Brock Vandagriff hasn’t even set foot on Kentucky’s campus yet, but expectations are already through the roof. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback announced his transfer to Kentucky last week after spending the past three seasons at Georgia. He has two years of eligibility left at Kentucky.
Despite only going 12-for-18 passing with 165 yards and two touchdowns in eight games during the 2023 season, Vandagriff is brimming with potential for a Kentucky team in need of star power. KSR+ interviewed the father of Kentucky’s new quarterback, Greg Vandagriff, to break down his son’s game.
“In the end, it’s a thing where they thought they were driving whatever sort of car, and now they’re driving a Porsche,” Vandagriff told KSR+.
There wasn’t one specific reason that Brock Vandagriff chose to commit to Kentucky. You can point to Kentucky’s success with quarterbacks, the offensive scheme, and the overall fit.
And while the SEC remains the cream of the crop for college football competition, it might not have played as big a role as you’d expect.
“Guys can go pro from North Dakota State,” Vandagriff said. ”It’s really about the fit and opportunity. The competition is a bonus. It’s not a deciding factor. It’s just a bonus to the decision-making process.”
Given that it’s been less than a week since Vandagriff’s commitment, there’s still time for him to discuss the specifics of play style and scheme with the coaching staff. They haven’t crossed that bridge just yet.
“We’re happy to have a place to play right now,” Vandagriff said. “We’ll worry about all the stuff we can’t control down the road.”
For Kentucky, it’s about finding the right players to put around Brock (including new WR commitment Raymond Cottrell); for Brock, it’s about getting into graduate school and finding a place to live.
“There are things we’re worried about with once he gets up there,” he said. “We’ll worry about plays in January and February and it’ll work itself out. Those guys are super confident they will be fine.”
Brock Vandagriff’s Game
Coming out of high school, Brock Vandagriff was rated as the No. 4 quarterback and the No. 22 overall prospect in the class of 2021, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. On3 ranked Vandagriff as the No. 51 player overall and the No. 8 quarterback and the No. 8 overall best player in Georgia.
His father pointed towards his athleticism and accuracy as two key facets of his game.
“He runs really well and he’s got a strong arm,” Vandagriff said. “The number one factor is probably his accuracy. It’s hard to describe it. Some people don’t believe it. His ability to put the ball where he wants it is uncanny. Again, I watched it many times, going, ‘Holy cow, how did he do that?’ Hopefully, we will see it over the next year or two.”
Now, with three years of college under his belt, but very little playing time, what Vandagriff needs most now is experience.
“As he gets experience he’ll get more comfortable,” Greg said. “All those things lead to being comfortable on the field. Learning the playbook, there will be things he’s anxious about. In all honesty, it’ll take care of itself if it works out the right way.”
However, there will still be things that nobody can anticipate. That includes injuries, dropped passes, etc.
“There are parts of the game you can’t control,” Vandagriff said.
What is Brock Vandagriff Like to Coach?
While many fathers are used to watching their children play from the sidelines, Greg Vandagriff has gotten first-hand experience coaching his son, Brock Vandagriff. Greg has been the head coach at Prince Avenue (Bogart, GA) Christian School since 2016, getting the opportunity to coach his son until he graduated in 2021.
“He’s a calm, cool, and collected kind of kid,” Greg said. “He walks out knowing he can get it done.”
Brock operates with a type of confidence that calms down his teammates. Something reminiscent of a head coach.
“If the head coach is relaxed, then the kid is relaxed. If the head coach is uptight, then the kids are uptight,” Greg said. “It’s the same thing with the quarterback. If the quarterback has confidence then the kids have confidence around him. That’s typically how he operates.”
Brock likes to please the coaching staff and do what’s asked in the huddle. However, he has the ability to improvise when necessary.
“He wants to do what the play is designed to do, but once it breaks down, he tends to excel as well,” Greg said. “It doesn’t hinder him to have to pull it down and slide out to the left or right. He keeps his eyes downfield. What’s scary is that he can really operate in any system that tends to be more wide open. Those are the ones that allow him to be more creative. It’s like an artist.”
Brock is a player that can be successful in a whole lot of different ways.
“If you want him to paint the Sistine Chapel all day, he can,” Vandagriff said. “But if you want him to create something off-platform, he can do that as well.”
What Does a Successful Year Look Like?
If the 2024 season goes according to plan for Brock Vandagriff, Kentucky is in for a heck of a season. One with a lot of wins and a lot of passing yards.
Greg Vandagriff hopes that by the end of the season, his son has put himself in consideration to be an NFL Draft pick, but that doesn’t mean he’s a one-and-done player at UK.
“I really want him to play two years here because I think the more experience you have in college, the more the game slows down and the more you’re prepared for the NFL,” Vandagriff said. “Again, stats don’t lie. That’s why they operate [in the NFL] so much off of them. Logistics are just numbers. The numbers say you’re supposed to have 25 starts plus to be successful in the NFL out of the gate.”
‘Quarterbacks are Judged By Wins’
If Brock Vandagriff is going to be successful at Kentucky, he has to lead this team to wins. It will also help if he puts up good numbers.
“Quarterbacks are judged by wins, so you have to win,” he said. “Secondly, wins means you hopefully have numbers. What do the numbers look like? Say he throws for 3,000 yards. I think all those things take care of themselves. If you win, numbers are produced and if you don’t win, numbers aren’t usually produced because you’re not having success. You’re not moving the chains and you’re not getting first downs.”
If one thing’s for sure, Brock Vandagriff is going to be a player Big Blue Nation can get behind and support.
“He’s a great kid. They’re going to really like him,” Vandagriff said. “As a coach, he’s the kid you want out front. He’s the kid you want to be the face of your program. I think he’ll do wonderful in all those kinds of things.”
If you want more from Greg Vandagriff, head over to the KSBoard where he answered KSR+ member questions about his son.