BREAKING: 5-star Georgia QB Justin Fields backs off his pledge to Penn State

Justin Fields-UGA recruiting
Justin Fields is the nation's No. 1 dual-threat QB prospect for the Class of 2018. He just de-committed from Penn State on Tuesday night.

Justin Fields, the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB prospect, has opted to de-commit from Penn State.

The Metro Atlanta standout shared that decision via social media. Fields called it probably the hardest decision he has had to make in his life.

When Fields chose Penn State, he said Georgia coach Kirby Smart told him he wasn’t going to let him leave the state without a fight.

The staffs at Auburn, Florida, Florida State all feel exactly the same way tonight. They’ve felt that way for the last few months, too. Expect everyone to go all out to try and sign this gunslinger.

Fields is considered the nation’s No. 2 overall quarterback prospect in 2018. He had another fine showing at the Elite 11 last weekend.

Clemson 5-star commit Trevor Lawrence — a player the Bulldogs went full bore for before Fields — is the only passer in this class that carries a higher worth among the industry at QB for this cycle. Lawrence is also the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2018.

Harrison High standout Justin Fields is the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB for 2018. He also scored a 29 on his ACT and holds a 3.9 GPA. (Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com)

Fields moved up to 5-star status after he chose Penn State on December 1 of last year.

The Bulldogs stand to have a good shot at Fields given the program doesn’t have a true dual-threat QB on its roster. They also don’t have a commitment at QB for this cycle.

Fields would be quite the prize. The 6-foot-3, 221-pounder also has impressive accuracy delivering the football to all corners of the field.

He carries a 3.9 grade-point average and has scored a 29 on his ACT. The Bulldogs have continued to recruit him with multiple coaches.

Looking for another connection to Athens? It is also worth noting that his younger sister Jaiden Fields has committed to play softball at UGA. That can only help the program’s chances.

Does UGA have a chance with Justin Fields?

That’s the 5-star question. He had an answer for that after his spring football game last month against Kennesaw Mountain.

“If something crazy happened at Penn State where I would have to de-commit, then they would definitely have a chance,” Fields said.

“Crazy” was best defined then as a major staff change or any other negative turn of events which would affect the way he currently views a chance to play for the Nittany Lions.

5-star Justin Fields shined at the Nike Opening Orlando regional back in February. (Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com)

That never happened, but Fields still felt the tug to de-commit on Tuesday night.

Smart has lived up to his promise about not letting him get away without a major effort from his program.

“He’s keeping the pedal slammed down to the metal there,” Fields said. “Coach [Dell] McGee texts me. Coach Kirby [Smart] texts me and Coach [Jim] Chaney texts me. All three of those guys. But actually more guys from Georgia, too. Coach [James] Coley texts me. All those guys text me all the time.”

Does he feel like he is a true priority?

“Most definitely,” Fields said. “I feel like Georgia’s coaches are doing everything they can and then some to try to recruit me.”

What was the one thing that Georgia has told Fields that has bent his ear? Have they hit one out of the park with any of their pitches?

Fields can think of one instantly.

“The most surprising thing was telling me that I have a really good chance to play after Jacob Eason left just with my ability to run the ball and pass the ball. Just that dual-threat ability that I have.”

That seems clear. The 6-foot-3 dual threat ran a 4.51 laser time at that Nike regional back in February. He clocked a 4.16 short shuttle and threw the power ball 39 feet. Fields even showed off a 33-inch vertical.

How fast is that shuttle? That’s the 10th-best showing by any QB this spring at the Nike events.