Brock Vandagriff to Kentucky seems a perplexing choice for a transfer

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Brock Vandagriff arrives at the dawg walk before the start of a NCAA college football game between Auburn and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.News Joshua L Jones
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Brock Vandagriff arrives at the dawg walk before the start of a NCAA college football game between Auburn and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.News Joshua L Jones /

Former Georgia backup quarterback Brock Vandagriff didn’t take long to make his decision after entering the transfer portal, but why in the world would this five-star quarterback choose Kentucky?

This is the world we now live in. If a talented player isn’t getting on the field within a year or two, he’s transferring. Former five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff is the latest in a line of Georgia backup quarterbacks who have opted to enter the transfer portal.

The news of Vandagriff choosing the portal wasn’t at all surprising. It was probably a sign that Carson Beck will be staying at Georgia for another year, and Vandagriff wants to get some live game reps as a starter.

But where the former Prince Avenue Christian School star chose to play wasn’t what most probably expected to hear. Choosing to play at Kentucky after leaving Georgia seems…well…a downgrade of sorts.

Not saying the Wildcats are a bad team or that Mark Stoops hasn’t made Kentucky into something that actually resembles a Division 1 football program, but they still have a long way to go before seriously being considered to win SEC titles or beyond.

Can he walk in the door at Lexington and be crowned the starter from the jump? Possibly. Kentucky is losing starting quarterback Devin Leary, who transferred in from NC State. They do have other QBs on the roster, with Kaiya Sheron being the only one to see the field (2 of 4 for 5 yards in five appearances) in 2023 besides Leary.

Brock Vandagriff may be thinking Draft over rings

So Vandagriff could potentially be the new starter at Kentucky from day one, where he’d still be battling — possibly even to hold his backup role — for a spot at Georgia.

The advantages of going to Kentucky would seemingly stop there.

Especially when you consider that Vandagriff’s options were practically unlimited. Almost any FBS program would have welcomed him, and there are several who could be considered conference champion contenders who are desperately in need of a quarterback.

Clemson, Tennessee, Washington, USC, and Ohio State all could use either upgrades or replacements at quarterback. Any of those teams could legitimately contend for a conference title and probably a College Football Playoff berth in the new 12-team format.

That possibility is much lower for Kentucky.

NIL dollars always enter into the equation, but any of the teams listed above could probably meet or exceed any NIL money that Vandagriff will get at Kentucky.

The best explanation is that Vandagriff’s biggest interest is in raising his personal profile and draft status, and that playing for Kentucky, who had success with both Will Levis and Devin Leary as transfer entrants, will give him that opportunity. His father seemed to echo that sentiment.

“What they did with Will Levis is a lot like what Brock can do as a quarterback,” Greg Vandagriff, Brock’s father told the Athens Banner-Herald. “It sort of meets his quarterback traits. [Wildcats offensive coordinator Liam] Coen came highly recommended.”

Again, this is the world we now live in. Premier, blue chip players are looking out for number one, and thinking less about a football program or a team. It’s not their fault, and it’s not necessarily wrong, but it does lead to some interesting life choices.

Even 10 years ago, the idea of a five-star quarterback who is playing on a two-time national championship team transferring to Kentucky would have seemed like a parody story coming from Sports Pickle, but not today.

In the world of NIL and the transfer portal, the most bizarre player-school combinations can be a reality.

Best of luck to Vandagriff and all his new teammates. Here’s hoping for an 11-1 season, with the Wildcats’ only loss coming to 12-0 Georgia.