Kirby Smart taking note of Georgia quarterback leadership development

041622 Athens: Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett attempts a pass during the G - Day game at Sanford Stadium Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz /

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows better than anyone that only four of the 18 game captains who served the Bulldogs during the 2021 season return.

It’s a short, but obvious list of returning game captains:

• FS Christopher Smith

• OLB Nolan Smith

• WR Kearis Jackson

• OL Warren Ericson

Smart also knows the quarterback position is one of inherent leadership, but being a team captain means being in good academic standing and being voted in by your peers.

The head coach obviously wants to make sure that takes care of itself this season and into the future.

Smart made sure Stetson Bennett knew he would be the No. 1 quarterback in the offseason in ensuring the CFP Championship Game Offensive MVP would return.

RELATED: Kirby Smart calls Stetson Bennett ‘incredible leader’

Bennett was among the 45 or so quarterbacks at the Manning Passing Academy this week. There were several other top quarterbacks there, so there’s no doubt the UGA signal-caller could pick up a few new tricks.

RELATED: Kirby Smart weighs on in Stetson Bennett-Rudy comparison

Third-year quarterback Carson Beck also had a strong spring session and looked good with the second-team offense in the G-Day Game, and second-year quarterback Brock Vandagriff brings impressive athleticism and running ability to the position.

Some may not have noticed that Vandagriff was the leading rusher in the spring game with 45 yards on 3 carries, including a 28-yard gallop.

RELATED: Vandagriff looked impressive in first G-Day Game, too

Smart said last Friday he saw promising things from Gunner Stockton in spring drills, too, even though Stockton was a modest 1-of-3 passing for 9 yards in the G-Day Game.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart likes what he sees in his QB room and is being deliberate to develop leadership in each one of them.
Stats bro, Dawgnation

Smart, as reported Friday, stated this is the best QB room he has had since becoming head coach at UGA in 2016.

That could prove key, as in three of Smart’s six seasons as head coach, UGA has had a different starting quarterback from the opener to the end of the season

“You don’t know when your number is going to be called at quarterback,” Smart said. “We’ve seen a different quarterback emerge from maybe who the season starter was a couple of times.”

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