Georgia quarterback JT Daniels plans visit to SEC East Division school

JT Daniels came in at quarterback for much of the second half of the Missouri game. (Curtis Compton/AJC)
Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

ATHENS — JT Daniels is expected to visit Missouri this weekend as he continues his search for the right football fit.

The Tigers were the first program to call Daniels after he entered into the NCAA transfer portal in January after meeting with Coach Kirby Smart.

Daniels, who will remain enrolled at Georgia through the spring semester while finishing up his bachelor’s degree to qualify for grad-transfer status, took a visit to Oregon State last week.

The Beavers have key returning starters and a quarterback-friendly offense that fits Daniels’ Pro Style skillsets.

Daniels, who was 7-0 at Georgia while setting school marks (more than 200 att.) for passing efficiency and yards per attempt, has proven capable of directing the offense from the line of scrimmage and making accurate throws at all three levels into the defense.

Daniels was Georgia’s starting quarterback at this point last spring, directing a Pro-Style spread offense with Air Raid concepts that was getting the better of what proved to be historically dominant defense before receiver George Pickens went down with a knee injury.

The Bulldogs’ offense appeared set to move forward in a pass-first fashion with Daniels at the helm throughout the remainder of spring and offseason drills before Daniels was injured during a fall scrimmage.

An upper-body injury was hidden from the media but appeared to limit Daniels in the opening game against Clemson, as he donned a flak jacket for the 10-3 win over the Tigers.

Daniels attempted to play through the injury in September, further aggravating it with an oblique injury and then lat sprain that led him to miss three games before being cleared to return for the Bulldogs’ game with Florida.

Smart told ESPN leading up to the game with the Gators he was not sure which quarterback was better, Daniels or Bennett.

“I’m not sure we know who the better one is based on which game plan we have,” Smart said in the ESPN interview.

“There are teams we play that we have to be able to use the quarterback in the run game. Well, that’s Stetson. There are teams we play that you have to get the ball out quickly and be really accurate. That’s JT.”

Smart, however, stuck with Bennett the remainder of the season.

Bennett, a 24-year-old grad student, elected to return to the team after UGA won the national title game, and offensive coordinator Todd Monken said at a booster event that Bennett will remain the team’s starting quarterback.

West Virginia is another school believed to be interested in Daniels, and Notre Dame is another school that could make sense depending on how the Irish quarterback situation works out this spring.

Daniels left a positive impression on Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz in Georgia’s 49-14 win over the Tigers in 2020.

Daniels was 16-of-27 passing for 299 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions amid freezing temperatures in the win over Missouri as the Bulldogs closed the 2020 season with four consecutive wins.

The final start for Daniels in 2021 came against Vanderbilt when he opened the game 9-of-10 passing to lead Georgia to a 35-0 first-quarter lead before exiting the contest after aggravating the oblique injury.

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