Winning a third consecutive national championship won't be easy for Georgia. But with a roster loaded with elite talent and promising recruits headed to Athens from the 2023 haul, the Bulldogs will quickly reload behind coach Kirby Smart. But the difference between winning a national title and falling short could come down to one thing: Quarterback play. Stetson Bennett finished a storybook career in Athens by finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting and leading Georgia to a dominant victory over TCU in the title game.
With Bennett off to pursue a career in the NFL, the battle to replace him begins in spring practice with three candidates pushing for the top spot. Carson Beck is the early front-runner after working as Bennett's backup last fall, but Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton will get a chance at the No. 1 role.
Although settling a quarterback battle in spring practice is always ideal, it wouldn't be a surprise if this continues into the fall to keep all three candidates on campus into the '23 season and out of the transfer portal.
What factors and questions could guide Georgia's quarterback battle in spring practice? Athlon Sports takes an in-depth look at the candidates, factors to watch and questions that could shape the situation in Athens.
Georgia Football: Complete Breakdown of the 2023 QB Battle and Factors to Watch
Recruiting: No. 250 Overall Prospect by the 247Sports Composite in 2020
'22 Stats: 26 of 35 for 310 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs; 43 rush yards
Recruiting: No. 17 Overall Prospect by 247Sports Composite in 2021
'22 Stats: 2 of 3 for 0 yards; 7 rush yards
Recruiting: No. 124 Overall Prospect by 247Sports Composite in 2022
'22 Stats: Did not record a snap
What We Know So Far About Georgia's QB Battle
Carson Beck should be the odds-on early favorite to win the starting nod considering he was Stetson Bennett's backup last year. However, Beck can't feel locked into the job, as both Stockton and Vandagriff have more raw talent by the recruiting rankings. Both Stockton and Vandagriff also give the offense a different dimension with their rushing ability. Beck has the most established and proven arm out of this trio given his game experience so far.
"Well, we think we have three really good quarterbacks, and I'm really excited about all three of those guys growing and getting better."
"I do look forward to seeing Carson (Beck) and Brock (Vandagriff) getting a lot of that action. They'll both rep with the ones. As far as how much, that will play itself out over the course of spring. Gunner (Stockton) has come a long way. I'm excited to see what those guys can do."
Key Questions to Watch
*Does Carson Beck's experience translate into the starting job? Or will Vandagriff or Stockton reach their potential and seize the starting job?
*Will the departure of coordinator Todd Monken to the NFL change anything about this battle? Mike Bobo worked in this role from 2007-14 and isn't expected to make drastic tweaks to the offense. Instead, Bobo can build on what Monken deployed the last couple of seasons and maintain Georgia's place among the best in the SEC.
*If a clear pecking order is established after spring practice, could one of the quarterbacks enter the transfer portal?
*Or will Smart keep this battle open well into the fall to keep all three quarterbacks vying for the job?
Podcast: Pac-12 Expansion Update and Complicated Coaching Legacies
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone