ATHENS — Georgia QB Carson Beck might drive the team on the field and slide behind the wheel of a Lamborghini off it, but it’s clear who runs the locker room.

Tate Ratledge, a burly and mulleted star at offensive guard, recently shared how he and Bulldog blockers keep the celebrated Beck in check in the offseason.

“I’ll mess with him every time we do a run, I’m like ‘Carson you’ve got to take these agility drills seriously, you’ve got to be able to get out of that pocket, (because) you can’t do that very well,” Ratledge said during an episode of his ‘Real Talk’ podcast.

“I remind him of one play against Tennessee, he tried to get out of the pocket , he would have scored. Like, I”m talking green grass, everybody is on this side of the field,” he said. “He cuts out, somebody tags the back of his foot, he trips over himself, gets up, and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh, you could have scored.’ "

Tate Ratledge said the Georgia linemen give Carson Beck a hard time about getting tripped up on a scramble during a 38-10 win overTennessee at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, November 18, 2023, in Knoxville, Tn. Georgia won 38-10. (Jason Getz / (Jason Getz/AJC Freelancer)

Georgia coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo were probably thinking the same thing, as they are also aware that Beck has great athleticism and running ability that he has yet to truly showcase in game action.

Beck’s NFL arm and pre-snap reads are such that he most always gets the ball out quickly to the right receivers.

But with Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey moved on, it’s possible Beck will have to be ready to shoulder more of the offense and extend plays and scramble for first downs.

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Beck is believed to have one of the most lucrative NIL and collective packages in college football after a deal was made for him to return to the Bulldogs for the 2024 season rather than turn pro.

Beck will enter next season among the Heisman Trophy favorites and is sure to continue to receive a great deal of off-field attention, something he started to become accustomed to last season to the extent he said he has three different versions of his autograph.

Ratledge, one of Beck’s best friends, sounds like he has signed himself up to keep the superstar quarterback humble and grounded.

“He missed a draw read against y’all,” Ratledge said to incoming UGA transfer Trevor Etienne, who played at Florida last season.

“This isn’t me talking behind his back, I’ll say it to his face , he knows it, I give him hell about it every day.”

Ratledge explained how UGA center Sedrick Van Pran blocked the Gators’ middle linebacker to clear a path, but Beck made the wrong read.

“We all got up and gave Carson hell about it,” Ratledge said. “In the middle of the game, too, we’re back in the huddle giving Carson hell about it.”

Etienne has only been at Georgia a short time, but already, he has taken note of the great team chemistry Smart’s players have in the clubhouse.

“Coming from another program, I see how you interact with each other, I see how you all care and love one another, so that made it easier for me to get to know everyone,” Etienne told Ratledge.

“That’s definitely something I’d say that Florida didn’t have, our locker room wasn’t the closest,” Etienne said. “We got along, but coming here and seeing how all the guys get along, I feel like having those skull sessions, I feel like that plays a big part.”

Ratledge said it’s all good off the field, but on the field, the “iron sharpens iron” rule applies, and the competition is fierce.

“It’s crazy to see at practice, it’s like, we’re each other’s worst enemy, we hate each other,” Ratledge said. “We’re out there, like Florida week getting into it with each other, really physical practices.

“We go off the field and we’re all best friends again like nothing happened.”

Indeed, it takes a special bond for a program to win a record 29 games in a row, like Georgia did from the end of the 2021 season through the 2023 regular season.

Ratledge said the Bulldogs “shouldn’t have” come up short of winning a third straight national title last season, but they have been back to work, pushing hard to get through the demanding offseason workouts.

And having fun doing it.

“When our O-Line is together doing runs, those runs are 10 times easier, because we’re sitting there cracking jokes the whole time, you’re not thinking about the run,” Ratledge said.

“Somebody says something stupid, everybody starts laughing, like pisses the coaches off , but I have a great time with our team.”

Ratledge also has fun at his own expense.

“I realized how much a student of a game I wasn’t,” Ratledge said, sharing his early struggles learning center as a secondary position this offseason.

“When I get up there and have to make the calls and the points, I’m like lost. I called Sed (Van Pran) and was like ‘I don’t know how you did this, I’m lost.’

“Like, Bobo is coming up there flipping out telling me I’m making the wrong calls. I’m like, ‘Coach I’ve been doing this two days, I usually go where people tell me to go.’ "

Ratledge isn’t going anywhere for now, electing to return for another season and help lead Georgia on the field while keeping the locker room in stitches, and in check.