041721 Athens: Georgia quarterback JT Daniels gets off a deep pass during the G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels: ‘we’ll always be in the right play,’ dishes on deep ball success

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels explained why he puts so much arc on his deep throws during an appearance on Trevor Matich’s Virtual CFB Tour show on Saturday on ESPN.

The explanation from Daniels, who had the highest QB rating of any returning quarterback since taking the field last Nov. 21, should silence analysts who mistakingly referred to him putting added air under the ball to “under throwing” receivers.

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“That’s something I learned when I was a freshman in high school,” said Daniels, who started training with renowned NFL QB coach Jordan Palmer about that time.

“Overthrowing a really good receiver guarantees he won’t catch the ball,” Daniels said. “But iIf you give them a chance, a 50-50 … "

Georgia coach Kirby Smart sat beside Daniels as he spoke during the interview, completely bought into his quarterback with the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs season-opening game against No. 3 Clemson on deck at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.

“I think the biggest thing if you are in a situation where you are in a one-on-one (coverage), and you can give the receiver a chance, never guarantee those 7 points are off the board by overthrowing it,” Daniels said.

“We get the best receivers in the country for a reason.... So to me, it’s part of my job to give them a chance to show why they are who they are.”

No doubt, Daniels famously said after his first start for Georgia, “If you have George Pickens and Jermaine Burton, if you’re not going to throw it up to them, don’t recruit them.

“If you’re gonna give a one-on-one with George, Jermaine, Kearis and all our guys, I’m probably going to make you want to try and stop it.”

Daniels has the arm talent to do so, but also, he has the hard-earned trust of second-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken along with Smart.

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The USC transfer is as deadly at the line of scrimmage with his pre-snap reads as he is with his execution once the play is set into motion.

“We know what my strengths are,” Daniels said, after joking about his middle-of-the-pack time in the 40-yard dash.

“My strength being, we’ll always be in the right play, I know what I’m going up against. I know what I’m seeing, and I can get our guys in the offense on the right page and be that primary distributor.”

Smart, still on set when Daniels was speaking, was asked if Daniels was right about his strengths.

“That’s exactly, right,” Smart said. “I love the fact that he’s a football junkie. He enjoys watching the tape and analyzing the tape and knowing what defenses are in. Each week I like to quiz him and say, ‘what do you see out of this bunch, out of this group?’

“He has a routine and sets a really good example for not only his position, but other players on the team, too, as far as watching tape.”

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