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Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation
5-star QB Justin Fields will make his commitment later today.

Why UGA fans should be hopeful about today’s news from 5-star Justin Fields

Jeff Sentell

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least five days a week. There’s a decision up ahead today and it is a big one regarding 5-star QB Justin Fields.

Fields, the nation’s top prospect for 2018, will make his decision this morning at a school pep rally from Harrison High School. 

 

Justin Fields, the 5-star QB from Harrison High, will let the world know who it will be today.

It will be at a school pep rally. There will be an undetermined number of hats on the table.

Auburn. FSU. LSU. Georgia. Will that be it?

That is what lies ahead in just a few hours. The nation’s No. 1 quarterback will make an eagerly anticipated decision from a pep rally that begins at approximately 10:30 a.m. from Harrison High School.

Is today the day Georgia starts getting mentioned as “QBU” and not just “RBU?”

Will Fields pick up a flatbill around 11 a.m. and turn UGA into Quarterback University? If he picks UGA, he will be the third straight 5-star QB prospect to commit to the program across back-to-back-to-back recruiting classes.

Justin Fields-UGA recruiting
Justin Fields is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2018. He will make his college decision today. (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

That would be a first in the modern era of star rankings for college football prospects.

RELATED: Follow the live stream this morning from DawgNation’s Facebook page. 

Fields ranks as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect by the 247Sports Composite for the 2018 cycle.

What will he do? DawgNation has stacked its reasons why Bulldog fans should be excited about this ceremony.

Why Justin Fields is interested in UGA

Fields gave DawgNation a recap of a summer trip he took to Athens for one of his many unofficial visits to Georgia. The nation’s top prospect was there, along with the nation’s No. 1 RB in Zamir White.

White is already committed. Jamaree Salyer, who ranks as the nation’s No. 1 OG for 2018, also was there. It was a star-crossed visit weekend.

Let’s say there were maybe about 65 stars worth of prospects in the room. Give or take.

Justin Fields-UGA recruiting
Richard LeCounte III (left) was the big 5-star anchor to the UGA class a year ago. Could Fields (right) step into that role later today? (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

There was a moment when all of those potential Bulldogs intersected with a former 5-star who was seemingly involved in every big step for the #SICEM17 recruiting class.

That was current UGA freshman Richard LeCounte III. “Richie” got the chance to talk to all the top players in town on that visit.

“I guess there was like — I don’t know — maybe 15 guys in the room,” Fields said. “He was just like ‘If we get all you guys then we definitely have a shot at winning a national championship while we are here.”

That line caught some ears. Several priority targets were in that room.

“Then he said ‘If you come in here there might be a guy above you on the depth chart that’s pretty good but every day in practice we’re going after each other and making each other better,’” Fields said. “He said ‘We’re going 100 percent and full-throttle’ in his message to us.”

The thinking here why Justin Fields will choose UGA today

There’s a list of reasons that will flow forth in just a minute. Those are the sort that folks will like to read fast and get a quick jolt of information. But that LeCounte moment prefaced the main issue.

Georgia has a lot of talented players on its team. The season is going strong. There are already two very good 5-star quarterbacks on the roster. That should not dissuade a competitor that wants to play for his home state school. It didn’t bother Fromm with Eason. Why should it hinder Fields? 

The other reasons why Fields might put on that UGA hat today

Location + Family: This is a big one. If all things are equal with other schools, why not Georgia? That’s going to be a major college program on the rise. His younger sister, Jaiden, is already committed to play softball for UGA in the class of 2019. She’s quite the slugger. Consider this: If you’re the Fields family, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to have both kids at the same school?

Justin Fields-UGA recruiting
5-star Harrison High School QB Justin Fields didn’t even pick up his first college scholarship offer until last May. Now, he’s the nation’s top overall prospect for 2018. (Chris Kirschner/SEC Country)

Opportunity: Look at what Fromm is doing. He’s proof positive that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney can prep a freshman passer to play winning football. Fromm’s example dovetails what Eason also showed potential prospects. Smart will play a freshman that proves he can get the job done in camp.

His own niche: Eason and Fromm are both pocket passers. They are the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the UGA roster. Fields, if he chooses UGA, would be the only dual-threat. Fields is on the record as saying he doesn’t mind a redshirt. But that bodes well for him seeing the field next fall as a red zone or a short-yardage option in the run game. Remember that fateful play with Isaiah McKenzie last year against Vanderbilt? Chaney could now draw up an option play with Fields, White and maybe D’Andre Swift in the same backfield. That seems might tough to defend.

Confidence in his game: Fields went to the Elite 11 and Nike’s “The Opening” this summer and won that annual QB derby going away. Elite 11 coach Trent Dilfer told Dawgnation that he’d never seen a talent quite like Fields in his years guiding that competition. He also noticed that Fields has remarkably fast eyes. It is important to remember that competition took away the 5-star’s legs from his game. Fields is faster (4.51 laser time in the 40) than both of Georgia’s 4-star receiver commits for 2018.

Follow those visits: What’s the truest way to find out about a recruit’s heart? Try the odometer. Especially when it comes to unofficial and official visits. DawgNation knows of at least five unofficial trips that Fields and his family has taken to UGA since he returned from Oregon in mid-July. He went to UGA on back-to-back game weekends earlier this year and looked to have had a very good time. He’s also only taken official visits this season to Alabama and LSU. No FSU.

A sharp mind: Fields hoped to use the first month of the season to confirm his summer thoughts about each program he was closely considering. Consider that his pre-snap reads here. Look what UGA has done so far. It stacks up well compared to the seasons at FSU and LSU. I don’t believe that Auburn is even still in the running. Look at Georgia’s young offensive line. It holds a lot of potential 4-star and 5-star prospects trending toward Athens.

Look at the RB stable which sure seems like it will reload for 2018. I’ll make a case without too much creative writing that the Bulldogs offer a strong potential situation where he can succeed. It is worth noting that Fields maintains a 3.9 grade-point average and he did score a 29 on his ACT.

Bonus bit of Intel

There has also been a development of note for 5-star OG Jamaree Salyer. He is no longer taking his official visit to Florida this weekend for the LSU game. The Gators don’t usually host officials of a big game weekend like this one.

That means the 5-star offensive lineman will not be in Gainesville this weekend. He told DawgNation that he may reschedule the trip next weekend.

 

 

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed faster than Georgia All-American candidate Roquan Smith can find the football after the snap.