3 keys to Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman winning starting position
Jamie Newman / UGA Sports
ATHENS — Seeing Jamie Newman in a Georgia football uniform has been a long time coming for Bulldogs’ fans.
For months and months, most all pictures of Newman have been in the black and gold uniform of Wake Forest.
But earlier this week UGA players took part in a picture and video day of sorts.
That led to Newman posing for shots in Georgia colors, donning the Bulldogs’ home red jersey as the UGA film crew took multiple shots and images of him.
The Bulldogs will begin practicing with a football for the first time on Sunday, per the NCAA’s six-week preparation schedule.
There will surely be some practice shots of Newman in the customary “no contact” jerseys worn by the quarterbacks. Those jerseys have been black in the past.
But Georgia fans don’t figure to see Newman in his game uniform again until at least Sept. 7 when the Bulldogs are scheduled to play Virginia in Mercedes-Benz Stadium if not later.
There’s still a chance — some might suggest a growing chance — that the college football season will be delayed and the teams may cancel some games.
There has been growing speculation that the SEC will use a model involving a conference-only schedule plus one non-conference game.
The ACC is also believed to be considering the same model, which would increase the likelihood that Georgia and Georgia Tech would use their one non-conference game allotment on one another.
UGA athletic director Greg McGarity has said the Bulldogs will do what they can to preserve the long-standing rivalry.
And just as nothing has been officially decided with the schedule, nothing has been officially decided at quarterback, where Newman has plenty of competition.
Transfer JT Daniels received word last week he would be granted immediate eligibility, and Georgia players have expressed support for redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis. Carson Beck’s talent speaks for itself, as the true freshman might ultimately have the highest ceiling of all the quarterbacks.
Here are 3 keys to Newman winning the starting job:
Kirby Smart said that “the first thing that pops out at you is his leadership ability,” when assessing Newman earlier this offseason.
That was the offseason quote from Smart that led many to conclude Newman is indeed the front runner for the starting job.
Leadership is obviously key, as Smart has traditionally based much of his evaluation on quarterback competitions on how the team moves with each player on the field.
The quarterback that inspires confidence, brings out the best in teammates and executes the playbook most effectively can sometimes be more effective than his competition, even if the other quarterback has more talent.
The “trust” factor involves players’ ability to carry out assignments, and nowhere is that more important than at quarterback where decisions and adjustments must be made on the fly.
Those decisions — run, pass, protection or pre-snap checks — involve a pre-planned cascade of progressions that have been discussed and practiced.
Head coaches don’t like to be surprised by their quarterback, particularly if those surprises increase the odds of turning the football over or creating longer down-and-distance situations.
It might seem obvious, but health is not always a given in fall practice sessions that figure to involve plenty of scrimmage action.
Quarterbacks, obviously, will not be exposed to full contact like other position players. Still, there’s plenty of dynamics involved where players are subject to injuries, the vast majority minor.
But with a limited preparation window, there’s not much margin for error for any players in competitive position battles to miss practice time.
Georgia football preseason
Jamie Newman repping No. 9 pic.twitter.com/GHz2w5Xrr2
— Lance McCurley (@lancemccurley) July 23, 2020