Brock Vandagriff: What it already means to him to be a Georgia Bulldog
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry serves as the second chapter of 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 will continue those reports this month.
DawgNation kicked off its “Building Brock” series this week. The first chapter chronicled the time when the future 5-star QB terrorized his sisters and it led to something special.
It would serve as the spark for his commitment to working out in the weight room.
What led him to de-commit from Oklahoma a year ago this month? A lot of it had to do with the right fit. That was geography. Not offensive philosophy. That came in November and December of 2019.
That was when Vandagriff began to ponder what college life in Norman was going to be like 926 miles away from his immediate and extended family. The Vanagriffs live just 12 or so miles away from Sanford Stadium.
As he really thought about his college future, it began to gnaw at him. Those special times were going to be much harder to pull off in 2021, 2022 and 2023 with him playing in the Big 12.
When Vandagriff first brought those concerns with his family, there was the initial thought it might be a phase. Maybe even an impulse feeling from being so close to his loved ones during the holidays.
His mother and father asked him to think about it for one or two days and see if he still felt that way about his Oklahoma commitment.
Vandagriff, who has been described by more than a few folks as a proficient writer, did more than think about it. The 4.0 student put together two different written statements of why he felt led to de-commit from the Sooners.
“There was nothing Oklahoma did wrong at all,” his father Greg Vandagriff said. “It wasn’t about that. It was about being able to play closer to home and closer to his family.”
He has two sisters he is very close with. His extended family lives in Alabama. It led him to a whittled-down list of options. He liked Clemson, but he didn’t seem enamored with the chance to follow the nation’s No. 1 QB prospect from 2020 at that program. Vandagriff is a competitor. But he is also very logical.
He was looking for a program that could win championships and it would also be close to home. The Vandagriffs were also looking for an offense that fit his diverse talents. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Vandagriff threw for 4,000-plus yards and ran for 503 yards as a senior despite playing through a torn PCL tear in the fourth week of the season.
The Bulldog signee also ran for 1,001 yards and threw for 3,190 in his sophomore season. That’s the type of skill set which drew NFL first-round quarterback whisperer Lincoln Riley’s attention.
Why did he choose Georgia? Vandagriff put that into his own words last month right before he signed with the Bulldogs.
“I like how close Georgia is to home and have faith in coach [Todd] Monken and am excited for the future of the offense and the team as a whole,” he told DawgNation.
It seems like it hit on all the high points.
- Belief in the offensive system and its offensive coordinator
- Place where he can win championships
He also said something rather simple, but also very powerful when he made that decision a year ago.
“Georgia boys should want to stay home and stay in Georgia and play for their home state,” he said.
Brock Vandagriff on what it now means to be a Bulldog
Vandagriff signed last month on the first day of the early period. What does it mean to him to now be a Georgia Bulldog? He had an interesting answer the week he signed with UGA.
“[It] means a couple of days closer to being out there with the team and trying to win ball games,” he said.
UGA currently has the nation’s No. 3 signing class for the 2021 cycle. There is probably one more 2021 recruit that could possibly sign with Georgia. That would not have been possible without the behind-the-scenes efforts from Brock Vandagriff.
When recruits came in town for those no-contact self-guided visits, he was there. Basically acting like the president of the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce.
Such a thing was mandated by the global pandemic.
“Most people can probably see who I am from the outside,” Brock Vandagriff said earlier this season. “I’m not a tweet every week or Instagram every week kind of guy. But I will keep people updated. I think it was the first or second Zoom we all had together after everything stopped.”
That was when he was asked to help out the Georgia staff.
“It was Coach [Kirby] Smart,” Brock Vandagriff said. “He said we’re going to need your help on this. We have no clue what the future is about to hold. But we know you are going to be a big part of it. We are going to need your help here. He told me before I committed, he said that if I commit he said that between me and him that there should be no one in Georgia that we let get out that we want.”
“That was a powerful statement. I agreed with that statement. So before the end of that Zoom was over I looked him in the eye. Or looked him in the camera in the eye and said I will do whatever. I will do whatever you need me to do. For me, if it was a tweet. I was going to do it. If Georgia needed me to tweet at or get in touch with this guy or that guy I was going to do it.”
It led to some unique team bonding. He found himself reading every article he could on big targets. Or watching their HUDL highlight reels.
Let’s check the tally here. The Bulldogs would go on to sign seven of the state’s top 11 prospects for the 2021 cycle. That’s based on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
“Honestly if the coronavirus hadn’t happened, I don’t know if I would have known these guys as well as I do,” he said. “I had to get to know everybody really well and really well. That was because of the situation we were all in called for it. I was having to do my research on them as much as they were having to do their research on me and who I was and what kind of player I was.”
It led to Vandagriff, the 5-star QB, investing himself in trying to help shape the 2021 class. He had to do so in perhaps a way that no other marquee QB signee in Athens had ever had to do before.
It was 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.
- 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.
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
- Brock Vandagriff: A pair of key “Building Brock” stories about the 5-star UGA signee
- 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