Quarterback expert Trent Dilfer explains why Justin Fields going to Georgia ‘wasn’t a good idea’
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Trent Dilfer gives interesting information on former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields
When Justin Fields decided to transfer from Georgia just after his freshman season, many wondered aloud why Fields, a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, even picked Georgia in the first place.
At the time of his commitment, Jake Fromm had clearly taken the reigns as Georgia’s starting quarterback and former 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason moved to the back-up role. Fields spent much of his freshman season in that same back-up role, as Fromm started all 14 games for Georgia.
But we now know that people who have talked with Fields wondered why he picked Georgia in the first place, given the talent in the room. Trent Dilfer — who runs the Elite 11 competition and works with many of the top high school quarterbacks in the country — says he told Fields that going to Georgia was not the best move.
DawgNation caught up with Dilfer at the Super Bowl media day on Monday, and the quarterback guru revealed why he wasn’t shocked that Fields left Georgia so quickly.
“I was probably the only guy that wasn’t surprised. I told him it wasn’t a good move to go there,” Dilfer said. “He’s a unique talent, one of the best I’ve ever seen. But these kids when they’re in high school think they’re just going to go in and beat the stud in front of him. And Jake’s a great player.”
Dilfer saw first-hand what kind of potential Fields has, as He was named the MVP of the 2017 Elite 11. Following the Elite 11 quarterback competition, Fields briefly rose to be the No. 1 prospect in the country, ahead of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
But Fields couldn’t get consistent playing time despite appearing in 12 games for Georgia. He completed 27 of his 39 pass attempts in 2018 and threw for 4 touchdowns to 0 interceptions. Fields also ran 266 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Dilfer does think that Fields will be in a better situation at Ohio State. Should he be granted immediate eligibility, Fields will almost certainly be the starter for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes, especially after Tate Martell transferred to Miami.
But the move to Georgia never really made sense to Dilfer.
“The dual thing was never going to work with them rotating between quarterbacks,” Dilfer said. “And Jake, because of his command of the offense and the success he had as a freshman, to me, I just didn’t think it was a good move.”
ESPN recently released its list of top transfer quarterbacks in 2019, and interestingly rated Eason above Fields. Eason, who left Georgia after the 2017 season concluded, sat out this past season at Washington. It rated former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts as the No. 1 overall transfer quarterback, as he will now be the starter at Oklahoma.
Still, ESPN gave Fields very high praise.
“Fields might be the most physically talented quarterback who changed schools in this cycle,” Mark Schlabach wrote. “Fields has tremendous mobility and exceptional arm strength, and UGA coaches believed he had a very high ceiling. It’s probably unfair to judge him by his performance with the Bulldogs, since he was used so sporadically.”
With Fields no longer with the program, Fromm will enter 2019 as Georgia’s unquestioned starting quarterback. But the options behind him are unproven. Georgia signed Stetson Bennett and 4-star quarterback Dwan Mathis during the early signing period. But neither of them have thrown a pass at the FBS level.
As a sophomore, Fromm threw 30 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions on the season. Fromm and the Bulldogs begin 2019 on Aug. 31, when they visit Vanderbilt.
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