ATHENS — Carson Beck came across as cool, confident, and yes, more assertive in his interview at the Manning Passing Academy.

It’s good news for Georgia fans, as Beck’s poise, charisma and ability to lead will ultimately decide the Bulldogs’ football fortunes in 2024.

Beck, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft and co-favorite for the Heisman Trophy, was among many top collegiate QBs on hand at the Manning Academy to network and coach young players.

“Usually I’m the one practicing,” Beck said. “Being on the opposite end, getting to coach some of these kids, just have a fun time, that’s really what I’m trying to get out of it.”

Beck has always carried a confidence and swag about him, from the time he arrived on the UGA campus taking smack about his basketball game.

“Y’all laughing at me, you don’t know I”m a hooper,” Beck, a former AAU basketball player, said in a 2020 interview among other freshmen signees, shortly after arriving on campus.

“They ain’t seen me yet, and they don’t want to see me … None of you all are shooting like me. None of you all.”

Coach Kirby Smart has said Beck carries a “bit of arrogance,” and he has implored him to utilize that confidence to empower his teammates.

Smart has indicated UGA will have a more aggressive approach with Beck, who improved his pocket presence and playmaking ability in his first year as Georgia’s starter as last season progressed.

Beck, now with a full year of starting experience under his belt, and the pain of losing a QB duel to Alabama’s Jalen Milroe that derailed Georgia’s three-peat hopes, sounds to have a much sharper edge entering this season.

“Coach Smart says this, too, but we don’t get hunted, we do the hunting,” Beck said, asked about a daunting Bulldogs schedule that includes road trips to Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss.

“No matter what, even if we’re at (number) one, or we’re at 10, no matter where the ranking is, we are always doing the hunting.”

Beck certainly picked up on the Texas and Oklahoma buzz that seems to be building, with the loaded Longhorns and tradition-rich Sooners on the verge of their first SEC season.

Asked what it means to him, Beck did not hesitate to answer.

“Competition,” Beck said. “Obviously adding two really good teams. The SEC is already one of the hardest conferences; you look all over, the competition is everywhere, the talent is everywhere.

“It adds two teams, and I think it will add for some more exciting matches.”

If Beck performs as expected, Georgia will come out on top, as there is ample talent returning in addition to impact transfers Trevor Etienne ( RB,Florida) and Ben Yurosek (TE, Stanford).

Along with Beck, here’s a look at some of the other elite collegiate quarterbacks who were expected in attendance:

• Jalen Milroe, Alabama

• Will Howard, Ohio State

• Quinn Ewers, Texas

• Graham Mertz, Florida

• Dillon Gabriel, Oregon

• Kyle McCord, Syracuse

• Brady Cook, Missouri

• Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss

• Riley Leonard, Notre Dame

• KJ Jefferson, UCF