ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Justin Fields has been in communication with Ohio State throughout the exploratory transfer process, and his plan is to transfer and play for the Buckeyes.
Multiple sources told DawgNation that the Bulldogs coaches have been aware of Fields’ interest to transfer to Ohio State, and the only holdup was Fields wanting to making sure current Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins is indeed headed to the NFL.
Letterman Row’s reporter Jeremy Birmingham was the first to break the news that Fields has made his decision final after weeks of speculation that Ohio State was the most likely landing spot for Fields.
Georgia 2019 signee Dwan Mathis flipped his commitment from the Buckeyes to UGA after the Bulldogs staff reached out three days before the early signing day.
Mathis told DawgNation on Thursday night that he was interested in Georgia during his visit in July of 2017, but he felt Fields would ultimately land there and UGA wouldn’t be looking for a high-profile quarterback in the 2019 class.
Once word spread that Fields was talking to Ohio State, Mathis recognized the opportunity to attend the school he’d fallen in love with during that summer visit and was receptive when Georgia offensive coaches James Coley and Jim Chaney called to offer him a scholarship.
Fields will reportedly visit Ohio State this weekend and is expected to enroll ahead of classes, which begin next week.
Fields, a celebrated 5-star prospect from Kennesaw, Ga., played in 13 of 15 games for the Bulldogs this season.
Fields was 27-of-39 passing for 328 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in his 13 appearances, and he also rushed 42 times for 266 yards and four touchdowns.
Fields said after brief playing time in the SEC Championship Game that he appreciated his time at Georgia.
“I feel like coming here kind of I could have probably went some other places, but I feel like coming here has definitely made me a better QB,” Fields said. “I feel like coming here like I didn’t want it to be handed to me like some other schools would have had. So I came here, and I’m just going to keep working.
“I’m motivated because I mean I’m a competitor. I want to be out on the field. I know there are places in my game where I need to get better at. I’m just going to keep getting better and keep improving.”
Fields informed the Georgia coaches in the practices leading up to the Bulldogs departure for New Orleans that he intended to explore transferring.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he welcomed Fields to continue practicing with the team and hoped he would stay with the Bulldogs.
“He decided he wanted to play in the Sugar Bowl, and I told him ‘absolutely, we want you there,’ ” Smart said. “Justin is working extremely hard, he’s in the meeting rooms, he’s still rolling with our twos. I’m pleased with his work and demeanor, he has had good reps.”
Smart said he wasn’t upset with Fields’ decision to explore the transfer.
“I can’t be annoyed, the kid is doing what he thinks is best for him,” Smart said. “If he’s going to make a decision, he can’t wait until after the bowl game, because schools starts (Jan. 8).”
As far as changing his mind, Smart said he didn’t see any way to do that.
“I don’t think there’s anything you can do (to convince him to stay),” Smart said. “We’ve been very open and honest that we would like him to stay. He’s worked really hard. He competed his tail off throughout the year and played a team role throughout the year.”
Calls to the Fields family have not been answered or returned.