Quarterback. It is the one element of UGA recruiting that fans will pore over every cycle. No matter who is on campus.
Georgia might win the debate regarding which program has the nation’s best long-term QB outlook with sophomore Jake Fromm and early enrollee Justin Fields on the team.
Fromm had a special freshman season for any signal caller. Anywhere. He led the Bulldogs to an SEC title, a Rose Bowl win and took UGA into overtime of the national championship against Alabama. He will garner some preseason ALL-SEC attention. Rightfully so.
Couple that with the 5-star Fields and that’s quite a 1-2 punch for the depth chart. Fields was the Elite 11 MVP and the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect for 2018. The 6-foot-3 Fields also brings a nice pairing to Fromm’s game. Fields, the nation’s top dual-threat prospect for 2018, offers 4.5-speed in the 40-yard dash at 225 pounds.
Yet the Bulldogs are quite top-heavy there. The transfer of 2016 starter Jacob Eason means Fromm and Fields are the only scholarship QBs on the team. It is the opinion here that preferred walk-on sophomore QB Stetson Bennett IV offers a more attractive third-team (and perhaps even backup) option than some SEC teams enjoy at this time with their scholarship guys.
Yet Bennett is not a scholarship player and could leave at any time. If he did, that would leave UGA with just two other walk-ons to form up their rotation.
It means the Bulldogs will likely sign a pair of QBs for this cycle. If Bennett does not merit a scholarship, that number must be two signees for 2019 at the game’s glamour position.
Georgia needs some arms in 2019. Let’s take a look at the ones the Bulldogs have offered so far.
Breaking down Georgia’s offers at QB for 2019
We’ll trot out another Intel “listicle” to show off a lot of information fast. A lot of this research can be found and processed quickly thanks to that database maintained by 247Sports. Any rankings indicated below are also based on the 24/7 Sports composite.
- Total offers: 13
- Pro-Style offers: 8
- Dual-threat offers: 5
- 5-star offers: 0 (There aren’t any 5-star QBs for 2019.)
- 4-star offers: 9
- 3-star offers: 4
- In-state offers: 0
- SEC footprint offers: 3 (includes two prospects from an SEC outlier in Texas)
- Non-SEC footprint offers: 10
- Offers to prospects committed elsewhere: 2
- Elite size (at least 6-foot-4) offers: 7
- Average size offers: 4
- Marginal size (under 6-foot-3) offers: 2
There are a few prospects that are rated among the pro-style targets that would easily qualify as a dual-threat option based on the rushing totals they have produced at the varsity level.
Grant Gunnell is the highest-rated prospect the Bulldogs have offered. He has visited UGA, but he seems bound to play in the SEC West if he chooses the conference at all. He was at one time committed to Texas A&M. The big 6-foot-6 Texan ranks as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style passer and the No. 53 prospect overall for 2019.
K.J. Jefferson is the lowest-rated prospect the Bulldogs have offered. He’s a 3-star prospect with true dual-threat ability from North Panola High School in Mississippi. He rates as the No. 21 pro-style QB and as the No. 679 overall in the composite rankings.
Checking the pro-style offers for UGA recruiting
Grant Gunnell/4-stars/Nation’s No. 2 pro-style passer
The 6-foot-6 Texan completed 72 percent of his passes last fall for 4,936 yards and 61 TDs. Yes, 61 TDs. His team finished with a 10-2 record in 2017. Gunnell plays for St. Pius X in Houston.
Sam Howell/4-stars/Nation’s No. 4 pro-style passer
Howell ranks No. 154 overall for this cycle. His Sun Valley (N.C) team finished 11-4 and fell in the North Carolina state championship game. He carries a 4.0 grade-point average and threw for 3,400 yards and totaled up another 1,600 rushing yards. His stat line shows off 34 passing touchdowns and another 24 rushing scores.
Hank Bachmeier/4-stars/Nation’s No. 5 pro-style passer
Bachmeier is the first of several offers to California passers. The nation’s No. 169 prospect overall. His Murrieta Valley Nighthawks finished 9-3 in 2017. He already has over 10,000 career passing yards and 145 TDs. He totaled up 3,255 and 45 of those as a junior.
Cade McNamara/4-stars/Nation’s No. 8 pro-style passer
This Wisconsin commit hails from Nevada. The Reno native ranks as the No. 268 prospect overall this year. His Damonte Ranch Mustangs finished 11-1 in 2017. McNamara threw for 3,470 yards, 44 and 8 interceptions in 2017. He completed 59 percent of his 384 attempts.
Graham Mertz/4-stars/Nation’s No. 9 pro-style passer
Mertz is from Kansas. He led his Blue Valley North squad to a 9-4 mark and an unlikely state championship based on that won-loss record as a junior. Mertz completed 62 percent of his 434 passes for 3,684 yards, 45 TDs and 6 interceptions.
Ryan Hilinski/3-stars/Nation’s No. 12 pro-style passer
DawgNation has written a lot about Hilinski this week. He’s already taken a visit to UGA and came away impressed. The Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) signal caller completed 72 percent of his 405 passes for 3,767 yards, 33 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He had a 572-yard game but also led a 6-6 team against some of the top teams in California.
Jacob Zeno/3-stars/Nation’s No. 15 pro-style passer
The 6-foot-4 Texan just picked up his UGA offer this week. His John Jay Mustangs finished 7-4 last season. Zeno completed 116 of his 226 passes for 1957 yards, 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He ranks as the nation’s No. 601 overall prospect.
Kenneth Jefferson/3-stars/Nation’s No. 21 pro-style passer
Jefferson has also recently visited UGA. He posted some impressive stats for North Panola in Mississippi. The 6-foot-5, 206-pounder completed 64 percent of his passes for a 14-1 team. His Cougars fell in the state title game. The junior finished last fall with 3,028 passing yards and a 39-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also rolled to 1325 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground.
Checking the dual-threat offers for UGA recruiting
Bo Nix/4-stars/Nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB
Nix, an Auburn legacy, is committed to Auburn. He also led his Pinson Valley (Ala.) team to a state championship in that state’s second-highest classification a year ago. He completed 64 percent of his 285 passes last fall for 2,875 yards in 10 games. He threw 36 TDs, 4 INTs and was only sacked twice.
Jaydon Daniels/4-stars/Nation’s No. 2 dual-threat QB
Another Cali kid. The 6-foot-3 Daniels led San Bernadino’s Cajon to the state championship game and a 14-2 record last fall. He threw for a staggering 5,139 yards, 62 scores and 5 interceptions across those games while completing 70 percent of his 459 attempts. He also ran for 1,292 yards and 15 scores.
Michael Johnson Jr./4-stars/Nation’s No. 4 dual-threat QB
The Oregon resident played 11 games for a Sheldon High squad which finished up 10-2 in 2017. Johnson, a name that has been on the national radar for some time, didn’t have the best junior year compared to some of his peers here. He completed 83 of his 133 passes for 1218 yards, 21 TDs and 5 INTs. He also picked up 745 yards with his legs for another 12 scores.
Max Duggan/4-stars/Nation’s No. 7 dual-threat QB
Duggan led a 9-2 team last fall in the heartland of the country in Iowa. The 6-foot-2 junior signal caller ranks No. 292 nationally.
David Baldwin/3-stars/Nation’s No. 11 dual-threat QB
Baldwin is a 2018 transfer to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. He played for Upland High School in California in 2017. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,510 yards, 32 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also ran for 458 yards and three scores on a 12-1 team.