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JT Daniels has chance to provide special brand of leadership for UGA

Brandon Adams

Leadership was a hot topic this week around DawgNation.

Former Georgia assistant — and newly-named South Carolina head coach — Shane Beamer joined On The Beat to reflect on his time with the Bulldogs, and UGA’s run to the College Football Playoff in 2017 was a prominent part of the conversation. Specifically, Beamer was eager to describe the way in which UGA’s key leaders helped propel the Bulldogs that season.

“We didn’t have a bad team in 2016. We didn’t have bad kids, but it just seemed like when we came back in January of 2017, it was just a different mentality,” Beamer said. “Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy — those guys said ‘You know what? It’s going to be different this year.’ The way they held each other accountable, and had those other guys follow them. I think it’s just a testament to the leadership of those guys.”

Obviously, UGA would love to find a way to duplicate that level of leadership for this upcoming season, and a former UGA great joined DawgNation Daily this week to say it’s possible it could happen, with perhaps a slightly different twist.

Terrence Edwards — who was also an important leader for UGA’s 2002 SEC championship team — acknowledged this week the importance of the leadership described by the players Beamer mentioned. However, Edwards also said the 2021 team has something going for it that the 2017 team didn’t.

Edwards says this year’s UGA team has the luxury of looking to a veteran quarterback for leadership.

“This team’s leadership is going to come from the quarterback position,” Edwards said. “That quarterback position is what provides a calming effect for a team. Just look at Tom Brady this year. You go to [Tampa Bay], a team that didn’t make the playoffs, and his aura took that team over and led them to a Super Bowl. So I think JT Daniels, it’s going to be his leadership that helps take that team to the next level.”

It’s an interest contrast for UGA. The 2017 Bulldogs got solid play from then-freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, but it’s possible Daniels, who’ll be four years removed from high school when the 2021 season begins, is in a better position to be a leader due to his experience.

Quarterback is a position teams typically look to for leadership, and if Daniels is able to make good on his potential to provide that, the Bulldogs could be in great shape.

Also on DawgNation Daily this week:

A positive outlook for George Pickens for the upcoming season.

A discussion about Paul Finebaum’s questions about Kirby Smart’s in-game coaching abilities.

A debate about the future of Georgia’s rivalry with Georgia Tech

And an update on UGA recruiting with DawgNation insider Jeff Sentell

 

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