ATHENS — Gunner Stockton’s sudden commitment to Georgia football put some Bulldogs’ fans into a bit of a Tizzy Thursday.
Could the Bulldogs have another quarterback controversy at hand?
If UGA fans are a little gun-shy where quarterback situations are concerned, it’s understandable.
The Jake Fromm-Justin Fields fallout is just now beginning to settle down, with more elements of the truth of the story finally emerging.
The current Bulldogs are only a few months removed from escaping 2020’s house of mirrors with rising star JT Daniels finally under center.
So what to make of Stockton, who beat Brock Vandagriff once before on the football field this season, seemingly throwing down the gauntlet for another showdown in 2022?
1. Good for business
When the No. 2 quarterback in the nation is committed to your school, other recruits take notice, and that’s who and where Stockton ranks in the 2022 class behind Ohio State commit Quinn Ewers.
It’s true, everybody wants to be a part of a good thing, and it lends credence to Kirby Smart’s commitment to a more dynamic style with the Air Raid principles offensive coordinator Todd Monken has employed.
UGA’s talent grab starts up front with wave after wave of 4- and 5-star offensive linemen who provide secret service-level protection for the great quarterback prospects and signees to feel comfortable with, and then the great pass-catching signees follow the golden arms.
“RBU” might have taken a break last season, but it’s only temporary. The formula for being a truly great Georgia running back now includes a degree of pass-catching abilities and the vision to find space.
2. Building a wall
Georgia produces so much elite high school talent, it’s impossible for Kirby Smart to keep all of the best prospects at home.
But in landing Stockton, it’s a case of the Bulldogs securing the pick of the litter. The bonus with Stockton is that because of his high recruiting profile, he not only attracts the best in-state talent but also, national talent.
Smart was asked in December if he foresees a trend toward more in-state recruits, and his answer was, essentially, not necessarily.
“ I want the best football players,” Smart said. “I want high-character people that care about the team and love UGA. If that’s a kid 15 minutes away or 15 hours away, I am very comfortable with that. “
Smart is comfortable knowing top in-state talent gravitates to Stockton, while the pipelines to top Florida and California talent remain open.
3. It will play out on the field
Some are getting way ahead of themselves envisioning a competition between Vandagriff and Stockton in 2022 that may not even come to pass (all pun intended).
What if JT Daniels decides to stay another year? What if Carson Beck moves past Stetson Bennett on the depth chart and establishes himself as the No. 2? What if Vandagriff or Stockton isn’t on the team, for whatever reason, when the 2022 season starts.
However the situation rolls out, Smart will see to it that the quarterback situation plays out on the field, like most other positions on the team.
Vandagriff, who by all counts has gotten off to a good start in the UGA offseason program this month, will have a sizable head start on Stockton.
But Stockton, for anyone who has run across video or interviews with him, is not the sort to be intimidated and in fact, embraces great competition.
The Georgia quarterback room once again appears as well-equipped as any.