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UGA Loses Out on Top QB Prospect, but Retains Carson Beck

UGA Loses Out on Top QB Prospect, but Retains Carson Beck

UGA LOSES OUT ON TOP QB PROSPECT BUT RETAINS CARSON BECK – Three key bits of news dropped for the Georgia Bulldogs almost simultaneously.

Carson Beck used UGA’s social media page to announce his return for the 2024 season. Beck’s return is a crucial addition for the Dawgs.

With backup QB Brock Vandagriff transferring to Kentucky, retaining Beck was a must this offseason. Without Carson Beck, Georgia would have been left with Gunnar Stockton as their lone scholarship QB who had been on the roster, while bringing in two freshman quarterbacks in Ryan Puglisi and Dylan Raiola. 

Beck’s Return

With his return, Beck gives himself the opportunity to become a high first round pick in the ‘24 draft class.

NFL teams may have been wary that he has only started 13 games in his career as some recent QBs (i.e. Mitch Trubisky) taken early with one one season of starting experience have not panned out.

Instead, Beck likely picked up a handsome NIL deal to stay and can improve upon his game. Georgia needs an experienced leader at the helm next year as they head to Austin and Tuscaloosa early in the year.

Had UGA rolled with Stockton or a transfer QB, I don’t see UGA standing a chance in those games. Beck’s return could make all the difference. 

Dylan Raiola

Kirby Smart timed Beck’s announcement intentionally, as two bits of bad news broke immediately afterwards.

The first is that UGA’s top recruit and #1 QB in the nation Dylan Raiola was flipping his commitment to Nebraska. His father played at Nebraska and his uncle is on the coaching staff.

Matt Rhule flipping Raiola the week of early signing day is a huge move for the program. Raiola flipped due to NIL and a clearer path to playing early at Nebraska.

The strange thing is, Raiola always knew he was going to sit for at least a year if not two at Georgia. That reality had not changed so what did? Likely Nebraska dropping a bag for him.

Flipping because of NIL is not surprising. However, Raiola was the clear leader of this year’s class, heavily recruiting other players to Georgia with him. Even last week, he was trying to get his Buford teammate KJ Bolden to flip his commitment from FSU to UGA. A lot can change quickly. 

Ryan Puglisi

Georgia still has Ryan Puglisi in this year’s class.

Puglisi is locked in, already signed with Georgia and is preparing to try to contribute next year. The Massachusetts native was originally targeted by Todd Monken, who saw his play and valued him over other top prospects, including Raiola, in this year’s class.

When Georgia got Raiola too, Puglisi’s commitment never waivered. Now he’s their guy. 

Marvin Jones, Jr.

The final bit of bad news comes in that UGA is losing an OLB to their next opponent, Florida State. Marvin Jones Jr. was a 5-star linebacker who flashed on 3rd downs late into his freshman season.

I expected a bigger role than he saw his sophomore year, but Nolan Smith’s return for his senior season limited Jones’ playing time.

Even this year, Jones was still splitting snaps with Chaz Chambliss and rarely made his presence felt during games.

He, like Chambliss, struggled to set the edge for the UGA defense all year, and Jones seemingly lost his pass rushing ability when he added weight after his freshman year.

The Noles will get a solid player, but one who has yet to reach anywhere near his 5-star billing.

Yet, the last linebacker to transfer for UGA to FSU ended up getting drafted early  in Jermaine Johnson. Surely Jones Jr. will seek to replicate Johnson’s success. 

The Defensive Line

One final nugget for you. With Dylan Raiola gone from this year’s class, UGA is redirecting some of its NIL efforts towards a much needed position: defensive line.

Their target, Walter Nolen. They’ll have to fight off Ole Miss, who has already landed a handful of talented transfers this off season, but now they may just have the NIL funds to do it.

The Dawgs desperately need a difference maker on the defensive line and Nolen best fits the bill of anyone in the portal at the moment.




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  • Brian Butcher, Contributor

    Brian Butcher is Indiana-born but Georgia-raised. He knows next to nothing about sports gambling or journalism, but his unhealthy obsession with the Georgia Bulldogs compels him to write down his frenzied thoughts on the Dawgs.

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