UGA recruiting: Is there any chance to flip 5-star QB Justin Fields?
Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way an elite prospect such as Justin Fields might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it means.
Justin Fields is a 5-star quarterback. He committed to Penn State last December.
His younger sister, Jaiden, is pledged to play softball at UGA. But if things hold, I feel the Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.) standout could go down as the biggest miss in the 2018 class. He’d be right there with 5-star QB Trevor Lawrence.
I realize the Bulldogs have two 5-star QBs on scholarship. Those are also the only quarterbacks on scholarship. Lawrence is a once-a-generation-type QB, but Fields is more than in the conversation for the honor of Georgia’s top prep player. (Side note: It does feel out of bounds to note the state is producing a generational talent at QB every 2-3 years at this time.)
Fields is a true contender. The recruiting sites have elevated Fields to his ranking (247Sports composite) as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB and No. 20 overall prospect.
I also realize 5-star guard Jamaree Salyer and 5-star RB Zamir White are fairly impressive in their own right. They are both capable of starting Day 1 at UGA, too.
It is just that every time I see Fields, I wonder how he can look better. Then he does. Felt that way at the Rising Seniors game. He was better at the Orlando Opening regional. Fields looked just as poised (if not better) while throwing under constant duress at his spring game last Friday.
That’s why Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and LSU won’t let Fields go off to Penn State without a street fight. Count UGA in that pack, too.
Does UGA have a chance with 5-star QB Justin Fields?
That’s the 5-star question. He provided me with a 5-star answer on Friday night after humbling 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” would best be defined 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.
Fields has seen his stock surge since the last time he played high school ball. He said that five Florida coaches call him every day.
They all see it. When they learn he has a 29 on his ACT and a 3.9 grade-point average, it embellishes what they already see as highlight gold on tape.
“It definitely has my mind spinning with all these schools coming at me,” Fields said. “But it is definitely just a great feeling to get this recognition from these schools. I’m actually seeing all this hard work pay off. It is great to see all these colleges come for me. That is really what I always wanted.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart told Fields shortly after he committed to Penn State that he wasn’t going to let him go until he no longer had a chance.
“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.”
He still sounds like he loves what he has at Penn State. There were three coaches from that school at his spring game on Friday. Does he feel a tug in any other school’s direction?
“I am just going to pray about it,” Fields said. “You know? Because I know it is one of the biggest decisions of my life.”
The biggest pitch from UGA to Justin Fields
Fields is also a baseball prospect for the 2018 MLB Draft. He told SEC Country recently that he doesn’t plan to play college baseball. Schools have dangled that option, but he likely will pass on that opportunity.
Pro baseball might be another story. That’s why Fields said he plans to do some baseball events this summer.
“Baseball is something that is just on the borderline for me,” Fields said. “I don’t love baseball. I love football. That’s what I want to do. But I look at it like if baseball comes up with an opportunity that I can’t pass up, then I won’t pass it up. Then that’s what I will do.”
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.
There was only one guy who moved around that fast who also weighed more than 200 pounds.
What do I think? I think this one is not over yet. It sounds rather elementary here, but I think the school which recruits Fields the best the rest of the way will end up with his final decision.
He does plan to take his official visits this fall. It will be very interesting to see which schools make that cut.