Even with murky present, ESPN still confident in future of Georgia football quarterback position

georgia football-spring practice
Carson Beck is battling to be the starting quarterback for Georgia in 2023 (Connor Riley/DawgNation).

The Georgia quarterback position is currently an unknown entity. The Bulldogs have to replace multi-year starter Stetson Bennett. In addition to winning back-to-back national championships, Bennett was also a Heisman Trophy finalist last year.

Vying to replace Bennett is fourth-year junior Carson Beck, redshirt sophomore Brock Vandagriff and redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton. Beck and Vandagriff began spring practice splitting reps with the first team, while Kirby Smart has cautioned against ruling out Stockton.

All three quarterbacks should be seen as viable replacements for Bennett. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg thinks that way, as he has Georgia sitting at No. 4 in his future quarterback power rankings. It’s the highest of any SEC team, ahead of Alabama at No. 5.

“Carson Beck enters his fourth year in the program after serving as Bennett’s long-term backup. The former ESPN 300 recruit looked sharp in limited action in 2022,” Rittenberg wrote. “He will have to fend off Brock Vandagriff, ESPN’s No. 6 pocket passer and No. 37 overall player in the 2021 recruiting class, who has just three pass attempts in his college career. Georgia signed a 2022 quarterback in Gunner Stockton but did not take one in its 2023 class, opening up the likelihood of a transfer addition if Beck and the others aren’t making enough progress.”

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Other SEC teams to crack Rittenberg’s list include Tennessee at No. 8, LSU at No. 12, South Carolina at No. 18 and Mississippi State at No. 21. Future SEC foes Oklahoma and Texas sit at No. 3 and No. 7 in Rittenberg’s rankings. The two schools will join the SEC starting in 2024.

In addition to a new quarterback, Georgia has a new quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in Mike Bobo. He will replace Todd Monken, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s not a foreign role for Bobo, as he was Georgia’s quarterbacks coach from 2001 through 2014. He developed of David Greene, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray into successful quarterbacks and will look to do the same with one of Beck, Vandagriff or Stockton.

Georgia did not sign a quarterback prospect in the 2023 recruiting cycle but intends on taking two in 2024. Georgia already holds a commitment from 4-star prospect Ryan Puglisi. The Bulldogs are recruiting 5-star prospect Dylan Raiola and 4-star prospect Jake Merklinger to possibly join the class.

The Bulldogs aren’t expected to name a starting quarterback this spring, as Beck, Vandagriff and Stockton will take the quarterback competition into the fall. Georgia has completed four of its 15 spring practices thus far.

The quarterback battle will likely be the main attraction on G-Day, which is scheduled for April 15.

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