HOOVER, Ala. —Georgia quarterback JT Daniels hasn’t thrown his first pass of the 2021 season, but his Heisman Trophy odds were on the rise after his media day performance on Tuesday.
Daniels is the new odds-on favorite -- per a BetOnline release -- at 5/1 after passing up opening line favorites Spencer Rattler (5/1), D.J. Uiagalelei (7/1) and Sam Howell (7/1). (Complete odds at bottom).
Daniels was confident and to the point at the SEC Media Days kickoff event at the Wynfrey Hotel during Georgia’s presentation on Tuesday.
“I’d say my biggest strength is understanding my role of being the primary distributor,” Daniels said. “What I do is being able to read the defense and determine the best place for the ball to go that’s going to help us move the chains and score points.”
Daniels confirmed that high expectations could be justified based on the returning players and time that second-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken has had to work with the team.
“Everybody that played against Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl is here, plus some newcomers, and we’ve had a whole spring, as opposed to last year,” Daniels said. “There’s just been a lot of time and energy put into building that rapport. So I would, of course, expect it to keep progressing week by week, year by year to get better and better and better.”
As practical and appropriate as Daniels’ comments were for the setting, it’s hard to imagine they had an effect on his odds improving.
RELATED: Kirby Smart tackles “great expectations” question
Kirby Smart did, however, compare Daniels to Alabama QB Mac Jones and LSU QB Joe Burrow when asked about the USC transfer’s talents.
“The two guys that were the last two years’ national champions, they were really good quarterbacks,” Smart said. “They were great decision-makers. They were actually better athletes than people give them credit for.
“The decision-making process, touchdown-to-interception ratio, protecting the ball, using your playmakers, which both had really good playmakers around them, JT has those skill sets.”
Smart also shared his faith in Monken.
“Coach Monken has that experience doing it in the NFL, with Tampa Bay, they led the league in passing,” Smart said. “We have the recipe for those things.
“We’ve got to stay healthy, we’ve got to protect the quarterback, and we’ve got to find more skill players to make plays for us.”
1/12/21 Current (2/1/21)
JT Daniels - Georgia 12/1 5/1
Spencer Rattler - Oklahoma 5/1 7/1
Bryce Young - Alabama 12/1 10/1
CJ Stroud - Ohio State Off the Board 10/1
D.J. Uiagalelei - Clemson 7/1 11/1