What the success of recent transfer quarterbacks does and doesn’t mean for Georgia football
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What Georgia football will look like with Jamie Newman at the helm
By now, you’ve probably heard about how three of this year’s four quarterbacks to start for College Football Playoff teams were transfer quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts departed Alabama to lead Oklahoma to a third-straight playoff berth. Justin Fields left Georgia to lead Ohio State to a Big Ten title and a near victory over Clemson.
And Joe Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State to LSU prior to the 2018 season, will have a chance to guide the Tigers to a national championship.
Given the recent success of these types of players — Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield also come to mind as successful transfer quarterbacks — it seems enticing to vault Georgia into the national title contender category for the 2020 season now that Georgia has landed Wake Forest transfer quarterback Jamie Newman.
But simply adding in the talented dual-threat quarterback doesn’t guarantee the Bulldogs will be playing in either New Orleans or Pasadena, Calif. next year for the College Football Playoff. Kirby Smart certainly isn’t replicating the “This Is How I Win” meme now that it seems like he’s got an upgrade at the quarterback position for 2020.
For starters, Newman still has to win the job. Smart very likely won’t come out and declare Newman the QB1 prior to Georgia’s season-opening game against Virginia. On Alabama’s 2014 team, which Smart served as the defensive coordinator, the Crimson Tide brought in Florida State transfer Jacob Coker. But it was Blake Sims who ended up winning the starting job that season — though Coker won the job that next year and ultimately led the Crimson Tide to a title.
Newman will have to beat out Stetson Bennett, Carson Beck and D’Wan Mathis this spring and fall to earn the title of starting quarterback. Bennett is the only one of those three who has thrown a pass, but he does have the experience edge when it comes to playing in the James Coley offense. DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell laid out what Georgia is getting in Beck, while Mike Griffith gave the latest on Mathis and his status following brain surgery.
Newman will be widely expected to win the starting job, and there’s a very likely chance he does. But Georgia’s offense in 2019 was still a mess and simply dropping in a new quarterback won’t just change things.
The Bulldogs have to replace their leading rusher in D’Andre Swift, four offensive linemen with starting experience and pass catchers in Eli Wolf, Lawrence Cager, Tyler Simmons and Charlie Woerner. And the offense last year was a major problem for the Bulldogs.
Now Georgia isn’t devoid of talent on that side of the ball. The Bulldogs will bring back running backs Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh at running back, along with George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock and Demetris Robertson at wide receiver.
The Bulldogs are also bringing in a number of highly-rated skill players in their 2020 recruiting class, including three wide receivers who ranked among the top 100 prospects in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
With Hurts at Oklahoma last year, the offense still hummed like it had when Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield. But adding in Hurts didn’t ultimately change the way Lincoln Riley and the Sooners played. And at the end of the season, Oklahoma’s defense still got exposed against LSU.
And Smart, barring a stunning change in philosophy, isn’t going to turn into a coach that runs a Mike Leach-esque offense. He’s still going to rely on running the ball and playing defense.
In his time at Wake Forest, Newman threw for 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while also adding 574 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Newman’s rushing ability is going to potentially add a different element to the Georgia offense next season, should the Bulldogs choose to use his skills that way.
For all the concerns about the Georgia offense next year, the defense should once again be outstanding. The Bulldogs do have to replace valuable contributors like JR Reed, Tae Crowder and Tyler Clark. But the Bulldogs bring back the likes of Richard LeCounte, Eric Stokes, Azeez Ojulari and Travon Walker just to name some of the standouts.
It makes sense for Georgia to play to its strengths next year. It shouldn’t — and likely won’t — ask Newman to be Jake Fromm and do all the things he did. It’s also not likely going to ask Newman to be the lone antidote for the offense.
There’s plenty of reason to be excited about Georgia next year, as it will likely be in the top-5 of many of “Way-too-early Top 25s” that will come out this week. But it’s also worth keeping expectations in check, and not thinking Newman is going to become the next Burrow.
Reacting to Jamie Newman transfer to Georgia football
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- WATCH: LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda reveals Georgia game plans
- What Georgia’s offense still needs after landing quarterback Jamie Newman
- Zamir White welcomes UGA’s new QB: ‘Let’s work bro’
- Jamie Newman brings more to Georgia football than dual-threat QB abilities
- Mark Richt on Jamie Newman: ‘I predict he will be the best quarterback in the SEC’
- Georgia football podcast: UGA seemingly active in pursuit of transfer QB
- Quarterback trainer: Jamie Newman fits new direction Kirby Smart taking Georgia football offense
- WATCH: Holly Rowe explains tearful moment, how Justin Fields’ success affected Jake Fromm perception
- Georgia football: How do the Bulldogs move forward after the Jake Fromm decision?
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) January 12, 2020
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2020
Welcome to the family, let’s work bro💯 https://t.co/WvmHrzjYOu
— Zamir White (@zeus1_34) January 11, 2020
What kind of player will we see Sunday? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/FjC6OladgJ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 12, 2020
Good Dawg of the Day
This is Oatie. He’s just making sure you’re doing alright. There’s a lot going on right now so if you’d like a hug or maybe a snuggle he’s available. 12/10 pic.twitter.com/FejIpFbQIN
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) January 10, 2020