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Georgia starting center and team captain Sedrick Van Pran-Granger (Jeff Sentell)

Sedrick Van Pran shares his advice to Georgia football quarterback hopefuls

ATHENS — Whoever ends up winning the starting quarterback job for Georgia will benefit tremendously from the guy directly in front of him. That would be veteran center Sedrick Van Pran.

Having already banked two years of starting experience, Van Pran has seen it all for Georgia. He’s rotated through multiple quarterbacks, as Georgia oscillated between Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels during the 2021 season. He’s also called out signals in road environments such as Auburn, Ala., and Knoxville, Tenn. Georgia visits both places again in 2023 in what should be its toughest road games of the season.

Georgia is counting on Van Pran to make life easier for whoever ends up winning the starting quarterback job. Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff are getting first-team reps to start spring practice, while head coach Kirby Smart has added that Gunner Stockton will be a threat to win the job as well.

“To be themselves, honestly. Be the guys that we’ve all been around,” Van Pran said on what he’s told the quarterback hopefuls. “I’ve taken reps with them at some point. It’s nothing new, it’s just a matter of making sure guys are confident to go out there and play their game.”

Related: Sedrick Van Pran simply sums up why he returned to Georgia football

Beck is the most experienced of the three, though it isn’t by much. None have started a game for Georgia and Beck is the only one of the three to complete a pass at the college level.

It’s part of the reason why Beck enters spring practice as the favorite to win the job. But the battle won’t be over when Georgia finishes up with G-Day on April 15. The quarterback competition is expected to go well into fall camp.

“I do look forward to seeing Carson and Brock getting a lot of that action,” Smart said. “They’ll both rep with the ones. As far as how much, that’ll play itself out over the course of spring. Gunner’s come a long way. I’m excited to see what those guys can do. They’ve been excited about meeting and doing things with Coach Bobo and the offensive staff. I’m excited to see those guys practice and compete.”

Position battles always have many twists and turns. In Van Pran’s case, a hand injury to Warren Ericson in fall camp of 2021 gave the New Orleans native the opening he needed to outright win the job. He has started every game at center for Georgia since then.

The quarterback rotation will be a part of a challenge for Van Pran, as Beck, Vandagriff and Stockton all have different body types. But with Van Pran being able to handle a rotation between Daniels and Bennett during the course of SEC games, he’s comfortable with what he’s been tasked to do.

“Some guys may have different preferences when it comes to points and different things like that,” Van Pran said. “It’s all about relationships and knowing who is behind you and who you’re dealing with. Honestly, I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with all of those guys, so it usually doesn’t come up. It’s more so being able to dictate who’s who in the heat of the fire.”

Van Pran is the lone permanent captain from Georgia’s 2022 team to return to Athens this season. He felt his time at Georgia wasn’t quite done yet and he’s determined to go out and leave Athens in a better place than when he found it.

While the 2023 season will almost certainly be Van Pran’s last at Georgia, Beck, Vandagriff and Stockton all have multiple years of eligibility left. And they’ll no doubt take the advice that Van Pran doles out in stride.

Sedrick Van Pran talks UGA quarterback battle

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