ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart announced that quarterback D’Wan Mathis entered the transfer portal on Monday, ending speculation that had grown over the weekend.
“As far as D’Wan goes, he’s handled everything first class, he didn’t want to be a distraction for the team,” Smart said on his Monday Zoom press conference.
“He was hurt and disappointed things came out before the game.”
Smart said the Bulldogs would like Mathis to stay with the team. The redshirt freshman from Metro Detroit overcame a well-documented emergency brain surgery in May of 2019.
The former Oak Park (Mich.) High School star has appeared in four games this season completing 12 of 30 passes for 89 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions.
Mathis has also been credited with 60 yards rushing, but losses on sacks have reduced the number to a cumulative 17 yards on 18 attempts, with lost yardage as a result of errant snaps factored in.
The story came out via 247Sports on Friday that Mathis was expected to enter the transfer portal, with DawgNation confirming with the player’s parent that D’Wan Mathis did not travel with the team to South Carolina.
Smart said Mathis did not want the news to come out before Monday.
“He wanted to handle it the right way and have it come out today, when he entered the portal,” Smart said. “I’m excited about his future.”
Mathis showed a strong arm and great mobility in his appearances at quarterback for Georgia, but it was clear he needed to get more experience and grow more comfortable working through his progressions and throwing the ball accurately with consistency.
UGA runs a Pro Style offense which requires a great deal of game management and pre-snap recognition and timing from the quarterback, who must also be in sync with receivers on the reads.
Most college offenses are considerably more simple, but Smart prefers the Pro Style offense because it enables the quarterback to put the team in the best play and exploit the defensive alignment.
Mathis and freshman teammate Carson Beck have both been growing into the system, which has brand-new terminology with a first-year offensive coordianator.
Mathis impressed teammates in the early winter workouts in 7-on-7 with his arm strength even more than former UGA player and Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman.
Newman transferred out of the program after the first scrimmage, while Mathis was ultimately named the season starter.
It has been a long comeback trail for Mathis, who flipped from Ohio State to Georgia on the December early signing day in 2018 after learning the Buckeyes were recruiting UGA Justin Fields out of the transfer portal.
Prior to Ohio State, Mathis was committed to Iowa State and Michigan State.
Mathis was cleared to play last May, a year after undergoing emergency brain surgery.
Mathis started the season-opening game at Arkansas but was pulled after failing to lead the team to a touchdown on the first six series of the game.
Redshirt junior Stetson Bennett took over starting duties until injuring his shoulder in the first quarter of a 44-28 loss to Florida.
Mathis came on in relief of Bennett in the third quarter with Georgia down 41-21 but was unable to rally the team to a win.
Still, Smart sees the talent in the 6-foot-6, 210-pounder.
“We want him to stay here,” Smart said. “We’re going to help him every way we can with the transition, and we think he’s got a bright future.”
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