ATHENS — The quarterback position is without question the most talked about on most every team, and Georgia is no different.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs might have the best 1-2 punch in the nation with sophomore Jake Fromm and true freshman Justin Fields.
Many want to know how much Fields will play in Saturday’s noon game against Middle Tennessee at Sanford Stadium.
Fromm, of course, led Georgia to an SEC championship and appearance in the College Football Playoff championship game his true freshman season.
Fromm was selected as the best freshman quarterback in the nation by the Football Writers Association of America.
Fields, meanwhile, was the No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 signing class, and he already has his own fan following.
Fields’ fans want to see him on the field.
If Fromm and Georgia won the national championship game over Alabama, would fans still be clamoring for more Fields?
Which leads us to this week’s Ask Griff question:
Do you think it might be good internal strategy/politics to let Fields start next week’s game?
@MikeGriffith32 do you think it might be good internal strategy/politics to let Fields start next week’s game?
— AA (@Str8StatsMLB) September 9, 2018
Fields is indeed an incredible talent, possessing arm strength, athleticism and great mobility.
But the one thing he doesn’t have right now is experience, and it would be hard for Smart to justify pulling Fromm off the field, when it is Fromm who gives Georgia its best chance to win at this stage of Fields’ young career.
Smart pointed out this summer that quarterback is different than every other positions on the team, save punters and kickers.
At other positions, players can develop their skills and get playing time on special teams.
At Georgia, the offensive and defensive players have been in lockstep in their support of Fromm, and their trust in Smart to make decisions in the best interest of the team.
Some have suggested that Smart should work hard to keep Fields happy, so he doesn’t transfer.
Pablo Fields, Justin’s father, spoke out in an ESPN interview during the offseason and commented on how Alabama’s QB situation “opens eyes.”
The insinuation was pretty clear, but Smart essentially brushed off the comments.
Those pushing for Fields to start at this stage of the season fail to realize that championship programs have a team-first mentality.
What if every 5-star freshman threatened to transfer if they didn’t play immediately, or as much as they wanted?
“You want guys who want to win championships, [and] you want guys who want to be the best they can be,” Smart said at SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. “Does that necessarily mean they play every snap as a freshman? Not necessarily.”
As for the possibility that a player might threaten to transfer, Smart said he absolutely doesn’t allow that to enter into his decisions.
“I don’t think you play that [threat of transfer] into the decision, [because] then you are being manipulated and dictated to, and you have to do what’s best for your team,” Smart said, “and you’ve also got to do what’s best for each young man on your team for their development.
“It’s about the team, and you can’t be just about you, even through there is a me generation and me society. I think you can explain it to them that ‘this is what’s best for you,’ then you can help them understand why you’re trying to do what you’re doing.”