Kirby Smart discusses freshman quarterback Carson Beck

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Kirby Smart discusses freshman quarterback Carson Beck

Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Georgia freshman quarterback Carson Beck hasn’t been a name that has been thrown around much for the starting position until this week.

His name was thrown into the mix earlier this week as fifth-year head coach, Kirby Smart, announced that starter Stetson Bennett suffered an AC joint sprain against Florida and was questionable for Missouri.

On Wednesday afternoon, the matchup between Georgia and Missouri was postponed due to the Tigers having a positive COVID-19 test. Still, Georgia will practice and Beck will compete against USC transfer JT Daniels and redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis for reps while Bennett hopes to heal.

Smart met with reporters on Wednesday and was asked about Beck’s development since arriving on campus in January, and whether or not he’s been considered for the starting role.

“Well, I would disagree with that, because he’s been considered,” Smart said about the pecking order of the quarterbacks. “He has not gotten a ton of reps since the season started. It’s hard to prepare a number of quarterbacks, and you have to prepare the guys you’ve got an opportunity to.”

For the past few months, Beck has been getting a lot of scout team reps as well as third-team reps when Daniels wasn’t cleared to play. Daniels was cleared the week after the Arkansas and since then both guys have been splitting time on the scout team.

“We thought he got a lot more reps in fall camp, and we think he’s going to be a really good player,” Smart said. “But I think if you look across the country, it’s hard to prepare more than two people for the week of a game. It’s easy to rep a lot of guys in off weeks. It’s easy to rep a lot of guys in camp, but we have had a lot of guys to rep. He got a lot of work early in camp, and will continue to get a lot of work this week in the coming weeks.”

Smart was then asked if he was happy with Beck’s progression, although some points indicated to him not being satisfied, he digressed.

“No, I think you’re saying that. I’m not saying that,” Smart said. “Again, I think he’s growing, getting better, which is what we challenge every player to do in our program. You want to get better. We’ve got a lot of freshmen on our team that maybe haven’t gotten the opportunity to play and you’re only able to put 11 out there the last time I checked. So we try to put the ones out there that give us the best opportunity to win, but what we think we do better is we really plot, and plan how we develop a guy and how he gets reps and how he gets work to grow as a player.”

Smart was correct in saying that a lot of freshmen haven’t been able to get the chances they deserve, especially because of the SEC travel restrictions and no out of conference games.

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Those are just two main factors of why Beck, and other certain youngsters on the roster, haven’t benefitted from this unusual year. It also all comes down to having no spring practice, limited summer workouts and a delayed fall camp.

“Carson has been in every single quarterback meeting and he has been at every single walkthrough,” Smart said. “He has gotten a lot of opportunities in scrimmages and things that we weren’t able to give Stetson (Bennett) because Stetson had the experience of playing. It’s one of those things with every opportunity we get to practice, I think he’ll get better.”

The Jacksonville, Fl. native enrolled early in January with five other freshman from the 2020 recruiting class. Out of high school, Beck was rated a four-star prospect by both every major recruiting site. He was awarded ‘Mr. Football’ in the state of Florida for 2018 after leading Mandarin High School to a Class 8A state championship.

Back in September, former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said that Beck looked the best out of all the options in a closed scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

“I thought to me the guy that looked the best of all the quarterbacks yesterday was Carson (Beck),” Murray said. ““Big, strong arm, he, just like D’Wan (Mathis), made plays inside and outside the pocket. So he’s someone I’m interested in watching these next couple of years, how his development takes off within the system”

Beck was going up against the team’s No. 2 defense, but regardless he impressed one of the program’s all-time best quarterbacks that day. That says a lot about the 6-foot-4, 225-pound pocket passer.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.