D’Wan ‘The Miracle’ Mathis, a Georgia football comeback story like no other
ATHENS — D’Wan “The Miracle” Mathis.
The Georgia football redshirt freshman has yet to play a snap of college ball, but Bulldogs’ social media followers have already tabbed the redshirt freshman quarterback with a nickname.
Kirby Smart said he’s rooting for all of his players, like any other coach, but he knows better than anyone that Mathis’ story is special.
“We don’t pull for him more just because he’s had the brain surgery, I’m not saying that,” Smart said last week. “[D’Wan] has been through so much. He’s a bright-eyed, talented kid. There are a lot of guys who have confidence in D’Wan.”
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Indeed, the former metro Detroit high school star could be in line to start the opening game at Arkansas next Saturday, just one year after an extensive rehabilitation following emergency brain surgery in May of 2019.
Mathis’ has earned it with his resilience, fighting his way back onto the practice field last season to earn scout team reps by November, giving himself a chance for the opportunity that’s upon him.
WATCH: D’Wan Mathis throws dart in Georgia football practice
Mathis, who dropped some 15 pounds following his surgery and stint in ICU after the brain surgery, has worked himself back into prime condition at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds.
Nimble on his feet and explosive in the open field, Mathis also possesses a big arm and an unmistakable level of emotion on the field.
At times, Mathis has looked dynamic. Other occasions, he resembles a redshirt freshman who hasn’t played a meaningful snap in almost two years and is learning a brand-new offense.
Smart said he has been impressed with all of his quarterbacks.
Redshirt sophomore JT Daniels brings the most experience to the table — albeit still in a knee brace and not yet cleared for the opener — while freshman Carson Beck has also shared a unique blend of athleticism and arm talent.
Regardless of who starts in the UGA opening game at Arkansas on Sept. 26, Mathis’ story is one to behold from the time he signed with the Bulldogs in 2019
ROAD TO GEORGIA
Mathis’ recruitment was filled with bumps, from the time he received his first offers in eighth grade from Akron and Cincinnati.
Indeed, Mathis had commitments and de-commitments from Iowa State, to Michigan State and finally Ohio State before signing with Georgia in December of 2018.
Mathis said the Buckeyes did what they could to keep him, going so far as to tell him they were not talking to eventual Buckeyes’ transfer Justin Fields.
“I called before I went in to sign, I had papers from both schools in front of me,” Mathis said. “… I asked if they were talking to Justin Fields, and I got a ‘No’ ”
Mathis, however, said all signs on social media suggested otherwise.
He was originally enticed by Georgia during an unofficial visit on July 15, 2017. It was a quick stop by recruiting standards, but it served a purpose.
It was a visit D’Wan always kept in the back of his mind for reasons he couldn’t even explain until the circumstances played out.