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112021 Athens: Georgia quarterbacks JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett have remained friends even after Daniels' transfer following the 2022 spring semester. Here they are shown conferring on the sidelines during the first half against Charleston Southern in a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton /”

Former Georgia quarterback JT Daniels on the move again, transferring to Rice

ATHENS — Former Georgia quarterback JT Daniels is transferring from West Virginia to Rice, his fourth school in six seasons.

Daniels was recruited to Athens by Kirby Smart and Todd Monken out of the transfer portal in 2020 after two seasons at USC, the second of which ended in the first half of the first game with a season-ending knee injury.

The Bulldogs’ quarterback picture was cloudy at that time, with Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman, D’Wan Mathis, Stetson Bennett and then-incoming freshman Carson Beck working with Monken amid restricted COVID conditions.

Newman transferred out before the season started, Daniels’ knee wasn’t cleared for the opener, and so Mathis got the season-opening start at Arkansas before giving way to Bennett.

RELATED: Stetson Bennett’s incredible journey continues, Hollywood be damned

Daniels re-entered the picture the final four games of the 2020 season, taking over after Bennett suffered a sprained shoulder in a 44-28 loss to Florida.

Mathis -- originally an Ohio State commit who flipped to Georgia when Justin Fields transferred to the Buckeyes -- announced he was leaving the UGA program after appearing in the loss to the Gators and ended up at Temple.

RELATED: D’Wan Mathis overcoming brain surgery: ‘Georgia saved my son’s life’

Daniels found early success at Georgia, passing for 401 yards in the modified spread, Air Raid version of Monken’s offense his first start for UGA, a 35-28 win over Mississippi State.

RELATED: Teammates rave about JT Daniels, offense ‘more efficient

The Bulldogs closed the season with four wins and a Top 10 finish, coming from behind to defeat a previously unbeaten Cincinnati team in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl as Daniels set a single-season UGA record with a 168.1 QB Rating.

RELATED: JT Daniels highest-rated passer in nation returning for 2021 season

Smart named Daniels the starter the following spring, and he went on to win the three games he started in the 2021 national championship season before being sidelined by upper-body injuries.

Bennett took over the starting job and held it through the CFP Championship Game, and Daniels transferred to West Virginia after earning his degree from Georgia in the spring semester.

RELATED: What JT Daniels said about Georgia after leaving for West Virginia

Bennett, a Heisman Trophy finalist this season, has said he remains in contact with Daniels, as the two have maintained a friendship.

Daniels started 10 games for the Mountaineers last season before West Virginia coach Neal Brown took over the offense from former OC Graham Harrell, who has since moved on to Purdue.

Brown went to an offense requiring more mobile quarterback play, and redshirt sophomore Garrett Greene came off the bench to spark a 23-20 win against Oklahoma and took over the starting job.

Daniels, a former 5-star prospect from Mater Dei, will be the highest-rated prospect signed by Rice, which is moving from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference next season.

Former Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren is the Rice head coach and former NFL quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo serves as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Based on Monken’s previous assessments on Daniels, he should have no problem picking up a new Pro-Style offense.

“One thing about it, he’s a sponge,” UGA offensive coordinator Monken said about Daniels. “He loves to be coached, loves to have the answers …. There’s a lot of things you can do with JT that you can keep it as quarterback control.”

The Owls are expected to return starters at every position on offense except quarterback and center.

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