Kirby Smart is confident in the QB room, although he wants to see them 'continue to develop'
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart believes that his quarterbacks’ room is the deepest it’s ever been, despite recently missing out on highly-touted 2023 five-star prospect Arch Manning.
Entering their 2022 fall camp, the Bulldogs return starter Stetson Bennett, who helped led them to a national championship in 2021. They also bring back former four-star Carson Beck, plus former five-star signal-callers Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton.
Smart made an appearance on the Crain and Co. podcast this past week and talked about many topics surrounding Georgia’s program, including the returning quarterbacks.
“I would easily say this is the best. When you take a picture of the whole room - top to bottom - those four guys that are going to meet in that quarterback room in fall camp — the most depth we've ever had, especially the most depth of the kind of like the guys that I know and trust can play the position,” Smart said to the podcast’s three co-hosts. “You know, Brock's been through a couple of springs now. Carson's been through a couple of springs. I've gotten to see them in spring games. I've gotten to see them in-game action. You get to see these guys really compete and grow. And obviously, we know Stetson's played in a lot of football games with what we saw last year. Gunner had some promising stuff in the spring. So, I really am excited about where those guys are.”
Bennett, who is a sixth-year senior that is taking advantage of his free COVID year, enters the season as Georgia’s untested starter. As a rising redshirt sophomore, Beck is expected to compete against Vandagriff for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Bennett. The latter is a rising redshirt freshman that ran the scout team offense last season. Stockton enrolled early at UGA in December and is a rising freshman.
All four quarterbacks took snaps in the Bulldogs’ annual G-Day scrimmage back in April.
Bennett completed 15-of-35 pass attempts for 273 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Beck concluded the day by completing 14-of-22 passes for 274 yards. Vandagriff totaled 114 yards through the air by completing 12-of-26 pass attempts. Stockton, who received limited snaps in the scrimmage, completed 1-of-3 passes for nine yards.
According to Smart, despite being confident in their ability as a group, he still wants to see the room progress.
“I need to see them continue to develop and take on that leadership-type role,” Smart said. “You know, we've tried to put those four guys in front of the team, or maybe in front of their individual age groups more often because we want to see them develop. We want to see them (the quarterbacks) get ready to play. You don't ever know when your number's going to be called at quarterback. We've seen that here really over the last three or four years because we've seen a different quarterback emerge from maybe who the season starter was a couple of times. So, I'm excited about those guys. They've got great ability. I think coach (Todd) Monken and the staff does a great job with them.”