This Sentell’s Intel rep takes a turn onto the current roster for a timely read on Carson Beck.
The best way to share the full Carson Beck story these days calls for a few visual aids. It requires at least the following to do it justice:
- A custom Tim Tebow jersey, but with a unique red-and-black alteration
- The eight-or-so loyal members of “Beck’s Brigade” in their custom denim jackets
- A karaoke machine set up at a Georgia-Florida postgame tailgate
- A “Rubik’s Cube” with red, black, blue and orange stickers on it
- Beck’s old Pablo Creek Saints jersey from when he was 11 years old
Think about the randomness of those items. Let them jump over your head like the sheep kids try to count before they dream.
Beck is playing out his dreams this season. These are “super exciting” times for him even if the ECG chart would read like he’s making himself a ham and cheese or walking the dog.
Not leading the ‘Dawgs.
Kirby Smart touts Beck’s poise after every game when the questions come. The press core wonders if this is surprising, but that’s just the way he’s always been.
“I don’t worry about Carson,” Smart said on Saturday night after 43-20 in Jacksonville. “Apparently you guys do but I don’t worry about Carson. He’s very confident. He’s calm. He understands football. He’s never really high. Never really low.”
“He studies really hard. He texts questions all week. He studies and meets with [offensive coordinator] coach [Mike] Bobo. He puts a plan together and he makes good decisions. He’s continued to improve by not putting us in bad situations.”
His mother Tracy Beck was once a dancer for the NBA’s Washington Bullets. She’s now a kindergarten teacher with “Beck’s Brigade” by her every game. That’s a tailgate support group of besties who’ve known Carson all his life.
She gets to see Carson the night before every game at the team hotel. It was just that last week’s hotel was in their hometown. Just 20 minutes away from Carson’s bed.
Beck had played in that stadium once before. That was when he led the unbeaten Pablo Creek Saints into the championship for their season. He was 11 years old back then, but his Saints lost.
The script was different this time. Beck completed 19 of 28 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
This weekend proved to be the hardest this fall for his family to get pics with Carson. The way life goes, it seems those moments usually make for the best memories.
“I’ve been waiting for this for four years,” Beck said afterward. “Since the second that I got here and honestly, since before that. I knew that one day I was probably going to play in this game.”
“I mean that’s obviously lofty goals and dreams that I had when I was younger but to come out here and do that, execute like that as a team and get a win like that against our biggest rival is a huge moment for us.”
‘Dawgs on top at the Beck home game
Last weekend was supposed to be a big ball of emotions, but it didn’t matter. Tracy still got the same pregame chat from Carson.
It was not the other way around.
“Honestly he tells me to relax,” she says. “I promise you that. He says ‘Don’t be nervous’ and ‘Be calm’ and ‘I’ve got this’ and ‘Tell everybody around you to not be nervous’ because it is nerve-wracking to be the quarterback’s mom and anybody’s mom.”
“Now some games have been close and I’ll cry at the end when we win and I’ll go out on the field.”
Beck will see her face and ask why it looks like she’s been crying.
“I got nervous,” she says.
“I told you not to be nervous,” Carson will say.
It is at this point when, Kylie, his younger sister shares her insight. She is a dancer like her mother was. She leaves a lasting impression when you meet her.
The college freshman could be Miss Florida or a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. The latter remains a big goal.
She’s composed. Calm. Collected. Just like her big brother.
“He really is confident in his ability and his team’s ability,” Kylie Beck said. “He just knows they are all going to go out there and just do their best.”
But it is still a hard-fought game out there.
“I get nervous,” Kylie says.
“We hold each other,” Tracy Beck adds.
That was the Auburn game in a nutshell. Maybe even that first half with South Carolina. Tracy says she “just needed to see more” in the first half of those games.
“We hold each other close,” Kylie says. “We’re in this together.”
Beck admitted he was “very emotional” before the Florida game. He’s not like that. He’s been “cool and calm” his whole life. His sister uses the same go-to words Kirby Smart does.
The Georgia quarterback is so composed he seems robotic at times. But he’s never displayed in the game.
“Very level,” his Mandarin High School coach Bobby Ramsay said back in 2019. “The same kid every day. He didn’t waver as far as how he handled his emotions. He doesn’t really show his frustrations.”
Beck is wired like the guy who works with dynamite and yawns all the time at the blast site. That type of operating system is ideal for a big-time quarterback.
How did it feel to beat Florida in his hometown? The cold-blooded QB allowed himself a rare human moment.
“Shit,” he said when asked about it postgame. “My bad. It feels good. It was very emotional. I was very emotional before the game.”
The “hang in there” part of the Carson Beck story
Beck entered this season as the best player in college football who hadn’t started a game since 2019.
It’s an eye-catching statement, but it is a brisk way to get his truth out there. He was a former 4-star QB and an Elite 11 pick who had to wait.
He briefly waited behind Jamie Newman and then D’Wan Mathis, Stetson Bennett IV and J.T. Daniels for a year. He then watched Bennett shine for another two full seasons.
Beck could have taken the portal to a starting job at a Power 5 before the 2021 or 2022 seasons. That’s because the 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore has the tools NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback.
He waited because he helped build the 2020 recruiting class at Georgia. He also believed in his dream and doing it for the Bulldogs.
The ‘Dawgs are a unique place for high school All-Americans. Some guys like Jalen Carter and Darnell Washington can sign, play and get drafted in three seasons.
That’s the length of time Beck had to wait to play in Athens.
Now all of that seems like the groundwork for his breakout season. When he jumped into the stands on Saturday, he joined a literal ‘Dawgpile in the end zone.
“That was truly one of my favorite parts,” his mother said this weekend.
Beck said on Saturday night it wasn’t the same as when he was part of a team that beat the Gators in 2021 and 2022. If he had helped the team win, it would’ve been real.
So he waited on his ‘Dawgpile turn in Jacksonville, too.
“It is a crazy feeling,” he said. “I really just tried to take it in from the second I stepped out on the field. It is obviously great to go out there and have that type of game. Turn up with the guys. Just super excited about the win.”
Beck spoke to his mother after the win by the buses before they left for the team plane. They spoke again on Sunday morning. Those calls were joyful.
“He said to me he’s been waiting to do that forever,” Tracy Beck said of the ‘Dawgpile.
During those times he waited for his turn to play, his mother said she never had a stay-or-go talk with him.
There was just one moment that he was feeling low this spring. Beck has been lighting it up amid a quarterback competition with former 5-star Brock Vandagriff and a former All-American in Gunner Stockton.
Yet he had a bad day. So he called. Geogia’s QB1 doesn’t need to talk things out with his Mom before games.
But he needed her then. She told him to “hang in there” with everything.
Tracy was on spring break with Kylie in Fort Lauderdale when he called. Carson knows he can call her when he just needs to vent, but it is rare for him to do that.
But Moms don’t judge. They listen, if nothing else.
“It was just one of those moments and he got through it,” Tracy Beck said. “I just said ‘Carson you’ve wanted this your whole life’ and I don’t remember what truly happened. He might have just had a bad practice if I remember correctly.”
The talk helped, but Carson called her again in the morning.
“He said tell me one more time what you said at the very end last night,” Tracy Beck said. “I just said ‘Carson go for it. You’ve had this dream your whole life. You’ve got this. I don’t know anyone else that perseveres more than you do’ and that was it.”
Beck had a fiery reply.
“Hell yeah,” he said. “You’re right. I’ve got this.”
That one “Momma pep talk” locked in the attitude Beck has now. It matches his current haircut. Straight business.
“That was it,” his mother said. “We’ve never had a talk like that again.”
Carson Beck: The “Brigade” following him at every game
Tracy Beck said the Florida win was her favorite game of the season. For a lot of reasons. The scene at Everbank Stadium on Saturday would have been enough to justify it.
She hosted a “Tailgate Divided” party with her longtime friend Alisa Quinn. It was a joint UGA/Florida tailgate that numbered into the 70s.
When the victory was won, everyone went back to the tailgate for karaoke. There were parents of several Georgia players in attendance. Several Georgia moms were gleefully singing out karaoke. Those families also lean on each other at every game for emotional support.
Tracy chose the song “Friends in Low Places” for her number with several friends. (She wasn’t just referring to the Gator fans remaining at the split tailgate.)
“That one meant a lot,” she said. “Like we truly had so many people that loved him and loved me and Kylie and our family that are so happy for him getting to live his dreams. They have been such supporters of my kids all growing up. I really do have like so many good friends here. People ask me if Carson were to leave one day to go to the NFL would you leave and I’m like ‘No’ because I would travel to all of his games but I have such an amazing group of friends. I am so lucky. They are all like my kid’s Moms and Dads.”
“Do you know what I mean? You don’t find that very often. I have a lot of dear friends like that and I love it.”
This was the game where all of her local friends could watch Carson. It is a lot of money to travel to cover the miles, book hotels and secure tickets.
“This one,” she said. “They all got to be home. We all got time to spend together before and after.”
Beck told her he wished he could have come out after the game.
It hasn’t been the easiest last couple of years for this family. They’ve been waiting for Carson’s moment and his parents went through a tough divorce.
When Tracy looked around the tailgate on Saturday, she saw her favorite people in the world. That included Quinn and the “Beck’s Brigade” she’s leaned on all season. That 8-lady roster also came in strong for the Vanderbilt game in Nashville.
They are hard to miss with their custom “Beck 15″ denim jackets. They were all sore on Sunday from all the jumping and cheering they did for Beck against Florida.
“They just truly rallied around us,” Tracy Beck said. “Not just Carson but it is hard to be the quarterback’s Mom. It is so fun and so exciting but you lose a lot of sleep. You pray a lot. There’s just all there to kind of lift us in every moment. Good or bad. It meant a lot.”
They all have custom shirts. There’s a big “C” in the same style as the Georgia “Power G” logo. That way the Gator family friends can proudly wear it.
“Many many many of my Gator friends said or somebody would send me a post last week where they said it was hard to say this but they were rooting for Georgia today because of Carson Beck,” his mother said. “That was Alisa, too. It is okay for them if the Gators don’t win today because 100 percent they were supporting Carson.”
Quinn wore a custom jersey. Being the Gator she is, her jersey had sewn a blue Tim Tebow Florida No. 15 out front and a white Georgia No. 15 Carson Beck together for the back.
Quinn had Beck’s back on Saturday. Both in her attire and in life. That’s not easy for a Gator, but she’s Tracy’s best friend. Their daughters grew up dancing together. They now teach kindergarten together.
“We knew we were going to do this for this game,” Quinn said. “How it came about is I bought the Tebow jersey and I bought the Beck jersey and my Mom made it. My Mom did it.”
Carson Beck, Tim Tebow and the Rubik’s Cube
Carson Beck was a Gator fan through middle school. Florida legend Tim Tebow was from Jacksonville. He wears No. 15 now at Georgia as a nod to the Florida legend. Beck had a Tebow “Fathead” wall graphic from his time in the NFL.
That graphic is now starting to peel on his wall.
The athleticism has always been there for Beck. His father, Chris, was a three-year starter at linebacker at Navy.
Carson excelled in the major sports. He was a playmaking guard who could get 20 points in an AAU game. He was once committed to playing baseball for the Gators. He had a low 90s fastball and could play all over the diamond.
Beck initially committed to play for Nick Saban at Alabama. The Crimson Tide continued to pursue him once he de-committed and pledged to the Bulldogs.
Now combine that vast physical skill with elite processing skills and plus-arm talent. Beck could throw a 50-yard pass in high school three different ways by lofting it, layering in or just ripping in on a line.
He’s always had a “Math-centric” intelligence that loved the challenge of putting together “Rubik’s Cube” puzzles like he’s leading a two-minute offense.
“He can do it in under one minute,” Kylie Beck said. “We used to get it for him every Christmas. A different type. Different shapes. Different colors. Different pictures to try to challenge him.”
Quick thinking has always been part of his game. That’s one of the traits Smart brings up a lot.
“He’s continued to improve by not putting us in bad situations,” Smart last weekend. “There are things that aren’t on the stat sheet that I don’t have time to explain that he does an elite job. Run checks. Looks. Putting us in the best play. Decisions to throw the ‘RPO’ or hand the ball off and there’s not really a value you can put on that.”
Beck is second in the SEC in passing yards. He’s second in completions and third in completion percentage. He’s thrown for at least 250 yards in every start this year. His 2,462 passing yards place him No. 9 nationally among all FBS passers.
Deja vu for Carson Beck: Have we seen this before?
The run he’s on right now harkens back to his high school days. Wait and wait. Then go out and play great.
That was when Carson also waited his turn behind the son of a former NFL head coach. He waited his time behind a 3-star recruit at Providence who eventually signed with Toledo.
He took the reins as a first-year starter at Mandarin High after a trying summer. Beck lost his beloved childhood friend Dominic Allmond in a tragic one-car accident. That’s what the “LLD” of his first tattoo stands for.
Everyone knew him as Dom. He was an impressionable soul. His last Instagram post drew more than 10,000 comments.
“Our first game was actually on a Thursday,” Carson Beck said back in high school. “I actually went to the Fletcher (High School) game that night and he ended up getting into a car accident and then passed away. But I didn’t know that until the next morning when my Dad told me. I was completely devasted.”
Carson dedicated his junior year to the young man he’d known since he was six. If that wasn’t enough adversity for a teenager, his first year as a starter included the following challenges:
- The local NBC affiliate following him around to class the week of his first start to hype up a season-opening broadcast
- A broken thumb on the first play of his first game. He recovered to throw three touchdowns.
- A bout with mono saw him miss extended preseason time (at least 1.5 weeks of practice) and a lot of weight
- He had a groin injury and then missed a game early in the year which led to a tepid 1-2 start for his Mustangs
“So after all of those things that had already happened, I was like ‘Can anything else go wrong’ in life right now,” he said back in high school. “I was like ‘Can anything go right?’ with life right now.”
His high school team was 2-8 the year before he took over as quarterback. He still led Mandarin to the school’s first-ever state championship.
Beck also earned the state’s “Mr. Football” honor playing in Florida’s largest (Class 8A) classification. The first-year starter surged through the playoffs by throwing 17 touchdowns and one interception (tipped pass) during the Class 8A playoffs in 2018.
Beck pulled off a game-winning drive early in his junior season that meant the difference between a 1-3 and a 2-2 start. A loss might have cost the Mustangs a playoff berth.
The stakes were this: Down 21-17. District opener. 1:46 to go. On the road. Beck was up for that moment.
“I think our motto is that everything happens for a reason,” Kylie Beck said. “I know he’s in this position now because God put him in this position. Not four years ago. But now. His purpose and his timing is always on time.”
When Tracy Beck thinks of those days, it is the only time she’s ever seen Carson smile like he did last weekend in Jacksonville.
“It reminded me very much of him being in Orlando and winning the state championship because the photographers got so many pictures of him like running off and that smile is exactly the same as last night,” Tracy Beck said on Sunday. “Like that feeling. You can just tell how hard he and his teammates have worked and how proud he was of all of them. Not just himself. He truly does love his teammates.”
This season does feel a lot like that special junior year in high school.
“The whole Providence thing was very much like this,” she said. “I guess it prepared him for what he just went through with Georgia. How life prepares you for those things and being patient? It all worked out.”
She sees the symmetry between those two times in her son’s life.
“Part of you goes ‘Oh my goodness’ and ‘Poor thing’ and ‘Does he have to go through it again?’ but I guess truly in hindsight it prepared him and it makes you hungrier. It makes you work hard. In hindsight, I think his age, his mind and his maturity for now is just in a better place than he would have been two years ago.”
Job’s nowhere near done for Carson Beck
The Jacksonville chapter is a great story, but it is not the job. The job is to win the last game. That harkens back to something Beck told his former roommate Warren Brinson after the 2021 national championship against Alabama.
He told Brinson he “wanted one of his own” and after that moment he’s been a different guy. Brinson shared that story with Aaron Murray of “The Player’s Lounge” back in March.
Beck, 21, is set to celebrate his next birthday the weekend of the Tennessee game in Knoxville.
The moments up ahead are just going to keep getting bigger That’s why what starting center and 3-year starter Sedrick Van Pran-Granger said on Monday was important.
“I think there’s kind of a level of, I don’t know how to say it, but it’s just something that kind of brings you down to Earth,” Van Pran-Granger said. “Just kind of noticing, watching him talk to his family and friends after the game, watching how excited he is with them, and just kind of seeing those things, talking to him on the bus ride back, plane ride back. You just kind of gradually see somebody I guess kind of come back to just the reality.”
“The reality is that he played an amazing game. But ultimately, that’s not the last game of the season. That’s not our end goal. You have to be able to move on and get past that. I think he’s done a tremendous job since being back in the building today of not really walking around high and mighty like he’s the big shot on campus, but understanding that he played a great game, but it’s now time to get to the next one.”
The next one. And then the next one.
“One day at a time,” his mother says.
Those game-by-game steps could lead to Beck getting that championship at Georgia to call his own.
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.
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