ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Carson Beck will be the team’s starting quarterback when the Bulldogs open the 2023 season against UT-Martin.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart made the announcement on Saturday following Georgia’s second scrimmage.

“Carson Beck is going to be our starting quarterback. He’s done the best job,” Smart said. “We communicated that earlier in the week to the other quarterbacks and we’ve kind of been operating that way. And the other guys have done a tremendous job in terms of competing, and they’re going to continue to do that, you know? We haven’t said anything in terms of who the second quarterback is or how those reps are going to be divvied up, but Carson is ahead of the other guys in terms of what he understands about the offense. I’ll be honest with you: I was really impressed with the other two quarterbacks throughout camp how far they’ve come in terms of improvement.”

Beck reportedly got all of the first team reps during the scrimmage, ahead of Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton. In 2022, Beck completed 26 of his 35 pass attempts for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did not throw an interception.

Beck is the most experienced quarterback of the three, as he has thrown 58 career passes. Neither Vandagriff nor Stockton have completed a pass in a collegiate game.

Beck got the first-team reps in Georgia’s spring game, completing 13 of his 18 pass attempts for 210 yards. Beck is entering his fourth year in the program. He served as the back-up quarterback to Stetson Bennett last season, when Bennett led the team to a 15-0 season and national championship.

In addition to being the starting quarterback, Beck will be looked to as a leader.

“I feel like this year he’s been growing a lot in terms of leadership and making sure everybody knows what’s going on and pushing the o-line, the d-line, the receivers, everybody,” Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint said of Beck. “When the offense isn’t looking good, he just picks us up and keeps everything going. I feel like he’s been doing a great job this year so far just keeping us going and just us taking charge and following his lead.”

Georgia will also have a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the Bulldogs open the season, as Mike Bobo steps in for Todd Monken. Bobo, who is also the quarterbacks coach, spoke earlier this fall about the value of these scrimmages and how they help prepare a quarterback for the upcoming season.

“It’s the closest thing we can get to a game. How are you going those situations when you’re out there with the team by yourself,” Bobo said. “There is no coaches on the field. The bottom line for a quarterback, it’s can we execute. Are we going to be able to execute and get us in the right play, get us in the right protection, run the offense, handle third down situations, red zone situations, and that’s what we’re looking for. Handling those situations in a game and having continuity on offense.”

Georgia opens the season against UT-Martin and Ball State before playing its first Power 5 opponent on Sept. 16 against South Carolina.