georgia football-first-spring practice
Georgia coach Kirby Smart leads a drill at Georgia's firs tspring practice of the 2023 season (Georgia football/Twitter)

What we learned on the first day of spring practice for Georgia football

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What we learned on the first day of spring practice for Georgia football

ATHENS — Kirby Smart knows there’s going to be a lot of attention on his quarterback battle. There’s a national interest in who will replace Stetson Bennett.

And Smart shared that all three quarterbacks vying for the job have a chance to win it. Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton have all hit the ground running this offseason, knowing the opportunity ahead of them.

Vandagriff bulked up to 215 pounds, putting on 15 pounds of muscle per Smart. Beck conversely dropped weight in an effort to add more athleticism to his game. Stockton’s efforts on the scout team were well-chronicled and admired.

Beck and Vandagriff will get first-team reps to start the spring. Smart is excited to see how the battle unfolds.

Monken developed all three quarterbacks and Smart feels confident he left the position group in good hands.

“When Monken left, I asked him where he thought our quarterback room was,” Smart said. “He was very adamant that we have three talented young quarterbacks and Mike inheriting that room certainly feels that way too. Excited about those guys.”

Related: Carson Beck vs. Brock Vandagriff: Kirby Smart’s opening remarks on Georgia QB competition

Bulldogs doing well on the health front

Only Jalon Walker being ruled out for the spring was a mild surprise on Tuesday. The talented sophomore pass rusher will miss spring practice with a shoulder injury, the same kind that will keep sophomore outside linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. and offensive lineman Joshua Miller out for spring practice.

Safety Dan Jackson and running back Andrew Paul will also not be full participants this spring as they recover from foot and ACL injuries respectively.

Other than that, Georgia is in a good spot health-wise.

“This is the least number of guys we have out for medical reasons going into a spring that we’ve had in a while,” Smart said. “We also have 21 either midyears or the three portal guys that will be out there, not all of them practicing, but available to practice. It definitely increases our depth.”

Related: Kirby Smart updates Georgia football spring injury report, rules out Jalon Walker

Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey and running back Kendall Milton both spoke about the importance of staying healthy. McConkey told reporters he’s still not 100 percent following a knee injury he sustained during the season. But the rest over the past couple of months he’s gotten has helped him heading into spring practice.

As for Milton, he came back to Georgia for his senior season so that he could prove that he can stay healthy for an entire season. Milton has missed time in each of his three seasons at Georgia.

But as a junior, he returned from a midseason groin injury and played some of the best football of his college career. He looks to reach even higher levels in 2023.

“I would say a big thing is being able to go through the season and maintain my health,” Milton said. “That’s one of the biggest points. This offseason I’ve focused on rehab. I made that a high emphasis. Really this season I just want to go out there and have fun.”

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