Georgia quarterback signee Jamie Newman looks to bring more than a big arm and dual-threat abilities to the Bulldogs’ offense this season.
Newman, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound graduate transfer from Wake Forest, also figures to foster and contribute to much-needed team chemistry in a rebuilding offensive meeting room.
Anthony Timmons, Newman’s high school coach at Graham (N.C.) High School, still remembers how Newman took over as a starter and quickly won over and lifted his teammates.
“Jamie has always been a chameleon, he’s able to get along and vibe and understand and relate to different types of people from all walks of life,” Timmons told DawgNation in an exclusive interview.
“He was always mature, and he got along with everyone in high school. He’s a well-rounded, diverse young man.”
The Georgia offense has a leadership vacuum with Jake Fromm moving on, and the nature of Newman’s position puts him in a position to lead.
“I think that’s what’s really going to help him,” Timmons said. “That’s what’s going to make the transition easier, and that’s what’s going to make the program better.”
Newman, the No 3-ranked returning quarterback according to Pro Football Focus, immediately jumps into the middle of UGA’s quarterback derby.
Redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis (6-6, 205) is expected to be cleared in May after undergoing emergency brain surgery a year before, and incoming freshman Carson Beck (6-4, 225) is another athletic strong-armed option.
Redshirt junior Stetson Bennett (5-11, 190) is the most experienced of the returning quarterbacks.
Newman is no stranger to quarterback competitions, winning the job for the Demon Deacons last spring.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder led Wake Forest during the second half of the 2018 season, taking over for incumbent Sam Hartman en route to winning Birmingham Bowl MVP honors in a 37-34 victory over Memphis.
But with Georgia losing all four of its permanent captains — Fromm, D’Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas and J.R. Reed — there will be a premium on leadership.
Particularly on offense, where just two veteran starters (center Trey Hill, Ben Cleveland) are expected to return.
Others returning have started games, but the Bulldogs need a player on offense to rally around.
Timmons said he has seen that happen with Newman before.
“Jamie was able to coach up other kids older than him to put them in the right position to be successful,” Timmons said. “That’s when I realized this young man is special, and I need to put him behind the wheel.”
Newman was a three-star prospect back in the 2016 cycle. That was the cycle when Jacob Eason signed with Georgia. He slotted in as the No. 17 dual-threat QB prospect in the nation, and No. 640 overall.
Timmons said Newman’s rank was misleading, and likely a result of him not being active on the camp circuit. Vanderbilt, N.C. State and West Virginia also offered him a scholarship.
Newman was 220-of-361 passing last season with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Newman’s pass efficiency rating was 145.30 for 2019. That was good for No. 40th in the nation. That placed him 11 spots ahead of Fromm and his 141.20 pass efficiency rating.
But what will ultimately make the difference at Georgia next season goes well beyond the numbers, and into the dynamics of the huddle.
Newman, it seems, has what it takes.
“He’s a leader,” Timmons reiterated. “He can help others raise their level of play.”
— DawgNation’s Michael Carvell contributed to this story