Mike Bobo hire ‘mitigates the gap’ for Georgia quarterbacks Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton
ATHENS —Kirby Smart likes to say each year that there’s competition at every position, but that hasn’t really been the case at the quarterback position the past two spring sessions.
It was Stetson Bennett’s job last year after returning as a national champ, and J.T. Daniels was the lead man after finishing the 2020 season with the highest QB rating of any of the returning quarterbacks in the nation.
This time around, however, there really is a quarterback derby with new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo taking charge.
WATCH: Carson Beck prepared for what’s next, video interview from Los Angeles
Carson Beck has three years invested into the program and was the clear favorite had Todd Monken returned for another season, but Bobo’s promotion has the potential to be a game-changer.
Beck is a prototypical NFL style passer with an electric arm and good movement, but Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton possess more mobility and physicality at the position.
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Further, Bobo has to wrap his brain around what the supporting cast looks like playing together before settling on a base offense, as former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason recently explained.
“It would be a gut punch for Carson if they change the system,” said Mason, who quarterbacked the highest-scoring offense in UGA history under Bobo in 2014.
“It can be frustrating when you get that late in your career and you know you have a leg up on young guys, but then Monken leaves,” he said. “It almost levels the playing field and mitigates the gap, because everyone is starting over.”
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Indeed, but to what degree?
There will be some carry over, but the offense was going to change even if Monken returned because of the shuffle in the supporting cast.
Goliath tight end Darnell Washington and versatile tailback Kenny McIntosh are gone, meaning there will likely be less two tight end sets and passes to running backs next season. The Bulldogs also lose offensive tackles Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon, neither of whom surrendered a sack last season.
Mason said there are two ways the offense could lean, depending on who Bobo picks as the Georgia football starting quarterback for the 2023 season.
“If it’s Carson Beck you might see more Pro Style — still some RPO — but he’s your prototype pocket drop-back, so not as many designed QB runs,” Mason said. “But if it’s one of the younger guys, who are more athletic, the offense will look a little different.”
Mason said he expects Georgia will have its base offense in this spring.
WATCH: Brock Vandagriff shares plans, thoughts of being two-year backup
“But after spring camp and summer, Bobo and his staff will know how to tweak it so that it fits Carson, Vandagriff or Stockton,” he said. “With the young guys, more mobile guys, you’d see more zone reads, QB counters and Jet sweeps.”
There will be more than just football being taught in the QB room, too, according to Mason.
“A lot of our meetings would start with how to be the best representation of the University of Georgia on and off the field, and we know that’s a big part of the job,” Mason said.
“Besides the governor and Georgia head coach, you are the third most loved or hated guy in the state from one week to the other,” he said. “To have a man like Coach Bobo who sits in the meeting room and can relate to what you are going through on the field or off the field, whether things are going good or bad, is really big.”