Georgia football: 2022 quarterback competition will be A-list entertainment

Georgia coach Kirby Smart speaks with Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13)News Joshua L Jones
Georgia coach Kirby Smart speaks with Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13)News Joshua L Jones /

While the Georgia football team revels in winning their first national championship since 1980, the talk of Athens is already the quarterback competition that will undoubtedly be insane in 2022.

With the news of reigning champion and starter Stetson Bennett IV returning and former starter and transfer portal acquisition JT Daniels once again stepping back into the portal, the “interesting” quarterback room in Athens just became spectacularly dramatic.

Look at what Kirby Smart and his staff will be watching and grading this coming year (barring any other transfer announcements in or out).

Stetson Bennett — the former walk-on and one of the greatest college football stories ever told in the nation, less yet in Georgia history — will try to retain his job as starter and lead the Dawgs back to the College Football Playoff.

Carson Beck, a 2020 4-star recruit out of Jacksonville, Florida and a classic pro-style quarterback. Beck’s top skills (outside his 6’4, 230-pound frame) are his accuracy and ability to throw the ball to any part of the field. He’s not necessarily a runner but isn’t afraid to get his jersey dirty when necessary.

Brock Vandagriff, a 2021 5-star recruit out of Bogart, Georgia, who was heavily recruited by every school in the SEC. Like Beck, Vandagriff is a prototypical tall, pro-style quarterback who thinks pass first but will run when the situation dictates. Vandagriff is adept at throwing the ball while moving, and also has a good deep-ball arm.

Gunner Stockton, a 2022 5-star prospect out of Tiger, Georgia who may actually pose the biggest threat to Bennett despite being an incoming freshman. Stockton is built similarly to Bennett in terms of height, but has a much more solid frame and is able to shake off tacklers with a little more ease. Stockton also has a very quick release and does an excellent job at going through his progressions – something Bennett struggles with at times.

Georgia football has an enviable quarterback problem

Those are the known commodities, but there is also the outside possibility that former Oklahoma starter Caleb Williams will step out of the portal and into a Georgia uniform, though the consensus is that he’ll probably choose USC and his former OU coach, Lincoln Riley.

Bennett can probably hold off Beck and Vandagriff for another season (which in turn, could cause one or both of them to enter the portal) but Gunner Stockton brings the one element that Bennett has which the others — including JT Daniels — don’t, the ability to run the ball. If Stockton shows better pocket presence and continues his good work in reading defenses, he’ll possibly have a leg up (no pun intended) on Bennett, even as a true freshman.

Some might imagine that this is going to be an open competition for the starting job given so many highly-recruited and talented players at the position, but anyone who’s been around Kirby Smart and this football team for any amount of time will tell you that Stetson Bennett is Kirby’s guy.

And when you’re “Kirby’s guy” you’re hard to unseat. Unless Bennett suddenly comes down with a football version of the yips or one of the other QBs plays out of his mind during spring and fall camps, it’s Stetson’s job to lose.

Bottom line, this quarterback competition will be one of the most-watched attractions of the 2022 football season, both by UGA fans and the nation at large. Or, as the kids like to say, it’s gonna be lit.

Next. 3 Breakthrough Underclassmen the Dawgs Need to Retain. dark