UGA football fans get first look at five-star QB Brock Vandagriff during G-Day game
Brock Vandagriff learned on Saturday how quickly good fortunes can turn bad in the SEC.
After completing his first four passes and scampering for a 13-yard run in his first five snaps for the Black Team, Vandagriff mishandled the sixth while in the shotgun and fumbled possession over to the Red Team.
It led to a touchdown run by Zamir White that tied the game with 2:43 to play in the second quarter.
The Red Team completed a 28-23 win.
Vandagriff enrolled in January and brought the hype in with him, enough that seniors such as receiver Kearis Jackson have already taken note of his tenacity to improve.
"Brock is a competitor," Jackson said following the G-Day game. "He wants to learn. He's very engaged and intentional. Just a young guy trying to get better. He's wanting to know how we run the offense, practice and the reads. He’s very intentional about wanting to get better.”
Vandagriff backed up Carson Beck on the Black Team and entered with just under five minutes to play in the first half.
Wearing a brace on his right knee to protect a December surgery that followed Prince Avenue Christian's state title run, Vandagriff's first pass was a 17-yard completion followed by a 5-yard dump off to running back Kendall Milton.
He was flushed out of the pocket on his third snap but managed to run for 13 yards and completed his next two passes for short gains before the fumble.
Beck returned to lead the Black Team for its final drive of the half, an 8-play effort that resulted in a 35-yard Jack Podlesny field goal.
The Red Team scored on a 24-yard touchdown from JT Daniels to freshman receiver Adonai Mitchell on the last play of the half to lead 14-10.
With his father, Greg, as head coach and offensive coordinator at Prince Avenue, Vandagriff had a leg up on reading defenses when he stepped on campus.
But there's quite a difference, linebacker Quay Walker says, of the speed and ability of a high school player and what Vandagriff will need to learn at the college level.
"He's going to work pretty hard just trying to get up to speed with college football," Walker said. "It’s faster than high school and whatnot. It’s going to be different, because teams like us can disguise (the defense) really well and I know that’s one thing he’s trying to get better at and recognizing defenses and the coverages. "
Vandagriff was 2-of-5 in the second half and sacked a couple times while running once for five yards. He finished with 47 yards passing, his longest completion being his first pass.
Vandagriff, rated the 16th overall recruit in the 2021 class, passed for more than 4,000 yards and 46 touchdowns during Prince Avenue's 15-game season. He played the final ten with a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) but managed to rush for 503 yards and 17 touchdowns.
He was the second highest rated recruit in UGA's 2021 class behind tackle Amarius Mims. Vandagriff played a major role in Mims' recruitment.
There's a lot of pressure on Vandagriff to succeed just a few miles down the road from his high school. Teammates believe he's poised to become an impactful player.
"Brock has a lot of potential," defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt said. "He can use is feet and he’s a smart young guy and he’s going to be a great Dawg in the future for us."