Trevor Lawrence was the No. 1 player and the highest-rated QB in the 2018 recruiting cycle on the 247Sports Composite. Justin Fields was right behind him at No. 2 overall. Former 5-star JT Daniels out of Mater Dei High School in California was the third-highest rated QB prospect in the 2019 cycle.
There’s a layer of irony there when it comes to the rumors now popping up that Daniels could be a transfer portal candidate to join the Georgia football program.
That decision could come sooner rather than later. Daniels is expected to announce his transfer decision from USC in the coming days.
Daniels reclassified from the 2019 class and graduated high school a full year early before joining the Trojans in June of 2018. He played just three seasons of high school football, but went on to have a strong freshman (2,672 yards, 14 TDs, 10 INTs) season.
Yet a season-ending knee injury wiped out his 2019 season in the first half of the opener.
Kedon Slovis, another talented freshman, took over the reins in 2019 and performed brilliantly. While Daniels had a strong freshman campaign, the work done by Slovis should be seen as a spectacular (3,502 yards, 30 TDs, 9 INTs) in 2019.
He had won the job and Daniels was set to compete for that position again in spring practice this year. Multiple outlets are now reporting a strong transfer possibility for Daniels to join the Bulldogs.
It is believed that Jake Reuse of Rivals.com was the first outlet to report that news. DawgNation does feel though its own sourcing on the matter that it is expected to happen.
That decision would certainly amplify a quarterback competition which was already expected to take place at UGA this fall when practices finally got underway.
Wake Forest grad transfer Jamie Newman was seen as the man to beat for the job and he has one year of eligibility remaining. Daniels would have three years to play three seasons after redshirting due to that ACL injury in 2019.
His NCAA eligibility clock, which means five years to play four seasons, started in June of 2018.
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound redshirt sophomore would certainly add to the dynamic of the quarterback derby in Athens with Newman, redshirt junior Stetson Bennett IV, redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis and true freshman early enrollee Carson Beck on the roster.
Daniels, should the move happen, would have to apply for a waiver from the NCAA for that to happen. The chances there appear strong that he might receive immediate eligibility this fall.
That goes beyond the logic behind of why would Daniels transfer away from USC if he would have sit out the 2020 season anywhere else.
JT Daniels: What to know about the former 5-star prospect
If Daniels comes to Georgia, that will mean that the Bulldogs will have brought in five quarterbacks to that room since Jake Fromm left after his junior season to join the NFL.
- Graduate transfer Jamie Newman
- Potential transfer JT Daniels
- Early enrollee Carson Beck
- Preferred walk-on Austin Kirksey
- Preferred walk-on Jackson Muschamp
That quintet would also include redshirt junior QB Stetson Bennett IV and former 4-star QB D’Wan Mathis in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s room. Mathis redshirted his freshman season at UGA last fall.
Daniels started his sophomore season hot by completing 15 of his first 17 passes for 114 yards and a TD in the first quarter against Fresno State. That was prior to a season-enduring knee injury late in the first half of that contest.
Check out the clips from that game below.
Here’s what Daniels did as a reclassified true freshman at USC in 2018
Check out his senior highlight from the California state championship against St. John Bosco:
Check out his full 2018 highlight tape from his last year of high school football:
He was rated as a 5-star prospect and the nation’s No. 16 overall prospect in the class of 2018.
Here’s what the eligibility clock would look like for Daniels.
- 2018: Freshman year at USC
- 2019: Torn ACL in the first game (Redshirt season)
- 2020: Year 3. Playing year 2
- 2021: Year 4: Playing year 3
- 2022: Year 5: Playing year 4
Daniels will not reach the 2022 season in college football. That seems likely. Take a look at his full stat line through two seasons of college football.
- 2019 season: 25 for 34, 215 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6.3 yards per attempt
- 2020 season: 216 for 363, 2,672 yards, 14 TDs, 10 INTs, 7.4 yards per attempt.