Big game preview: 5-star Brock Vandagriff faces 5-star Gunner Stockton on ESPNU
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers a rare game preview of the nationally-televised showdown between 5-star Georgia commit Brock Vandagriff and 5-star South Carolina commit Gunner Stockton.
Prince Avenue Christian is getting on the buses today. Rabun County will be waiting in some of the most beautiful country in North Georgia to play those Wolverines at 8 PM tonight on ESPNU.
It is important to remember those two full teams will be playing tonight. Not just a pair of 5-star quarterbacks on their way to the spotlight roles in the Southeastern Conference.
That’s true, but so if the undeniable fact that ESPNU is in town to broadcast two golden arms to the rest of the country.
Fans of the SEC East won’t mind a future glimpse of the triggerman for Georgia (Prince’s Brock Vandagriff) and South Carolina (Rabun’s Gunner Stockton) on their screens tonight. While Stockton is the one classified as a dual-threat QB by the recruiting industry, both of those guys are game-changers with their legs.
The 6-foot-3 Vandagriff spent his freshman year catching 34 passes for 472 yards (13.9 yards per catch) and four touchdowns for PAC. He even punts adeptly for his Wolverines.
Let’s check those recruiting ratings:
- 5-star Brock Vandagriff (Class of 2021): Nation’s No. 2 pro-style QB and No. 13 overall
- 5-star Gunner Stockton (Class of 2022): Nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB and No. 24 overall
Here’s the part where the eyes widen scanning the stat parades for the 5-stars:
Brock Vandagriff passing stats in 2018 and 2019
(he missed four games in 2019 due to injury)
Brock Vandagriff rushing stats in 2018 and 2019
(he missed four games in 2019 due to injury)
Gunner Stockton passing stats in 2018 and 2019
Gunner Stockton rushing stats in 2018 and 2019
Want a more important stat than all of those? Consider the fact Stockton’s teams going all the way back to Parks and Recreation and Pop Warner ball are now 89-3. It includes a 24-3 mark as the Rabun County quarterback.
“His arm is elite,” Greg Vandagriff said. “He’s got the ability to put the ball in tight windows and obviously he can run when needs to and he can outrun. There’s an obvious reason why he is a 5-star quarterback and they’ve done a great job with him. I’m sure he will have a tremendous future.”
Prince Avenue is now 17-4 in two seasons with Vandagriff at the wheel. Those four losses all came to teams that wound up playing for the state championship in those years. His career record as a starting QB now rests at 79-7 all the way back to his first start.
He had a 6-TD night in the 2020 opener last week against Calvary Day. He ran for 93 yards and threw for another 246 yards with four touchdowns. That puts him at 94 touchdowns of total responsibility during his arc as the full-time starting QB at Prince Avenue. It averages out to 4.28 touchdowns per game.
The 6-foot-1 Stockton threw for 153 yards and three TDs last week in a 35-0 win against Ridgeland. He also went for 81 yards and a score on the ground. His TD to games ratio now sits at 4.3 touchdowns per game.
Vandagriff plays a tough out-of-region schedule but competes in the Georgia High School Association’s Class 1A private classification. Prince Avenue was home to 433 students for 2020-2022 GHSA reclassification purposes. Stockton, who doesn’t have the stoutest region slate either, competes in Class 2A with a school enrollment count of 684 for GHSA classification.
Add it up all. Now scan the schedules. Georgia won’t begin its all-SEC home schedule until October. The Atlanta Falcons will host Seattle and Chicago this month. Georgia Tech will also host UCF this month, too.
Stockton-Vandagriff will surely see each other again as dueling QBs in SEC play, too. The case can be made that only the NFL games will showcase two better quarterbacks on the same field in the state of Georgia this month.
Breaking down Brock Vandagriff vs. Gunner Stockton, Part I
That was the score of Prince Avenue’s season-ending loss to Eagles Landing Christian in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs last year. ELCA was on the way to its fifth-straight Class 1A private state title.
Vandagriff, who was probably still not 100 percent healthy from a broken leg, threw 525 yards and five touchdowns at the four-time defending champions. Georgia freshman WR Justin Robinson played both ways for Eagle’s Landing in that game.
That’s the score that sticks in a reporter’s mind as he prepares to see Stockton host Vandagriff. Both teams are better than they were a year ago. Both defenses are better.
But that doesn’t mean the over-under for points in this game won’t top 80. With both 5-stars averaging almost nine combined touchdowns per game, it seems a given that the combined point total in this game will at least be in the low 60s.
Greg Vandagriff will see his son lead his team against a very stout opponent. His coaching background specialty is in the secondary on the defensive side of the ball. It is not just Stockton to worry about, but also a modern scheme pulled from the college ranks by Rabun County head coach Jaybo Shaw.
“It is a lot of stress on you with wide formations and empty sets,” the Prince Avenue Christian coach said. “They feature the quarterback when they are in empty in the run game. He’s a hard runner. More like a fullback-type of kid. 6-foot and 200. Thick. Hard running. If you tackle him around the waist, you’re probably going to be in trouble. He’s just going to run through it.”
“He’s a big, strong, and powerful kid. But then obviously you’ve got everything he can do with his arm. It is a challenge.”
The Wolverines should be prepared. That’s because their 5-star QB attacks the No. 1 defense in practices. Not just for this game. It is an everyday thing.
“I think it is the best simulation you can get,” Greg Vandagriff said. “Our scout team quarterback is a 5-star quarterback as well. He’s going to put the ball in those tight spots just like their kid is. It gives us a good opportunity for what we are up against. We know they are going to have success and make plays. It is one of those things where you can’t get too emotional. It is a 48-minute game. You just have got to be prepared for the long haul.”
Vandagriff would love to see this game stay south of the 40s, but he is prepared for anything that might develop. Does he see a last-5-star-with-the-ball type of ending?
“It could easily be something like that,” Greg Vandagriff said. “In my opinion, we are very similar. Just a bunch of kids that play really hard. Some are talented. Not all are super talented but they all play hard and they know how to win and go out on the field expecting to win. Those kinds of things from two successful programs makes for a wonderful matchup.”
Want to see what Brock Vandagriff had to say about the matchup? He had a few early thoughts on going against Rabun County at the end of our DawgNation conversation below. His main thought was centered on placing confidence in the Prince Avenue Christian defense.
“It should be an offensive shootout but our defense played outstanding today,” Brock Vandagriff said after a season-opening win. “That gives us hope for the next game because that offense is pretty good.”
Brock Vandagriff previews big game against Gunner Stockton on ESPNU
How to watch Georgia football quarterback Brock Vandagriff on ESPNU?
Georgia football commitment Brock Vandagriff will be playing against South Carolina quarterback commit Gunner Stockon on ESPNU. To watch, you will need an ESPNU subscription. Click here to login and watch.
What time does Brock Vandagriff play Gunner Stockton on Friday?
The game time is set for 8 p.m. ET. Vandagriff will play for Prince Avenue Chrisitan while Stockton will play for Rabun County.
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