ATHENS — Carson Beck will quarterback the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl. Beyond that, the fourth-year junior insists he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

“Yeah, I’m playing in the game,” Beck said in a training room in the back of the Atlanta Highway location of Academy Sports and Outdoors. “I mean, I think people know that, unless they don’t. But, yes, officially, I am playing in the game.”

Truthfully, Beck didn’t want to talk about that on Sunday. He was at Academy Sports to meet youth from the local Boys and Girls Club and accompany them on a Christmas shopping spree as part of a promotion the retailer has been doing across the state. And Beck did the sporting goods chain even one better.

In addition to the $200 gift cards the children were provided by Academy, Beck provided 15 kids with another $135 apiece to enhance their shopping experience. So, that whole NIL thing he’s got going on seems to be going well.

As kind and generous as that was, Beck knew the television news stations and sportswriters who had gathered there Sunday had something else about which they wanted to ask him. Everybody wants to know if the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback is going to be back for another year.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Beck has two years of college eligibility remaining. However, after throwing for 3,973 yards and 25 touchdowns and leading the Bulldogs to a 12-1 season, Beck is considered a first- or second-day NFL draft prospect.

But what happens beyond No. 6 Georgia’s Dec. 30 matchup against No. 5 Florida State in Miami? Beck said he really couldn’t discuss that because he truly doesn’t know.

“As far as a (pro) decision goes, I’m not sure yet,” Beck said. “I’m just actively thinking. But right now, I’m focused on trying to beat Florida State.”

Asked when he aimed to make a decision, Beck said, “I don’t know. There’s not really a timeline.”

Actually, there is. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft. But Beck probably won’t wait until then to make his intentions known.

There are indications he may already have shared them internally at Georgia. His backup, third-year sophomore Brock Vandergriff, entered the NCAA’s transfer portal on the first day it was open (Dec. 4) and since has enrolled at Kentucky. Likewise, longtime 5-star commitment Dylan Raiola did not report with the rest of the Bulldogs’ early enrollees Saturday and was in Nebraska on an official visit with the Cornhuskers.

Ryan Puglisi (pooh-GLEE-see), the only other quarterback commitment in Georgia’s 2024 recruiting class, did show up this weekend. However, Beck said he hasn’t gotten a chance to visit yet with Puglisi.

“We’ve got a pretty good relationship,” Beck said of Puglisi. “But I haven’t seen any of (the freshmen) since they’ve gotten here. So, it’ll be cool to see those guys help us out throughout bowl practice.”

Last season was Beck’s first as a starter. Another year as QB1 could enhance his professional football profile, not to mention the Bulldogs’ championship pursuits and Beck’s contention for national awards and honors.

On the other hand, with his college degree close at hand, Beck could move on now.

Either way, making his plans known as soon as possible might behoove him. Beck said he is asked about it everywhere he goes.

“Yeah, it’s been a hot one,” he said with a wry smile. “It’s hard. It’s the biggest decision of my life. I’ll just continue with that, focus on the game and keep that going.”

With his media responsibilities out of the way, Beck was eager to join the kids for their shopping spree. He said he loved shoes as a child and, in the same situation, probably would have headed straight to the basketball sneakers.

But what about those No. 15 Georgia jerseys hanging in the Bulldogs’ section at the front of the store?

“I hope one of them goes and buys one,” Beck said with a wink. “If they’re out there I’m going to try to direct them that way.”