Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry begins a month-long series on 5-star signee Brock Vandagriff. DawgNation spoke to more than 20 sources regarding Vandagriff and his career arc and what he could be in Athens. We’ll start sharing those “Building Brock” reports today and through the month of January.
Brock Vandagriff de-committed from Oklahoma a year ago. This very month. He also committed to UGA a year ago this month.
It has been a busy 2020 for the 5-star signee, including the last 20 days. Let’s see what he has done:
- Signed with UGA
- Won a state championship at the Class A level while being coached by his father
- Led his Wolverines to that title despite a PCL tear in the fourth week of the season.
- DawgNation learned last week that the tear will not require surgery.
- Per Maxpreps.com, he finished his three-year varsity career as a starting QB with a 68 percent completion percentage, 10,097 yards, 107 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also added another 53 all-purpose TDs (49 rushing, 4 receiving) to the Prince Avenue record books.
- According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, he left a big mark on the state leaderboards. He now sits No. 3 all-time in passing TDs in a game (7), No. 6 in all-time passing yards, No. 8 all-time in passing TDs and No. 8 in single-season passing yards (4,169) for his career.
- If he plays his freshman year at QB for his Wolverines, a safe estimate would place him somewhere between No. 2 and No. 4 all-time in the Georgia state records for a lot of career totals.
- There’s no official list of any kind, but the number of Georgia QBs who have thrown for more than 4,000 yards and ran for more than 500 yards will be a short one. Former Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson is on that list. Everyone knows that name, but so is former 2017 East Hall QB Austin Parker, too. There are only nine Georgia QBs who have ever thrown for 4,000 yards in a single season. Trevor Lawrence, the state’s career passing yards leader, never managed that.
- Vandagriff is currently spending the week on a family fishing trip ripping redfish, sheep’s head and trout out of the Gulf of Mexico.
- He is set to enroll at UGA on January 11.
That’s a lot to frame up a story around. DawgNation was able to cull through a lot of material to first assess two Brock Vandagriff “starter kit” stories that define what he is all about and where it all comes from.
They are, pardon the 3-star pun, the first two “Building Brock” stories Georgia fans need to know.
The first is rather funny. And human. It has nothing to do with picking out a guy downfield and letting it fly.
Well, it does and it does not.
There’s the story of Vandagriff absolutely terrorizing his younger sisters. They were younger then, but now they are all in high school. All Division I athletes. They all have posted 4.0 grade-point averages, too.
It is always fun to harass one’s sisters, but if it really bothers them, then the fun factor goes up even further.
The pain of his sisters somehow evolved into what it was going to take to one day drive defensive coordinators crazy, too.
Brock Vandagriff: That time he got kicked out of the house
While conducting the interviews for an extensive Vandagriff project, it came up a bunch. The many “hits” on the same story identified it early as a common thread where he started showing a lot of uncommon traits on his path to Georgia.
When he officially signed with Georgia last month, it came up again.
His father, Greg, shared it with those that had gathered at Prince Avenue Christian to celebrate Vandagriff and his stout and swift RB Landon Owens signing with Georgia and The Citadel, respectively.
When he began to say a few words as his head coach at that ceremony, his father needed approximately 29 seconds to compose himself. He was standing on stage holding a microphone as he did. The cameras were all rolling.
He congratulated his son first but quickly pointed out the culture of work that led him to 10,097 high school passing yards and that lofty 5-star ranking.
“You know as a seventh-grader when your mother was mad,” Greg Vandagriff said. “Because you were terrorizing your sisters in the morning and said he’s going with YOU to work at 6 a.m. she didn’t know you were going to fall in love with the weight room.”
But he did.
Vandagriff’s name is now on the record board for his grade level in the Prince Avenue Christian weight room. Of his many impressive lifts, a 320-pound power clean for any QB1 will certainly stand out.
“She didn’t know that,” his father continued. “After three weeks, she looked at me and said he doesn’t have to do that anymore.”
Greg Vandagriff would tell his son exactly that. But Brock already had planted both of his feet in a new world. He’d been a ball boy, but this was the next step.
“Greg said that Brock’s mom was going to kill him if he didn’t get him out of the house,” longtime family friend and current Woodward Academy defensive coordinator Bill McGarrah says now. “And he took to it. He really took to working in the weight room.”
The Vandagriffs were at Woodward Academy in Atlanta. His father was the defensive coordinator.
It wasn’t long before he found himself watching the future Power 5 football players like Elijah Holyfield (UGA) and Max Richardson (Boston College) and their work habits. Those guys were several years older than him and their methods made an impression.
“He decided ‘I like it’ and ‘we’re going to do this,'” his father said. “And just from that seventh grade of going to the weight room and again you know football was just fun. Sports were just fun.”
That was until he saw those older players working. Improving themselves. It lit the fuse.
“I’m sure through many conversations with people in your life that you just looked it and said ‘you know what I’m going to challenge myself to the best that I can’ and you’ve done it,” his father said on that special signing day. “I want to congratulate you for that.”
Brock Vandagriff: The short-lived middle school kickoff guy
He was a receiver his first year at Prince Avenue. Probably the most talented one on the team as a ninth-grader then. If not already the best.
He caught 34 balls for 472 yards and four touchdowns. The next man in the quarterback room at UGA had a 70-yard catch as a freshman receiver while averaging 13.2 yards per catch.
Vandagriff is a talented athlete. Especially in a 6-foot-3 and 210-pound frame. He also punted for Prince Avenue prior to that PCL tear in the fourth week. The brace he wore each week rendered that idea moot. But before that, he was booming those, too.
He finished his prep career with 40 punts (most of those as a freshman) for a 35.0 average.
That wasn’t the only time he was involved in special teams. When he was an eighth-grader in 2016, he was also the one kicking off. He was the guy booming it over the return guy sitting at the 15 or 20.
And there were the occasions where he would kick off and be the first man down the field covering the kick and making the tackle. Check out the last play in this 2016 highlight reel.
His father didn’t allow him to do that much longer. He had the strongest leg to kick off, but he was also the quarterback.
While it may sound unusual, that is just Brock. The guy who played 10 games of his senior year with a PCL tear would also be the guy kickoff off and trying to be the first man down to tackle the return.
“When you put him on the field, don’t be surprised if he runs down there and does something like that,” longtime family friend and Woodward Academy DC Bill McGarrah said. “Being a defensive guy, I have my feelings about quarterbacks sometimes. But he doesn’t play the game with a quarterback’s mentality. He never has. He’s not looking to avoid a hit. If he doesn’t run by you when he takes off with the ball, he will try to run over you.”
“I think you have to coach some of that out of kids if you are a quarterback like Brock. Don’t take some of those unnecessary hits. But if you put him on the field, he thinks I’m on the field to make plays. I’m not out here just to stand. That’s not his mentality and that’s not a Vanadagriff mentality or quality. If they are doing it, they want to be the best at it.”
Grown man TD! @BrockVandagriff tries out the left side. Finds him some contact and that paydirt. XP good. Bet the @AABonNBC approves of this 💪 highlight. @PACFBrecruiting 21, Calvary Day 0. 4:26 2Q. pic.twitter.com/YndAuzogTW
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) September 5, 2020
If he wasn’t such a valuable commodity at quarterback, McGarrah said it wouldn’t have surprised him to see Vandagriff play defense.
“As a safety or something to go make plays,” McGarrah said. “He probably would be if not if it was for the logical fear of I’d hate to lose my starting quarterback making a tackle when I’ve got other kids that can do that.”
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 interviews with Jake Fromm and Brock Vandagriff coming up over the next month. You will only be able to find it on the DawgNation YouTube channel.
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
- Travis Hunter: Electric 5-star is the state’s top junior but firmly committed to FSU
- The medical report on Brock Vandagriff and his torn PCL sounds very promising
- Brock Vandagriff: How he overcame a serious knee injury to be a state champion
- DawgNation conversation: Checking in with former Georgia QB Jake Fromm
- Priority 2021 All-American DB target Terrion Arnold shares current decision outlook
- 5-star LB signee Xavian Sorey Jr. details why the 2021 class needs Terrion Arnold
- 2022 commit CJ Washington found a novel way to say how committed he is to the G
- Elite 2022 defensive target Daniel Martin still touts that “home” feeling about UGA
- WATCH: Georgia signee Brock Vandagriff breaks down his team’s 50-3 semifinal win
- 5-star signee Brock Vandagriff leads Prince Avenue Christian to the state title game
- SIGNING DAY: 5-star LB Xavian Sorey Jr. chooses UGA
- SIGNING DAY: Brock Vandagriff is officially a Georgia Bulldog
- SIGNING DAY: Senior commitment David Daniel is now a Bulldog
- Mykel Williams: Nation’s No. 5 junior DT shares how Georgia caught his eye