Far be it from me to tell any coaching staff what to do, who to start, who to play, or second guess any schematic or strategic decision making. I’m just not going to do it. Especially when it comes to Kirby Smart and his staff full of former head coaches, they’ve collectively forgotten more football than I will ever even attempt to learn. However, that does not mean opinions can’t be asserted issues that have been problematic for Georgia in the past. That is why today, my aim is to make a case why the 2020 – 2021 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, the former 5-Star prospects, and the All-American quarterback Brock Vandagriff should see game action in every single contest this fall for the University of Georgia.
By no means am I saying Vandagriff should be considered for the starting role. I am the biggest proponent of JT Daniels and what I believe he will bring to the Georgia offense. If Georgia goes on to accomplish their goals of defeating Clemson, winning the SEC East, winning the SEC Championship, and winning its first National Championship since 1980 well, JT Daniels will very likely deserve the overwhelming majority of the credit. If that scenario plays out, Daniels will likely find himself in New York as a Heisman Finalist. So, in no way am I saying that Daniels will be anything other than spectacular for Georgia. I’m saying that if Georgia increases the number of 1st Downs per game from 21 per game to closer to the 28 per game mark of the last 2 CFP Champions, and their plays per game go north of the 70 to 72 mark. There is plenty enough room to utilize the skillset of Brock Vandagriff in a defined yet versatile and complementary set of plays that result in the 5-Star gaining important game experience in 8 to 10 snaps a contest.
Vandagriff has mobility and physicality that none of the other quarterbacks on the roster possess. Brock Vandagriff’s power cleans well north of 300 pounds. Power cleans are a direct metric of explosivity. Vandagriff is explosive! Please do not mistake that quote with me saying the freshman from Bogart will line up and run with the likes of James Cook or Arian Smith. By no means. However, paired with the threat of making any throw conceivable on a football field, a 4.6 40 can look like a 4.4 when defensives aren’t able to play fast due to indecision. Being able to use Vandagriff in this set way, whether it be short-yardage or a red zone situation in a game where the Dawgs are up by 14 points or more, or several plays specifically designed to take advantage of something recognized as a weakness of an opponent on film, regardless of the score, would prove invaluable in the future.
This is also not meant to discount Carson Beck and Stetson Bennett totally. Beck showed improvement this spring, even though I, for one, do not believe much can be determined from that G-Day contest, and Stetson Bennett IV is who I would put my money on if JT Daniels was forced out of action Clemson due to his experience and fearlessness. In fact, the idea to play Vandagriff and utilize his mobility is an endorsement of those 2. There are multiple backup quarterbacks, it would seem, that are prepared to step in if need, so that means that any particular one does not have to be treated like a backup catcher on a National League ball club. There are other options, and if something, God forbid, went array because you know folks, this ain’t ballet, then there is depth to fall back on. Use every ounce of talent, every conceivable advantage there possibly is to gain. Burn the ships, so to speak!
Finally, we all know that many blame Kirby Smart and the company for handling the Jake Fromm/Justin Fields situation. I, for one, am not one of those people. I would have started Jake Fromm every day and twice on Sunday. I would have done this not only because the then returning sophomore starter had just played well enough to facilitate Georgia making it to the precipice on a championship, but also because Justin Fields did not seem to perform in a way that indicated he should have started in that season. I know many will say he wasn’t used correctly, and that could be the case, not for me to say. However, I do know that perception becomes a reality. Brock Vandagriff, another 5-Star signee with a 2022 5-Star in Gunner Stockton right behind him, did not come to Athens to hold a clipboard or signal in plays. No, Vandagriff is the ultimate competitor. I’m advocating that Georgia utilize that competitiveness, his mobility, his toughness, and his arm strength in a way that complements the system that Todd Monken has designed and the strategy that Kirby Smart desires to put forth. Yes, he has to earn this, and I’m confident that Vandagriff can. No, I’m not suggesting that Vandagriff has even to be named the No. 2 QB. I am advocating for accentuating Brock Vandagriff’s strengths, providing him with SEC big-game experience, and sending a message for 4 and 5-star signal callers of the future. If you decide to come to Georgia and you buy in, you’ll be used to help Georgia win.
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