ATHENS — Carson Beck is enjoying life as the No. 1quarterback at Georgia, recently reflecting on how things have changed for him in the last year.

“I look back to Game One Carson, and I look at Game 14 Carson,” Beck said in his Players Lounge interview with Aaron Murray, “and it’s a totally different person, as far as the mindset goes and the way that I carry myself.

“It’s different for me coming back and knowing … that I’m going to be the starter, because shoot, even last year I didn’t know I was going to start until two weeks before the season.”

A deal was negotiated for to Beck to remain with the Bulldogs for another rather than turn pro in mid-December, leading many to put the Bulldogs No. 1 in their early preseason projections.

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Beck said he knew what direction he would go with his future within a few days of losing to Alabama 27-24 in the SEC Championship Game.

Beck has benefited financially through NIL along with being guaranteed the starting role by returning, whereas there was uncertainty about his NFL draft stock and playing time at the next level.

The challenge now, Beck said, is finding ways to improve and avoid complacency.

Beck is no different than most other high-profile athletes when it comes to enjoy the spoils of success, recently pictured with a new Lamborghini SUV, and sharing with Murray that he “probably bought 10 or 15 pairs of shoes in the past month.”

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But expectations go along with such success, and Beck indicated he knows he’ll have to push himself.

“Knowing I’m going to be the guy, how do I work even harder than I ever did before, and how do I still maintain that hunger, even coming off a season where I thought I did well?” Beck said.

“It’s pretty much trying to eliminate any type complacency and then also finding that leadership role and building these connections with all these news guys that we have, because it’s a new team with new faces.”

Georgia lost three of its top four receivers and top two rushers while most notably bringing in Florida transfer Trevor Etienne at tailback, Miami transfer Colbie Young and Vanderbilt transfer London Humphreys at receiver and Stanford tight end Benjamin Yurosek.

Beck sees a more confident version of himself leading the charge than the one that entered into last season.

“I think when we had that final drive at the Auburn game, where we drove down and scored the touchdown, after that game walking off the field, that was the most confident I’d felt,” Beck said.

“I’d asserted myself and proven myself to the team and everyone else that I could get It done.”

Beck said it’s important to maintain that confidence in himself while showing improvement in the offense.

“Obviously I want to be better one every single area than I was last year, that’s more of like a stat thing,” Beck said. “(But) I guess the biggest thing is to not ever, not have confidence in myself.

“I feel like there was times last year where, maybe I doubted myself in a certain situation. Then I would surprise myself, and be like ‘whoa!’ As the season went on that slowly started to develop and get better.”

Indeed, Beck might have fallen short leading the team in the SEC title game, but he looked confident and comfortable leading Georgia to a 42-3 halftime lead over Florida State before coming out of the game.

Beck is ranked among the Heisman Trophy favorites entering the 2024 season, and while he’ll have to prove he can get it done without the likes of Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, it appears Georgia will have plenty of firepower around him.