Georgia quarterback Brock Vandagriff (12) warms-up before their game against the LSU Tigers during the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 50-30. Jason Getz /

What makes Brock Vandagriff the most interesting Georgia football quarterback this spring

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What makes Brock Vandagriff the most interesting Georgia football quarterback

The Georgia quarterback battle figures to be one of the more interesting position battles across college football. The Bulldogs have three talented options to replace Stetson Bennett and this week will kickstart the competition in earnest. Georgia takes the practice field for the first time on Tuesday and will have 15 practices over the next month to see what they have at the position.

Carson Beck enters as the favorite, given he was the No. 2 quarterback last season. Gunner Stockton also enters spring practice with some buzz given how he impressed teammates and coaches as Georgia’s scout team quarterback last season.

Related: Carson Beck on being Georgia football veteran quarterback: ‘I’m expected to lead’

Somewhat lost in between the two of them is Brock Vandagriff, the quarterback that arrived at Georgia with more fanfare and higher expectations than either Beck or Stockton.

It seems like with Vandagriff, there are more questions about whether or not he’ll transfer rather than if he’ll win the starting quarterback job. Even though he’s certainly capable of beating out both Beck and Stockton.

“Whenever you sign that letter of intent, that means something to me,” Vandagriff said prior to Georgia’s win over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. “Being here under coach (Todd) Monken and the guys around me, there’s really no complaints. I’ve learned so much from coach Monken in the two years and I don’t have any complaints on that front.”

Vandagriff was initially committed to Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley as a member of the 2021 recruiting class. But in January 2020, he backed off that pledge. Shortly after Georgia hired Monken, Vandagriff committed to Georgia.

We never got to see what Vandagriff would look like in a Monken offense, as the former Georgia offensive coordinator is now working with the Baltimore Ravens. Instead, Vandagriff will be taking instruction from Mike Bobo as Georgia’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Vandagriff threw just three passes over his first two seasons at Georgia.

Vandagriff is the best athlete of Georgia’s quarterbacks, as he’s just as capable of scrambling for a big run as he is uncorking a deep pass. The area that Vandagriff admits has required work is the mental aspect of his game.

Being consistent, reading defenses and being at your best in practice are all things Vandagriff has had to work on since arriving on campus. This spring will be the first real chance Vandagriff gets to showcase his growth in those areas.

“Just mentally is the main thing,” Vandagriff said on what he’s been focusing on. “There’s so much stuff that goes into pre-check reads. Just seeing the field, it’s slowing down a lot compared to when I first got here.”

Whoever steps in for Bennett will get to play behind one of the best offensive lines in the country while throwing to a talented group of wide receivers and tight ends. Vandagriff is roommates with Brock Bowers, Georgia’s star tight end who came to Georgia in part because of his relationship with Vandagriff during the 2021 recruiting cycle.

Hanging over the quarterback competition though for Georgia is the looming possibility that one of the quarterbacks transfers out. All three quarterbacks remained with Georgia through the first transfer window. But a second one will open from May 1 through May 15.

The Bulldogs don’t want to go through a season with just two scholarship quarterbacks, as the 2019 season showed the limitations of such roster management. The Bulldogs could grab a quarterback out of the portal themselves, but doing so would likely be a downgrade in the overall talent in the room.

“We’re very pleased with what we have in our quarterback room,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in December. " We think we’ve got three quarterbacks that are going to be really good, so the concern wasn’t about a quarterback.”

Related: Scout team success has Gunner Stockton ready to compete for Georgia starting quarterback job

Georgia didn’t add a quarterback recruit during the 2023 recruiting cycle, upping the stakes in this spring’s quarterback competition.

Smart and Bobo though won’t limit the quarterback battle to just 15 spring practices. This battle will roll through fall practice and likely into the season should multiple quarterbacks continue to practice well. That adds another layer to the possibility of transferring for one of these quarterbacks. Perhaps they’ll see the writing on the wall and which way the quarterback battle might be going.

Vandagriff expects to factor heavily into the final decision as far as who will be the next starting quarterback competition. He knows it won’t be an easy battle to win.

NextCarson Beck ready to show the value in sticking it out with Georgia …
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