Georgia quarterback JT Daniels speaks to the media during the 2021 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days on July 20, 2021, at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. (Jimmie Mitchell/SEC)
Jimmie Mitchell

Jordan Rodgers: JT Daniels to have a ‘Joe Burrow-type of season’

HOOVER, Ala. — JT Daniels is on a meteoric rise and is going to have a Joe Burrow-type of season at Georgia this season, according to ESPN analyst and former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers.

“I talked to Jordan Palmer, his quarterback coach out in California, who I respect as one of the best in the business, and he is so high on JT’s ceiling this year, as am I,” Rodgers told DawgNation.

“When you watch this kid on tape, the first thing that jumps out last year was pushing the ball downfield,” he said. “Everyone in college football can throw the ball 60 yards, but that doesn’t mean everybody can be an effective downfield passer.

“JT puts so much air under the ball and throws with such amazing touch and accuracy outside, he’s able to allow his receivers to make plays for him.”

Rodgers knows what it’s like to quarterback a Top 25 football team, leading Vanderbilt to its winningest season in 97 years in 2012 with a 9-4 record and Top 20 finish.

And the former Commodore took note of Daniels from the first time he stepped on the field at Georgia.

Daniels was 28-of-38 passing for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 31-24 win over Mississippi State in his UGA debut. It was the first 400-yard passing game by a UGA quarterback since Aaron Murray went for 415 yards in a 2013 loss to Auburn.

Daniels should be even more proficient this season having had the offseason to work with the receivers and grow more comfortable with the nuances of the offensive run by second-year coordinator Todd Monken.

“I think he’s going to excel at the pre-snap stuff, getting them in the right protections, getting them in the right looks, winning the line of scrimmage, and winning the down before the play even starts,” Rodgers said. “So JT is going to have a meteoric rise, I think he’s going to have a Joe Burrow type season, that’s one in a lifetime, but he’s going to get up there and his numbers are going to ‘Wow’ us.

“I think he’s going to be a guy that will lead Georgia a long way into the postseason.”

Burrow led LSU to the 2019 national championship in his second year in the Tigers’ program and won the Heisman Trophy after transferring from Ohio State.

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Rodgers said he’s not yet certain what the Bulldogs’ offense will look like. Coach Kirby Smart, himself, said UGA is still looking at how it will maximize its talents.

“My biggest question mark is from a personnel standpoint, what is Georgia going to do?” Rodgers said. “Because JT seems like, from the past, that he works best out of the spread type of scenario. That’s what he did out of high school and what he did before he transfers to Georgia.

“But this offense, they are so deep at running back, they are so deep at tight end, (so) what kind of personnel groupings and what kind of formations is Georgia going to be living in?”

Time will tell, but Daniels has said he’s comfortable with all the weapons and the team’s strong offseason work ethic.

“It’s rare you have the receiving corps we do,” Daniels said. “it’s also the O-line, tight ends, running backs and quarterbacks,” Daniels said. “It’s great to have a lot of guys come back, especially when it’s guys that could be drafted.”

Rodgers said his biggest concern with the offense is its ability to maintain a high clip.

“It’s consistency from the quarterback position,” Rodgers said. “I feel comfortable with JT Daniels, but look back over the last four or five years: when has a team won the national championship without elite quarterback play, and consistent elite play?

“We’ve seen a small sample size from JT, four games.”