ATHENS — Georgia football got an early Christmas present last Friday when quarterback signee Dwan Mathis completed his online coursework to become eligible for the spring semester.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Mathis doubled up on his academic work at Oak Park High School in Michigan this fall.
Mathis took four online courses in addition to his regular course load and football practices during the weekdays to graduate early.
The Bulldogs’ program and fan base know better than anyone the importance of having talented quarterback depth.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm made history as a true freshman in 2017, leading the Bulldogs to an SEC championship, a Rose Bowl CFP Playoff victory and national championship game appearance.
Fromm did all that after coming off the bench in the opener when incumbent Jacob Eason was injured on the third series of the opening game.
Mathis, a 4-star quarterback who was previously committed to two Big Ten championship programs — Michigan State, and then Ohio State — was contacted by Georgia on Dec. 16 via test message.
Would he have interest in Georgia?
The Mathis family and Oak Park camp are thrilled with the opportunity ahead of him.
“I’ve had him for three years and I think the opportunity to go to Georgia is great for him,’’ Oak Park coach Greg Carter told the Detroit Free Press.
“We all watched the Georgia-Alabama game and some people think Georgia might be the second-best team in the country even though they didn’t make the playoffs. I’m happy for him and his decision.’’
The Georgia quarterback situation was thrown for a loop earlier this month when freshman Justin Fields informed the coaching staff he was going to explore other options.
Fields’ name was added to the NCAA portal and talks with other programs began, even while the Bulldogs have prepared for the Sugar Bowl game against Texas on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.
Coach Kirby Smart has continued to praise and support Fields throughout the process.
Fields has said he wants to make the trip to New Orleans and play in the Sugar Bowl, and Smart has said he welcomes that.
Mathis, who turned 18 last Friday, will arrive in Athens on Jan. 5 and begin classes at the University of Georgia on Jan. 8.
Four of the other early enrollees have already practiced with the Bulldogs, though they aren’t eligible to make the trip to the Sugar Bowl.
• Jermaine Johnson (6-6, 250), the nation’s top-rated junior college prospect, looked every bit the part in drill work at the end of last week.
• Clay Webb (6-3, 295), a 5-star offensive line prospect from Oxford, Ala., showed the type of agility that could enable him to compete for an immediate spot in the O-Line rotation next season.
• Cornerback D.J. Daniel, a 4-star prospect from the Georgia Military Academy, moved well skeleton work. Daniel has noticeably long arms on his athletic frame.
• Defensive tackle Tramel Walthour, who comes to UGA by way of Hutchinson (Kans.) Community College, looked slightly bigger than the 6-4, 277 he’s listed.
Georgia will have between 11 and 13 early enrollees in January depending on the statuses of 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood and 4-star CB Tyrique Stevenson.
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