on one of the best defenses in the country, relaying signals and getting players in the right position. As a senior, he has game experience that neither Mathis (a redshirt freshman) or Daniels (a redshirt sophomore transfer) possess.

Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Sports Communications

LeCounte is also one of the best athletes on the Georgia team. He has the speed and quickness to bring a running threat to the quarterback position that the Bulldogs haven’t had in ages. 

It’s not just the physical tools that LeCounte sports. He also possesses an aggressive mindset that, while it could lead to some turnovers, might also create some huge plays in Todd Monken’s downfield passing offense. 

One only has to look back to LeCounte’s high school days to find evidence of the dynamic playmaking ability he could bring to the offense. As a junior at Liberty County High School in 2015, he completed 25-of-45 passes for 506 yards with six touchdowns. On the ground, he added 865 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 104 carries, an 8.3 yards per carry average.

As a senior, LeCounte made the transition to receiver. With that switch came 39 catches, 800 yards and 17 touchdowns. No matter where he lined up on the field, LeCounte posed a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses.

An explosive dual-threat quarterback could take the Georgia offense to an entirely new level. As a bonus, throw in a Wildcat package with 6-foot-5, 290 pound defensive lineman Travon Walker taking snaps behind the massive Bulldog offensive line.

Not bad for an alternate football dimension.