Jacob Eason plus Jake Fromm plus Justin Fields. That’s quite the incoming depth chart.
What might that mean for the QB room at Georgia?
Elite 11 coach Trent Dilfer had a thought back in July about what that might look like. Dilfer, as you did read on this site, believes Fields to be one of the unique talents he’s seen at the Elite 11.
He’s a noted authority on the many aspects that ultimately limit elite talents from consistently churning out great plays on tape. His work gains extra credibility because he was that mega-talent who didn’t embrace the finer points of quarterback play until his career was almost up.
DawgNation had the chance to collect a thought from Dilfer this summer about what would happen if Fields did wind up at Georgia.
“With those three?” Dilfer said, who immediately felt that such a comparison was very hard to do.
Like he’d rather not go there. But he entertained the question.
“But that’s because they all bring different things to the table,” he said. “I mean with Justin and all the athleticism he presents will be something. As long as they don’t turn him into a runner that passes, that’s the big thing. He needs to be a passer first that can run.”
“The way that college football is right now his potential is limitless,” Dilfer said.
That said, that potential depth chart at Georgia had the chance to be something very special.
That already seemed possible way back in July.
Dilfer told ESPN play-by-play man Joe Tessitore earlier this year that current UGA starter Jake Fromm looked like one of the Top 5 pure passers he has worked with at the Elite 11. Tessitore also relayed that Dilfer felt Fromm’s football I.Q. was as good as he’s seen.
Tessitore also relayed that Dilfer felt Fromm’s football I.Q. was as good as he’s seen.
“Fromm might break every record there is (at Georgia) if he ever gets on the field because of Jacob,” Dilfer said. “Those questions by their nature do frustrate me, though. It is just so hard to compare three different guys like that.”
That said, he did feel that Fields could come in and compete with both Fromm and Eason.
Georgia’s newest commitment won the Elite 11 this summer. That’s something that neither Fromm nor Eason were able to do.
Trent Dilfer on Justin Fields
What stood out about Fields? Dilfer doesn’t like saying this guy is the best this or that. That’s a popular soapbox moment for him with NFL quarterbacks. Must everyone rank Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers? Why is saying that those guys are two of the very best quarterbacks Earth not enough?
Must everyone rank Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers? Why is it not enough to say that those two are as good as it gets?
But Dilfer did feel comfortable stating that Fields was the most professional high school quarterback in the country this summer.
“He handled this process from the time he was invited to today as well as I’ve seen many NFL quarterbacks prepare for training camp,” Dilfer said. “Many. Not just a handful. Many. Truly professional. His note-taking. His engagement. The questions he asked. His buy-in and whatever terms you want to use. We’ve never seen anything like it. That’s number one for him. That I can rank. Nobody has taken the approach that he did.”
Dilfer placed Fields in his all-time Elite 11.
“He’s obviously as talented as anyone in the country,” Dilfer said back in July. “He’s also as professional as anyone in his approach. His mindset is there. His thought process and leadership is strong. You take all that together and he’s very professional in his approach. If that equals the best to somebody, then that’s awesome. I don’t need to decide between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields and the next guy and who’s the best. He had the best process at the Elite 11 this year. That’s why he is the MVP.”
But Dilfer also believes that immense talent can only take a young quarterback so far. He saw more than that from Fields.
“I’ll give you one tool that is outside the box,” Dilfer said about Fields. “The more I watch him, the more I believe this: He has quick eyes. His eyes can get through things very quickly and he can decipher them in nano-seconds of what is open and what is not.”
What does that mean? Dilfer describes that as noticing a receiver in an orange shirt being shadowed by a cornerback in a green shirt. He saw that Fields could wind up and find which one of his guys in the orange shirts were open faster than everyone else.
“He’s seeing all of that in a fraction of the time of the other guys,” Dilfer said.
He placed Fields in a group with the real “special” quarterbacks he’s had at the Elite 11. His first season was with future Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
Winston was in that group. Alabama freshman Tua Tagovailoa made that cut of elites. Kyle Allen, who’s now at Houston, belonged in that discussion.
He felt Ole Miss sophomore Shea Patterson still had a chance to be special, too.