WATCH: Why ‘Unity’ needed in Georgia football quarterbacks scramble
ATHENS — There was a message coming out of Friday night’s weekly fan chat on DawgNation, and it was one of unity.
Georgia has a quarterback scramble on its hands in the aftermath of Jamie Newman’s decision to opt out and prepare for the NFL draft, and that has led to some division in the fan base.
Bulldogs’ fans typically love all of their players, but quarterbacks competitions have a tendency to bring out the worst in people and sometimes divide locker room.
Terence Mathis, father of UGA redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis, had a message in the DawgNation video thread.
“All hands on deck, I respect all of our QBs,” Mathis typed. “This team is special, guys.”
Mathis said earlier in the day it’s going to take all three quarterbacks.
Indeed, and that’s the sort of culture Kirby Smart preaches at Georgia, which will need its best collective effort to win its first national championship since 1980.
Fact is, only four of 14 SEC teams started the same quarterback in every game last season — and that was with an 8-game league schedule.
This season, it’s a brutal 10-game slate, SEC opponents early.
D’Wan Mathis is the obvious fan favorite because of his incredible back story.
First, there was the leap of faith, choosing Georgia at the 11th hour on the 2019 early signing period after learning Ohio State coaches had misled him and were indeed planning to get Justin Fields to transfer in.
Then, there was a show of athleticism, an amazing touchdown catch on a throw from Matt Landers in the 2019 G-Day Game. Mathis also uncorked a perfectly throw deep ball that was dropped in the scrimmage.
But mostly, Georgia fans remember how D’Wan fought back form emergency brain surgery, losing more than 20 pounds after a trip to ICU and extended hospital stay in May of 2019.
Mathis has looked good in the offseason, but like fellow freshman Carson Beck, not having a spring football session in Todd Monken’s Air Raid offense has slowed his progress.
JT Daniels, who transferred to Georgia in May, was essentially recruited by Monken because of two years at Southern Cal. Daniels had a year under center, and then last season’s year worth of mental reps and QB meetings.
Georgia football will have more of a quarterback process than competition this fall, though it’s important to note the position is not handed to anyone and the players compete on every snap and in every drill.
But those quarterbacks also help one another and cooperate off the field. That’s when things are best in every position group, but particularly under center where players can share thoughts on receivers, linemen, backs, protections, defensive tendencies and nuances they are able to pick up that coaches can not.
It’s also important to note things have changed since Mathis and Beck signed with the Bulldogs, yet both quarterbacks remain intent on fulfilling their dreams in the red and black.
There might not be room enough for all of them on the field at one time, but there is certainly plenty of room in the locker room and on the roster.
When one is in, the others will be cheering for him — not against him — and Georgia fans would benefit the program most by providing the unified front Terence Mathis has suggested.