Somebody is going to have to play quarterback for Georgia next season.
Maybe it will be Jake Fromm. The rising senior has started all but one game of his UGA career and with 34 victories as a starter could obliterate David Greene’s record for wins by a Bulldog QB. He struggled late in the year with a patchwork receiving corps, but an offseason of healthy living and a good Signing Day could turn that unit into a strength.
Fromm, however, looks poised to become at worst a third round NFL Draft pick if he leaves early. I believe that was his plan coming into this season and I’m not sure either James Coley’s playbook or Lawrence Cager’s ankle have made him reconsider.
If not Jake from State Fromm, could it be Stetson Bennett, the plucky former walk-on who lacks the measurables or pedigree but has time in the offense? Maybe D’wan Mathis, the redshirt freshman with the rifle arm who lost his freshman season to, of all things, recovery from brain surgery?
Or, just maybe, another poised true freshman could step into the spotlight and lead the Red and Black to glory.
Jacksonville (Mandarin High) QB Carson Beck comes to the Classic City with all the requisite accolades. Beck counted offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, and Penn State before choosing the Athenians. The #8 pro style passer in the country per 247Sports, He threw for 3,546 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior to lead his team to a state title.
Beck then got a bit of an education this season as his team graduated 18 starters, 10 on offense alone. After some early struggles Mandarin finished the year 7-4 and Beck closed out the season with 9 touchdowns and 1 interception in his final five games.
Beck has the physical tools. There’s no doubt about it. At 6’5 and 225 pounds he has the size to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball while taking the occasional shots that come with quarterbacking in the SEC.
He stands tall in the pocket and seems to see the field well. He does a great job anticipating where to throw the ball, and doesn’t shy away from throwing all over the field rather than locking in on favorite throws/receivers.
I’d label Beck’s arm strength solidly above average at this point, comparable to Jake Fromm’s if not a bit stronger. His mechanics are good, though his release point can be a little inconsistent as is often the case with baseball players (Beck actually committed at one point to play baseball at Florida). His footwork is also inconsistent. I think that will improve as he concentrates on football to the exclusion of baseball and (if) he gets good position coaching.
Carson takes some risks with the ball that other QBs with less arm talent couldn’t, and which he’ll have to temper at the college level. But his ability to process plays as they develop and react is excellent. He seems to do well in an RPO system that allows him to flip quickly through his reads and just play. Allowing him to do some of that in Athens would be a great idea, especially if he’s thrown into the starting lineup early in his Red and Black career.
Beck is quick if not necessarily lightning-fast as a runner. In the same way that Aaron Murray could sit in the pocket all day then rip off a 50 yard run, Beck had the ability to keep defenses honest with his legs if allowed to. Unlike Murray he’s kind of a long strider who gets on top of defenders quicker than they expect,
That title-winning junior campaign was Beck’s first as a fulltime starter. Unlike guys who have started varsity football games since their freshman seasons he may just be starting to scratch the surface of what he can do if he concentrates totally on football and gets the reps he needs to gain confidence and groove his skills. Until later...