ATHENS — Carson Beck’s talent has never been in question at Georgia, but it has taken three years for everything else to fall in place.
Beck will go before the media on Wednesday in his first public appearance representing the Bulldogs as the starting quarterback at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
Beck has shared some details of his frustrating times at Georgia over a series of paid interviews over the offseason, explaining what led him to consider transferring out of Georgia following the 2021 season.
“I was frustrated, and going into that third year after Stetson won the national championship, he’s going to start again,” Beck shared in a ‘Footballville’ podcast this past offseason. “There’s literally nothing I could do. Name (the) best college quarterback you’ve ever seen play, and I could do that in spring and fall camp, and I don’t think I would have started, anyway.
“Kirby is saying his spiel and all that, but knew I wasn’t gong to start. I knew it.”
Beck was speaking the truth; former UGA offensive coordinator Todd Monken told a group of boosters before the 2022 spring drills began that Bennett would be the starter.
Beck looked more impressive than CFP Offensive MVP and Heisman Trophy finalist Stetson Bennett in the team’s annual G-Day Scrimmage in 2022, and other college programs noticed.
“I could have went somewhere,” Beck told podcast host Darrell Streeter. “There were a lot of schools that did reach out to me, and I did consider it at the time.”
Beck stuck it out, and now SEC all-time leading passer and former UGA star Aaron Murray is saying the former Florida Mr. Football and Alabama commit has “been given the keys to the Rolls Royce.”
Murray — also a former Florida High School product before his UGA career — has been one of Beck’s biggest fans and supporters going back to a fall scrimmage three years ago.
“To me the guy that looked the best yesterday of all of the quarterbacks was Carson Beck,” Murray tweeted in 2020, noting Beck worked with the Twos before later removing the post from social media.
“He looked really comfortable. Big strong arm. He, too, just like D’wan (Mathis), made plays both inside and outside the pocket.
“He’s someone I am interested to watch over these next few years - how his development takes off within this system.”
Three years later, Beck has finally lifted off, having waited his turn and answered most of the questions.
ESPN expert Greg McElroy predicted last spring Beck would be named the starter, pointing to UGA’s portal additions of receivers Dominic Lovett and Rara Thomas as evidence the Bulldogs might lean on Beck’s electric arm.
“Of all the top 50 quarterback recruits from 2017 to 2020, Carson Beck is the only quarterback that didn’t start at any point in his first three years that didn’t transfer,” McElroy said in a YouTube Short.
“Why do you think that is? Because either something was promised to him, or he knew the light at the end of the tunnel would result in him becoming the starting quarterback for a national championship contender, and likely heading into the season, the national championship preseason favorite.”
ESPN writer Mark Schlabach recently predicted Beck could be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
It’s not so far-fetched when one considers SportsBetting.ag had Beck and Brock Vandagriff among the Top 20 Heisman Trophy favorites in May.
Whoever the starting quarterback is at Georgia, it seems, will be considered a Heisman Trophy candidate with any sort of statistical success, provided the Bulldogs remain undefeated.
Beck has the quarterback skills to back it up, to be sure.
“There’s nothing that he doesn’t have,” Murray said in a recent social media post. “Along with size, arm strength, great footwork, throws with anticipation. I think he’s a home run.”
Georgia football has loaded the bases for Beck in that respect; there is talent from one end of the bench to the other and in each and every corner.
“You have 5-star receivers, you have, according to ESPN, the second-best player in America in Brock Bowers as your tight end,” Murray said. “You have a top-two offensive line, maybe the best offensive line in America.”
And yet, Beck was not given the starting job until the Monday after Scrimmage One, a blazing hot Aug. 12 day that left Smart less than satisfied with all three quarterbacks.
Experience, Smart said last Saturday, was what led to Beck getting the opportunity to start the opening game against UT-Martin.
“That’s the greatest separator of he and the other two quarterbacks is his comfort level with the offense,” Smart said. “When you have the extra spring and the extra fall, that those two guys don’t have, that rep volume is kind of the separator.”
It will be up to Beck to exhibit other intangibles in game action and on a consistent basis in practices to hold the job through the season.
Even Murray, Beck’s fellow Florida hype man, acknowledges the jury is out in some areas.
“There is a question of the mental side of it,” said Murray, who has done a series of NIL interviews with Beck in the offseason. “Is he ready to step into that role? Is he ready to be a leader? And that’s going to be the biggest thing that holds him back.
“But everything is laid out perfectly for him.”
Beck has waited a long time for this, and he attributes who he is now to those difficult days behind him.
“Sitting and waiting made me who I am today,” Beck said in the paid interview this offseason, “and the way I try to carry myself and the quarterback I try to be whenever I’m on the field is a result of waiting and being patient those three years.”