‘He exposes us every day in defense’

Gunner Stockton has yet to throw a pass for Georgia. He did not travel to South Carolina last week, as the Bulldogs opted to bring only three quarterbacks to Columbia, South Carolina.

But the rookie quarterback is still finding a way to make an impact on this Georgia team. He happens to be on the scouting team, where he gets reps and makes things absolutely miserable for the Georgia defense.

“Gunner is amazing,” safety Dan Jackson said. “He exposes us every day on defense. He can sling it and he can expose us with his feet. I think he gives one of the best looks I’ve ever seen on the scouting team.”

Stockton’s time with him on the scouting team has slowed things down for the young quarterback. He doesn’t have to memorize verbiage and has a complete knowledge of Todd Monken’s playbook.

Most of the time, it’s just looking at a play on a card and going out and running it. He has done a good job of that, according to Jackson and coach Kirby Smart.

“There is no thought process. There’s no, ‘I have to say this, I have to do this.’ You take out the robot and play,” Smart said. “He has played well on the scouting team. For a lot of the kids that came there, there’s no pressure because you’re not in trouble if you mess up.”

Smart also praised Stockton’s arm talent. The quarterback from Tiger, Ga., is a true dual-threat quarterback, something that Georgia really appreciated when they drafted him.

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Stetson Bennett is the clear No. 1 quarterback option for Georgia. He is a Heisman Trophy candidate and has the Bulldogs as the No. 1 team in the country right now.

But Stockton’s development is still worth following, even if he’s not QB1 yet. Bennett is in his final year of eligibility and will not be Georgia’s starting quarterback next season.

Stockton will compete with Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff to be Georgia’s starting quarterback next season. Beck is the clear No. 2 quarterback right now, taking plays in the third quarter of every game so far. He has completed 15 of his 19 passing attempts for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

“He is playing with a lot of confidence. He understands our system,” Smart said. “He has a lot of work. He is smart. He understands what he is doing defending. He understands the protections of him. He knows where to go with the ball. He is precise. He has done a good job with the opportunity he has been given.”

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Vandagriff is 0-for-2 in pass attempts so far, but has gotten very few reps in the game. All three quarterbacks have earned praise from Smart as they have continued to make progress both in the game and in practice.

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