ATHENS — Former Georgia quarterback and SEC Championship Game MVP (2005) D.J. Shockley knows all about offseason competition, drawing from his days playing with David Greene under Mark Richt.
Shockley, recently speaking with WSB on the Bulldogs Game Day show, discussed how pivotal it is that incoming grad-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman will be present for spring drills.
“You’ve got some young guys who have already been there,” Shockley said. “Stetson Bennett has already been there. D’Wan Mathis is coming off his injury, he has been there, he’s been a part of the system.
“So (Newman) is going to need this time to really dive into that playbook and understand all the nuances of it.”
The Bulldogs hired new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to replace James Coley earlier this month. Coley left for Texas A&M last Friday, opening up a spot on the staff many expect newly hired analyst Buster Faulkner to fill.
Monken has been active on the recruiting trail since his hire, but with the start of a dead period fast approaching (Feb. 3), Kirby Smart and his staff could have time to crunch some Xs and Os.
Georgia will likely retain some of its base offense, but there are sure to be plenty of twists.
Monken, an “Air Raid” pass scheme expert, will bring part of his playbook and look to maximize UGA’s dual-threat quarterbacks.
Mathis, Bennett and incoming freshman Carson Beck all have good mobility.
And then there’s Newman who rushed for 574 yards and 6 TDs last season, including a 50-yard run. Of Newman’s 180 attempts, 128 were designed runs, per PFF advanced metrics.
The former Wake Forest quarterback was recently tagged among the top five Heisman Trophy favorites, and PFF ranks him the third-best quarterback returning in the nation behind Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence.
“Joe Burrow (was) far and away the highest-graded quarterback throwing to a tight window, but Newman is second — and third isn’t anywhere near him,” PFF penned earlier this month. “He also limited his uncatchable pass rate to the fourth lowest.
“Newman has some rushing ability and has seen the eighth-most designed rushes for a quarterback (128). While some may say it’s his rushing that can be his greatest weapon, it’s clearly his arm.”
But the key where Georgia is concerned is that Newman is already on campus and working out with his teammates.
“So him being here early,” Shockley said, “I think, gives him an opportunity to be the guy.”
Former Georgia QB D.J. Shockley
With Jamie Newman already on campus in Athens, @DjShockley3 says spring practice will be huge for him to prove he can be “the guy”!
— Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) January 27, 2020
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