3 things about new Georgia football quarterback situation after Jamie Newman’s departure
ATHENS —Jamie Newman is no longer at Georgia because the Bulldogs’ offense was not working out for him well enough to endure the mental hurdles of COVID-19 protocol and the daily grind of competition.
JT Daniels came to Georgia in June because the offense is a good fit for him and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken obviously let him know that at some point during a clandestine recruitment.
That’s it, that simple.
Fans, of course, fall in love with narratives and reach for logic to back up whatever stance they have previously taken or expect to see in a football team or coach.
Thus, there has been some moaning about how this is “Sooo Georgia football,” and another case of “Kirby screwing up the offense.”
It’s ridiculous, of course, when one considers the Bulldogs rank among the most consistent championship contenders since Smart was hired.
Georgia is the only SEC program riding a streak of three straight Top 7 finishes, and Smart has managed this in only four years.
But reach, fans will, as rivals torment them on social media and fears close in of lost football games and program pride.
The good news for those doubting, chicken little Georgia fans is there’s a building full of talented players who have no intention of folding.
The quarterback room has three of the most resilient, confident and talented players in the nation.
The rival fans who came for the funeral might just find themselves amid red and black confetti by the end of the season.
Here are three truths about the Georgia quarterback situation now that Newman has made the career decision to move on, with neither he nor his head coach expressing any hard feelings:
1. JT Daniels is next up
Daniels, for those with a short memory, was a 5-star prospect out of QB factory Mater Dei (Calif.) High School who ranked only behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields among quarterbacks in the 2018 Class.
Daniels had a well-documented rough freshman season at USC after skipping his senior year of high school to enroll but was off to a strong start in the Trojans’ 2019 opener before suffering a torn ACL in the second quarter.
High-profile, quarterback desperate schools such as Michigan, Tennessee and Washington coveted Daniels, but after researching the nation the family decided Todd Monken’s offense was the best fit and chose UGA despite a crowded QB room.
Daniels is not yet cleared in a “game ready” way, but the size of his knee brace has been reduced, and he is getting reps and taking part in scrimmages. Barring injury or unforeseen event, Daniels will likely be the starter at Arkansas on Sept. 26.
2. D’Wan Mathis brings talent
The redshirt freshman was once the No. 1 choice for THE Ohio State, committed and ready to ink in December of 18 before Justin Fields’ flirtations with the Buckeyes became public and turned into a transfer.
Mathis didn’t get the red carpet ride typical for a UGA recruit. His recruitment was one of necessity for both Georgia and the Detroit area product. Short and sweet, Mathis needed a place to go, and UGA needed a quarterback.
Georgia fans have embraced Mathis and his miraculous recovery from the brain surgery procedure he underwent in May of 2019. The Mathis family has stated Georgia saved D’Wan’s life with the immediate diagnosis, and the world class medical care he received in Athens.
The feel-good part is over for D’Wan, however. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder is hungry, eager and understandably sometimes frustrated to get on the field and show his talents.
Monken’s pro-style system is no more ideal for the athletic, big-armed Mathis to play immediately than it was for Newman. Pre-snap reads, check downs and delicate intermediate throws are necessary for success.
But what Mathis has that Newman did not is time — time to invest in a system that might one day make him a first-round pick. This, provided Mathis can show as much patience learning the nuances of this system as he did resolve during his storybook medical comeback.
Carson Beck has a vision
The big winner in Newman’s decision to leave the team and train for the NFL individually is Beck. The former Florida “Mr. Football” now has a seat on the proverbial “Bus” for travel games.
A true freshman, Beck is a confident, athletic and talented prospect who has proven he can succeed amid the good times (2018 Florida Class 8A state championship) along with the more challenging (2019 season, rallying a rebuilding team from 2-3 to 6-4).
Beck’s high school offensive coordinator said he has “a Jake Fromm head on his shoulders but with a Matt Stafford arm.”
The fact Beck was still standing at Georgia after the Bulldogs added Jamie Newman and JT Daniels to the roster says everything anyone needs to know about his confidence and determination.
You can be sure other schools made it clear for Beck they had — and have — a fast track to a starting spot available for him should he exit Athens.
Beck, instead, is choosing to stay and compete for the opportunity to live out his college football dream, adding weight and muscle definition with each trip to the training table and weight room.