UGA, Georgia Tech sees QB competition heat up in spring games

Bulldogs hosted annual G-Day game, while Tech competed in White and Gold game

ATHENS and ATLANTA, GA – The national champion Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets had all eyes on the quarterback positions over the weekend, as both teams looked to replace their previous starters.

For the Jackets, Jeff Sims announced last December he was transferring to Nebraska. It will either be Zach Pyron, Zach Gibson, Haynes King or Brody Rhodes who will be under center in the fall, but in Saturday’s game there was one man who head coach Brent Key said stood out.

“I was the happiest with Brody Rhodes,” Key said. “He’s made a lot of progress this spring … and I thought Brody did a really nice job [Saturday].”

Rhodes did not get as much playing time as the other three but was still one of the most accurate as he completed three of his five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Haynes King had the best day statistically, however, as he completed nine of his 11 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

The biggest standout in the spring game was wide receiver Malik Rutherford. He finished with seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

The sophomore receiver only has 28 career receptions for 287 yards, so Saturday’s game was a “prove it” moment for him and he answered the call.

“Even though it was a spring game this is a big step for me,” Rutherford said. “I just took advantage of every pass that was thrown my way.”

The White and Gold game also saw guys from the 229 compete as well. Former Crisp County defensive back Sirad Bryant, former Lee County offensive lineman Wing Green, former Coffee High wide receiver Trent Davis, and former Thomas County Central tight end Ben Wilhelm represented South Georgia in the spring game.

As for Key, he hopes to have a clearer grasp on which players he wants as his starters before the season kicks off against Louisville on Sept. 1.

But the Yellowjackets were not the only team that wanted a quarterback to stand out from the rest. The biggest question going into UGA’s G-Day game was who would replace two-time national champion Stetson Bennett?

Although Carson Beck was Bennett’s back up last year, Kirby Smart kept his word when stating the QB position will be an equal opportunity fight between Beck and Brock Vandagriff…
Beck certainly looked the part of an SEC starter as he finished the spring game with 232 passing yards, and at times, looked like the best player on the field for Georgia.
 Vandagriff completed 13 out of 25 passes for 175 yards and two TD passes with an interception, while Gunner Stockton completed 12 of 22 passes for 144 yards had a rushing touchdown.
Overall, it was a great G-Day that was sure to make Dawgs fans excited for the upcoming season.