Updated: Jun 30
The University of Georgia football program has a big question to answer in 2023: who will be the next starting quarterback for the two-time defending national champions? The Bulldogs have to replace Stetson Bennett IV, who led the team to back-to-back titles and finished his career with a record of 29-3 as a starter. Bennett is now with the Los Angeles Rams after being selected in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Bulldogs have three likely candidates on their list: Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton. All three are former four-star recruits with different skill sets and experience levels. Here is a brief overview of each quarterback and what they bring to the table. Whoever wins the competition has big shoes to fill for the emerging dynasty in Athens, GA.
Beck is the most experienced of the trio, having served as Bennett’s backup for the past two seasons. He has thrown 58 passes in his career, completing 62% for 486 yards and six touchdowns. He came in at the end of a blowout victory against Vanderbilt in 2022, throwing for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Beck is a prototypical pocket passer with good size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and arm strength. He has solid mechanics and can change speed and play off-platform. He also has elite processing skills and anticipates well. Beck is the favorite to win the job, as he has the most familiarity with the offense and the coaching staff.
Vandagriff was a five-star recruit in the class of 2021, ranked behind only Quinn Ewers, Caleb Williams and Sam Huard. He redshirted his first season at Georgia and saw limited action in 2022, throwing for just two pass attempts.
Despite his limited playing time, Vandagriff has potential as a dual-threat quarterback with more mobility than Beck. He can extend plays with his legs and run for yards when needed. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws, but he needs to improve his accuracy and decision-making. Vandagriff is a local product from Bogart, Georgia, and could be a future star for the Bulldogs.
Stockton is the youngest of the group, having enrolled at Georgia in January 2022 as an early enrollee. He was a four-star recruit in the class of 2022, ranked as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He has not played a snap for Georgia yet, but he impressed in high school with his arm talent and athleticism.
Stockton is similar to Vandagriff in terms of style, but he may have a higher ceiling. He has a quick release and can throw with touch and velocity. He is also a dynamic runner who can make defenders miss in the open field. Stockton is a long shot to win the job as a freshman, but he could be a major part of the offense after this season.
Georgia Compared To Their SEC Rivals
The Georgia Bulldogs are in great shape entering the 2023 season. They are coming off back-to-back national titles and have shown even with roster turnover, their ability to recruit puts them at the top of the country once again.
2022 Heisman Finalist, Stetson Bennett, has moved on, but Carson Beck should be ready for what comes at him in 2023. He’s been with the program for a couple of years and has plenty of top weapons to work with. Beck has highly regarded recruits preparing for the future as well, which should continue to keep Georgia as one of the premier teams. Meanwhile, other SEC rivals such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee have tougher questions at quarterback compared to the Bulldogs. With Georgia’s favorable schedule in 2023, there is no reason they should not be competing for the SEC Championship in December.
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