For all that has been written about the progress redshirt freshman Carson Beck has made this spring, Saturday’s G-Day scrimmage was the first time anyone outside of the Georgia football program had seen him throw a pass in a Georgia uniform.
After a multi-touchdown performance, it’s now easy to see why Beck has garnered so much praise over the course of the 15 spring practices.
“Carson pretty much came in and got better at everything that he’s been working on,” linebacker Quay Walker said of Beck. “All the goals he set for this spring, pretty much been working harder, throwing accurate balls. Carson has been getting pretty good about working pretty hard and stepped up his game a whole lot.”
“I’m pleased with his progress. I think he got better,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “You know, Carson, he didn’t always have the focus he needed last year as freshman in terms of preparation, academics, on the field, off the field, in the meeting room. Now, since we’ve started this spring, he’s taken notes, he’s got command of it better, he’s doing better academically, he’s got to be in the classroom.
“He’s trying to take a step forward and do some good things.”
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It wasn’t all good for Beck though on Saturday. He missed on a couple of deep pass attempts to Arian Smith, one of which resulted in a Dan Jackson interception.
Still, it was an overall positive day for Beck as he vies to become Georgia’s backup quarterback. Stetson Bennett completed three of his four pass attempts for 58 yards in the scrimmage, but the one incompletion doubled as a Lewis Cine interception.
Brock Vandagriff, the 5-star 2021 signee, also made his Georgia debut on Saturday and flashed why he was a 5-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle. He also had a couple of freshman moments, such as when he fumbled a shotgun snap that led to a turnover.
JT Daniels was the only quarterback on the day who didn’t have a turnover.
“I think part of that for us is just a really good quarterback room and a good system,” Daniels said. “Carson prepares like a starter, Stetson prepares like a starter, Brock prepares like a starter. Everyone is all about doing their job to get better every single day. I think you saw it in the spring game where certain things are simplified and made a little easier.”
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Even acknowledging the turnovers, it was still an all-around productive day for the Georgia quarterbacks. Spring games tend to be geared to passing offenses, as it allows for players like Beck to continue to get more reps and experience.
In his first year on campus, Beck’s spring practices were wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he appeared in just a single game and did not throw a pass. All of those circumstances led to Beck almost being as much of an unknown as Vandagriff entering the spring.
Those two will be frequently linked and monitored in the year to come as they will likely compete to be the guy who replaces Daniels. That competition will continue into the fall and be monitored in potentially big blowouts in terms of who gets pass attempts and playing time.
Smart mentioned at times this spring that Vandagriff was going through many of the traditional freshman ups-and-downs, much like Beck was a season ago.
Beck, with his head no longer swimming as he is fully adjusted to the college lifestyle, seemed ready to take a step forward this spring. And G-Day backed up what had been a successful spring for Beck.
“He had some good spring scrimmages,” Smart said. “He had some good outings out there in the spring. We thought he could throw the ball well. He had a really good practice on Thursday. In terms of taking command of the offense, making decisions, using the players around him. He’s got really good pocket presence.”
Kirby Smart recaps G-Day, Carson Beck
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