In case you missed it, I spent spent some time with Greyson Lambert, Georgia’s newest quarterback, in Charlottesville, Va. Here’s the story that came out of it.
But if you’re still looking for more about Lambert, well, here are some more tidbits that didn’t make my story:
– What kind of quarterback he is: Lambert flatly describes himself as a pro-style, pocket quarterback … but he can run if needed. He pointed out he had 40-plus rushing yards against BYU last year, although most of that came on one run.
“I’m not a statue or anything,” Lambert said. “I am a pro-style quarterback. I love the play-action pass. I love to be able to survey the defense and try to figure out what they’re doing and get the ball to the playmakers. Because ultimately that’s our job as a quarterback, is to facilitate the football, get it there accurately, on time, and make the right decisions.”
Buddy Geis, the former NFL and college assistant coach who has been a mentor to Lambert, said Lambert has the abilities you would expect with a 6-foot-5 quarterback.
“He has great arm strength. He can probably throw that ball out there 50-65 yards,” said Geis, who among other jobs was the quarterbacks coach for Indianapolis when Jim Harbaugh was there, and Dallas when Troy Aikman was under center. “All the ability is there. Now he has to go and work his butt off to do that. And he will do that. And then things have to fall in place. But it won’t be a lack of him giving his best.”
Geis feels that Georgia’s pro-style offense will be a “perfect fit” for Lambert, because of his ability to use play-action and throw out of the I-formation, among other things.
“I think his experience that he has playing at Virginia will help Georgia too, because they have some inexperienced quarterbacks,” Geis said. “It will be a good competition level for him.”
– Beating Grantham: I touched on this in the main story, but here’s a bit more on it. Last year Virginia played Louisville and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, and Lambert decided to call up somebody for some insight: Former Georgia quarterback Parker Welch, a fellow Wayne County High School graduate.
“I had his cell number, so I figured why not?” Lambert said.
Lambert and Welch ended up talking almost every night that week. One pointer Welch offered was to watch for Grantham to send an “exotic blitz” with a bluff on one side and a cornerback blitzing from the boundary. And indeed Grantham tried it during the game, and it worked. Lambert was drilled, a rare down note in a 23-21 Virginia victory.(Lambert was sacked three times, and passed for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception.)
When Lambert saw his phone after the game, Welch had texted him: “Great game … but I don’t you about the bluff.”
It was still one of Lambert’s better games, considering Louisville finished with the nation’s sixth-best defense, as ranked by total yards.So yes, he and Georgia both beat Grantham in 2014.
– Sleeping with a football: Lambert was born in Mobile, Ala., and his family moved to Jesup when he was 2. His father got a job at a pulp mill. There wasn’t much family history for football: His father played center on his high school team, at 6-foot-1. Lambert has no idea how he grew to 6-5.
Lambert grew up playing a sport year round, including baseball, but football was enough of a love that he slept with a football in his hand as a kid.
“I still do sometimes,” he said, laughing.
In fact Lambert had a collection of footballs. Not because they were signed by anybody. Just because he liked them.
– A bond with Schottenheimer: While inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler was apparently the first contact for Lambert on Georgia’s staff – Ekeler was recruiting a Wayne County player when he ran into Lambert – it was Brian Schottenheimer who ended up looming the largest.
Lambert said he related well to Schottenheimer, the first-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, who Lambert found to be strong in his faith and easy to talk to, especially about football. Lambert said that several times, that Schottenheimer was “easy to talk to.”
“That was big. I really liked coach Schotty,” Lambert said.
– And finally …: What number will Lambert wear at Georgia? As of last week it had not been decided. But he wore No. 11 at Virginia, and yes, Lambert has been told that it is available this year at Georgia.
Asked if he was okay wearing Aaron Murray’s number, Lambert just grinned and shrugged. No big deal, in other words.