Georgia 2020 quarterback commit Carson Beck has already managed quite a feat. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound rising senior at Mandarin (Fla.) High School was able to get a Florida fan to gush about the UGA program.
That sounds even more science fiction than the 17 touchdowns and one interception (off a tipped pass) that he tallied up during the Florida Class 8A state playoffs last fall.
His quarterback trainer, Denny Thompson, pulls for the Gators. Praise is one thing. But it just might mean more when it comes from a Florida fan.
“The thing I see from Georgia’s program right now is consistency,” Thompson said. “You walk through the Georgia hallways and you go through their facility and it is just different. It is professional. You go through everywhere else – and I’m not even talking about Florida – there is music everywhere, right? And there is playing around. Which is fine.”
Except maybe for what Thompson saw when he joined Beck on an unofficial visit to UGA.
“Not at Georgia,” Thompson said. “Not at Georgia. It is very refined. It is very ‘this is what we are here to do.’ It is a business-like approach. It is more of an NFL approach. It is more like walking through the hallways of the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Atlanta Falcons.
“That’s the thing that just immediately hit me when I was up in Athens.”
A big statement about Beck
Beck is on deck to join the quarterback room at Georgia. The Florida native is listed on the 247Sports Composite ranking as the nation’s No. 75 overall prospect. That places the Jacksonville resident as the nation’s No. 3 pro-style QB prospect for the 2020 class.
Mandarin offensive coordinator Toby Bullock recently shared a very specific player parallel about Beck. Bullock has serious Bulldogs ties in his family. So he found his own way to frame up what the 4-star QB prospect brings to the table.
“You never really, really know with any of these guys,” Bullock said. “Even with the top guys. He could be a bust. But when I look at him I really look at him with having a Jake Fromm head on his shoulders, but with a Matt Stafford arm. That’s what I see.”
Why a Volunteer family is sending a son to UGA
Tate Ratledge, the nation’s No. 5 offensive tackle for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings, chose Georgia over Tennessee last week.
It had something to do with the Prince classic “Purple Rain” and a lot to do with Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman. Pittman sent out a tweet after that decision. He celebrates his big commits. Usually in a jovial fashion.
He was wearing a purple jacket and “Purple Rain” was blaring the background as he belted out another 11-second version of his classic “Yes sir” line.
“He called me and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be live if I got me a purple blazer’ and put it on for it, and I said it would be, and then he texted me the other day and said ‘I am going to put ‘Purple Rain’ in the background,” Ratledge said. “And I said that was awesome.”
Dean Ratledge, his father, pulled the big Tennessee “T” decal off the sliding back glass to his truck. He also replaced the front vanity plate with a Georgia “Power G” for good measure.
“He develops a relationship and makes the kid feel very special,” Dean Ratledge said. “Which they all try to do. All of these guys can sell ice to an Eskimo. But coach Pittman just really, really comes off as being a real guy that is really concerned and will really mentor and care for your kid.”
The Ratledge decision marks the 11th time since the 2017 cycle that one of the nation’s top 10 offensive line recruits at their respective positions chose to play for Pittman at Georgia.
In comparison, the program signed a grand total of 12 of those top 10 players across the offensive line during the 15-year Mark Richt era.
National recruiting footprint continues
The 2018 Rose Bowl win and national championship final appearance against Alabama went a long way toward expanding the recruiting base of the Georgia program.
The Bulldogs have seen their recruiting classes begin to morph from a building a wall around the state of Georgia to what is now a truly nationwide reach.
Take a look at the recruiting classes under Smart:
Georgia signees: 16
Out-of-state signees: 5
Georgia signees: 17
Out-of-state signees: 9
Georgia signees: 15
Out-of-state signees: 11
Georgia signees: 8
Out-of-state signees: 16