Kirby Smart on five-star signee Brock Vandagriff

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Kirby Smart on five-star signee Brock Vandagriff

UGA quarterback commit, Brock Vandagriff, during his game between Prince Avenue Christian School and Calvary Christian on September 04, 2020.
UGA quarterback commit, Brock Vandagriff, during his game between Prince Avenue Christian School and Calvary Christian on September 04, 2020.

Georgia finished up the early signing period by adding 20 new signees on Wednesday, which this new class currently ranks No. 3 in the nation, per 247Sports.

So far, the Bulldogs have signed four five-star recruits, they include: offensive tackle Amarius Mims, outside linebackers Xavian Sorey and Smael Mondon as well as quarterback Brock Vandagriff.

Smart said in a press conference on Wednesday that the coaching staff tries to fill all the positions that are needed, although the quarterback spot is one he thinks about often.

“Quarterbacks want to play at Georgia,” Smart said in reference to a question about the position.

The fifth-year head coach is not wrong.

In the past few years, Smart has secured signatures from top quarterbacks like Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm and Justin Fields. This past year, Georgia brought in transfers J.T. Newman and JT Daniels. Although everyone knows the history and curse of quarterbacks under Smart, the former Georgia safety makes a lot of sense with that statement.

Now, the future of Georgia football seems to ride on the shoulders of Vandagriff, who decommitted from Oklahoma earlier this year and gave his pledge to UGA on Jan. 21.

Per the 247Sports Composite, Vandagriff is rated as the nation’s No. 14 overall player, No. 2 ranked quarterback and No. 2 player in Georgia. The Bogart, Georgia native plays at Prince Avenue Christian School, which is just 20 mins from UGA’s campus. The last player from PACS to wear a Georgia uniform was Christian Payne, who played fullback from 2014-17.

According to Smart, Vandagriff has a lot of key characteristics that stand out from any other signal caller in the class of 2020.

“He’s tough; he’s a competitor,” Smart said. “He grew up playing the game. He’s not afraid to take a hit, to deliver a blow.”

Smart said that his perseverance and durability is something that will carry him throughout his career as a Bulldog.

“When you look at a quarterback nowadays, that’s one of the things you (see), and that’s the new deal when you look across the NFL,” Smart said. “The arm angle, the ability to have the mobility to escape—the game has changed. When you look at the success maybe Kyler Murray has had, or guys in the NFL, you right away say, ‘The athleticism is the overriding factor.’ You want to have someone that can do those things, but they have to have the ability to process all the information, to put you in the right situation to make plays, to change plays, to do a lot of things.”

UGA quarterback commit, Brock Vandagriff, during his game between Prince Avenue Christian School and Calvary Christian on September 04, 2020.
UGA quarterback commit, Brock Vandagriff, during his game between Prince Avenue Christian School and Calvary Christian on September 04, 2020.

This weekend, Vandagriff and the Wolverines will face-off against Wesleyan in the GHSA Class A-Private semifinal. So far this season, he’s completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,345 yards and 40 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He’s also rushed for 394 yards and 13 scores.

Smart said that Vandagriff has all the factors to be the next great quarterback at Georgia.

“We think he’s a good athlete, and he’s shown that over his career,” Smart said. “He’s a little dinged-up right now. He’s dealing with some injuries, but you get those things when you run and you get out of the pocket a lot. That’s one of those things. You have to be able to protect him, but he’s (also) got to be able to make good decisions on where to slide.”

Smart added the opportunity for Vandagriff to play so close to home was huge in relation to him signing with Georgia.

“When they start talking about where (they) want to go, they want to go win a championship; at least that’s what the best quarterbacks want to do, and Brock never shied away from that,” Smart said. “He wanted an opportunity to play close to home. He wanted the opportunity to play near his family. His dad is a coach right here in town. His mom is a teacher. He’s got sisters who are really good athletes. He wants to be able to play in front of them, so I’m excited about what he can do. He’s been a leader for his program; they’re still in the playoffs. He’s been productive, and we’re excited to see what he can bring to the University of Georgia.”

Here is the video from Smart’s Wednesday press conference:

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