FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Carson Beck processes things quickly at quarterback, and apparently where his career decisions are concerned, too.

Beck announced on Dec. 18 he would be returning for another season at Georgia, but the rising SEC star says he knew two nearly weeks before then he would be back in Athens.

“I think I knew, truly, a few days after the (Dec. 2) game,” said Beck, making his first media appearance since his decision was annouunced. “In my heart I knew exactly what I wanted to do and what I was going to do, I just had to talk to people and make sure everyone was in agreement with what I wanted to do.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart, like any other coach, would surely sign off on getting a returning starter back with the sort of NFL talent Beck possesses.

Beck explained at his Orange Bowl media session on Thursday some of the other factors in his decision to come back, claiming some were not as important as others.

In essence, it wasn’t about the money even as college football’s new transfer portal window has more closely resembled an uncapped, unrestricted free agency period.

“The biggest thing for me was obviously coming back, playing with the guys, obviously the camaraderie we have in the locker room, that’s a huge part, and it’s hard to just leave that,” said Beck, who is signed with Everett Sports Marketing.

“I feel like the chemistry we have, the standard that we’ve set, a lot of those things led me to coming back and wanting to do this again with the players around me.”

Beck said the UGA coaching staff let him know before he announced his decision to return for another season that they were looking in the portal for skill position talent that could help catapult him into the Heisman Trophy race next season and elite NFL draft status.

“They definitely like had those conversations, taling about, ‘hey we’re going into the portal, we’re looking at a few guys,’ " Beck said. “Obviously they didn’t name names at that time, because it’s not really for me to know, but they did go out and obviously get some of those guys ,and I’m super excited to get to play with some of those guys.”

That said, Beck said the conversation might have been different had Georgia won the SEC Championship Game over Alabama.

“I feel like if we hadn’t have lost that game, maybe this would be different,” Beck said. “Obviously that’s the way things panned out ,and mentally that had an effect on my decision.

“There was a lot of conversations with my family and coaches and people I trust and confide in with a huge decision like that.”

The certainty of leading a team next season, as opposed to the uncertainty of what Beck’s role would have been in the NFL as a projected second-day draft pick also factored in.

“That was part of it, too, I waited three years and didn’t play, and obviously I’ve gotten the opportunity to play this season and it’s fun,” Beck said. “It’s a lot more fun to be on the field than not be on the field.”

Beck was understandably vague when it came to the negotiations involved in his return to Georgia outside of conceding that NIL dealings are a part of what comes with being in his position.

“Being the quarterback at the university of Georgia, there’s going to be NIL opportunities,” Beck said, “but that was never a factor in coming back.”

Beck said he is indeed taking an unfinished business approach to the 2024 season after UGA failed to make the four-team CFP.

As quickly as Beck processed he decision to come back for another season, he was even faster in determining that loss to Alabama had knocked his team out of the field.

Beck said he sensed immediately the hopes for a three-peat had vanished.

“I kind of knew, honestly, in my heart, I was like yeah, we’re probably not going to get in,” Beck said, asked if he had any hopes UGA might still get in after the loss to the Tide, as they had in 2021 before winning a rematch with Alabama in the CFP Championship Game.

“We (could) only hope from that point that maybe we get the opportunity, but that was our playoff game, two top ranked teams in the SEC Championship, whoever wins is going to get in, and we ended up losing that.”

Indeed, but in doing so Georgia gained a returning starting quarterback for the 2024 season, as Beck now looks to return and raise his NFL draft stock while getting another shot at a national championship.