ATHENS — Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley says he has seen enough to declare Stetson Bennett as the Bulldogs’ backup quarterback entering the 2019 season.
“Jake Fromm is obviously the unquestioned leader of this Georgia team, (but) there’s always going to be questions of who is the backup in case something happens to Jake,” Shockley told WSB Gameday. “Going into spring you wondered, and everybody wondered.
“But I believe Stetson Bennett put that to rest.”
Bennett, a former UGA walk-on who played last season at Jones (Miss.) Junior College, returned this spring as a 2019 signee. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound redshirt sophomore from Blackshear, Ga., appeared sharp in the G-Day Game.
Bennett played on both the red and black teams, an impressive 8-of-14 passing for 128 yards with a TD while working with the first-team offense against the first-team defense, and 4-of-9 passing for 82 yards while operating with the second-team offense against the second-team defense.
Shockley, the MVP of the 2005 SEC Championship Game and a member of the Atlanta Falcons from 2006-10, pointed out there’s value in Bennett’s previous experience on the Georgia team as a walk-on in 2017.
“He’s a guy that’s played here at the University of Georgia, he knows what Georgia is all about, and I think the part that’s really great about him is he has played at a junior college level, and he has experience,” Shockley said. “He’s went out and had to be the guy. He comes back to Georgia where he knows the system, he knows the environment, and everybody around him knows what Stetson Bennett brings to the table because of what he’s done in practice, but also because of the experience he has gained over the year.”
Incoming freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis also had a very good spring, but Mathis’ offseason has been complicated by emergency surgery to remove a cyst on his brain on May 23.
“Hopefully he can come back from what happened this summer,” Shockley said, “but he is a guy that’s also in the mold.”
For the immediate future, however, Shockley believes Bennett gives Georgia some security behind Fromm.
“With all he can bring to the table, physically as well as mentally knowing the system,” Shockley said, “…. He’s a guy you do not have to worry about when it comes to if something were to happen to Jake Fromm. I think the Georgia offense still would be in good hands with Stetson Bennett.”
He’s BAAAAAACK!@DjShockley3 is back on @WSBbulldogs to get u ready for the @FootballUGA season!
Today’s topic, DJ’s talking UGA QBs. @FrommJake @StetsonIV
More with DJ, on the Bulldogs Saturday 10am on @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/Q8MMtksQiB
— Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) June 27, 2019