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Shockley will have his day at Georgia

By Doug Gorman

In 15 years of writing about high school football, I have covered scores of talented athletes.

It would be hard to speculate on who is the best player I've ever seen, but I'd have to put in a vote for D.J. Shockley.

Shockley wasn't just a good high school football player, he was a smart high school football player. I guess part of that comes from being the son of a head coach.

My first memory of Shockley came right before his sophomore season in North Clayton's jamboree.

I can't remember who the Eagles were scrimmaging, but I do remember a touchdown pass thrown by Shockley that went for about 80 yards.

Then and there I knew Shockley was going to be something special.

It came as no surprise when Shockley signed with the University of Georgia after a long recruiting battle. It's seems like every major football power wanted the talented quarterback to sign with them.

Three years later, Shockley, the red-shirt sophomore, is learning plenty about being patient.

As good as Shockley is and is going to be before he's done, a man name David Greene is keeping the former North Clayton player from starting.

After all, it was Greene who led the Bulldogs to their first SEC title in 20 years with his own heroics last year.

The Greene-Shockley debate can rightfully be called a quarterback controversy.

But in reality, it's pretty good problem to have if you're a Georgia supporter.

Both football players have the capability of leading a major college football team.

Logic should dictate the starting job rightfully belongs to Greene.

After all, Greene threw for 2,924 yards and 22 touchdowns while throwing just eight interceptions in 2002.

As a backup last year, Shockley played in 10 games. Had it not been for injuries, he would have played even more.

But his numbers speak for themselves as he threw for five touchdowns and 451 yards.

Both men could easily start on their own merit, and each of the quarterbacks brings a different wrinkle into the Georgia huddle.

Greene possesses a strong arm and great field vision. He has little difficulty picking out his receivers.

Shockley also has the strong arm, but is a threat to run when his receivers aren't open.

With a young and inexperienced offensive line coming back to Georgia, Shockley's ability to scramble his way out of trouble could be invaluable as the Bulldogs go after their second straight SEC title.

The refreshing thing about Greene and Shockley's relationship is there is no animosity toward the other.

Fans and those of us in the media tend to be making more out of the quarterback situation than the two participates.

Even head coach Mark Richt appears tired of addressing the issue.He's glad to have the option of playing both.

One's thing is for certain, Shockley will get more playing time for Georgia this year.

I was one of those college football fans who thought Shockley was going to transfer at the end of the season.

Good quarterbacks simply want to be on the field, and there is only room for one quarterback to play at a time.

One day he won't have to share the spotlight with Greene.

That's bad news for future opponents.

Gorman is sports editor of the News-Daily. E-mail: dgorman@news-daily.com