Georgia has quite the task on its hands. Stetson Bennett, after a legendary Bulldogs career which was capped with back-to-back national championships, is off to the NFL. This means that there is a 5-foot 11-inch 190 pound hole to fill under center in 2023. The college football transfer portal window has come and gone, and Georgia has not signed a quarterback either by that method nor the high school ranks.
This shows that Kirby Smart is content to see what he’s got in-house, and he’s got three quarterbacks on scholarship at the moment. However, redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton is incredibly unlikely to win the starting job, at least as things stand right now. So, while it is certainly possible he has an amazing spring and fall camp, and surprises everyone and wins the job, for the purposes of this article we’re going to focus instead on his competition.
Please note that the number next to the two names means nothing, this is in no particular order as it is a wide open competition.
2. Brock Vandagriff, Redshirt Sophomore
First off is the younger of the two potential heirs to King Stetson’s throne. Brock Vandagriff, aside from having an absolutely insane name, also has an insane arm, one that led him to being the number four overall quarterback in his 2021 recruiting class.
He had to make quite an adjustment from playing lower-level high school competition to Power Five level competition, and it’ll be interesting to see over the course of the spring and fall how much of a jump he’s made since arriving in Athens. He’s got the potential to be something special, and is more willing to use his legs than his counterpart Carson Beck, who we’ll get to in a moment.
This is useful in an offense that, in 2022, made good use of Stetson Bennett’s mobility to find the best look for him to either throw or run the ball. Similar schemes could be cooked up for Vandagriff, reducing the overall offensive change for Georgia.
1. Carson Beck, Redshirt Junior
The other quarterback to talk about is Carson Beck, a former number nine overall quarterback in the 2020 class. Beck is the more prototypical pocket passer of the two, and may have slightly less deep-ball accuracy than Vandagriff, but that’s just on his scouting report from high school.
There’s loads I could try to say about both Beck and Vandagriff, but the truth is that neither of them have played much since getting on campus, so anything that is said about the state of their game right now is pure speculation. Spring practice and fall camp will be a trial by fire for both of these two, and it will be a complete meritocracy. Kirby Smart has shown before he’s very willing to take risks at the quarterback position if he feels it gives him the best chance of winning, like he did in handing the reins to Stetson Bennett over JT Daniels. That’s why there’s still room for both, as well as Gunner Stockton, to come in and win the job.
It’s probably the most coveted quarterback job in the country right now, with an inside track on a national championship and all the NFL attention and national accolades that come with it. It’s also one of the most interesting quarterback battles in the country, so keep your eyes firmly fixed on Athens, Georgia as we progress through the college football offseason, and know that whoever takes the first snap for Georgia this coming fall will have earned it.