For the University of Georgia, having the No. 1 high school recruit in the country as your backup quarterback is a good problem to have.
But for that No. 1 recruit who’s a backup, Justin Fields, it’s not an ideal situation.
Earlier this week it was reported that Fields was considering transferring. Now that speculation has been confirmed by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
“I think he’s looking at his options,” Smart said Wednesday, reported ESPN.
“Let me say this about Justin: Justin is competing extremely hard,” the coach said. “He’s in the meeting rooms. He’s rolling and going with the twos. His information to us is he’s looking at his options, which is what you do. You go into the (NCAA transfer) portal, which we all know he’s in. That’s the extent of it, and that’s the conversation we’ve had.”
The problem for Fields is that Georgia’s starting quarterback is sophomore Jake Fromm, who led the Bulldogs to the College Bowl Playoff championship game last year and a 11-2 record this year. Georgia’s only losses this year were to No. 1 Alabama and No. 11 LSU. The Bulldogs barely missed the College Bowl Playoff this year and are getting set to play in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day against No. 15 Texas.
Fromm is considered one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He’s third in the nation in quarterback rating behind only Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
Fields has been impressive in his limited action this year, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. But with Fromm playing at the level he is, Fields would likely have to wait two more years to get his chance.
Unless he transfers.
ESPN reported that Ohio State is the front-runner to land Fields, as Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins is expected to declare for the NFL draft in April. Florida State and Oklahoma are other possibilities.
Update on Justin Fields from Rusty Mansell (THE guy tied into UGA recruiting) this morning: pic.twitter.com/SzKpNmAsTS
— Chuck Schick (@BuckeyeFanFrank) December 20, 2018
Fields, from Kennesaw, Georgia, was the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018, according to the ESPN 300, while 24/7 Sports and Rivals ranked him No. 2 behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
Fields is expected to apply for a hardship waiver from the NCAA, which, if granted, would make him eligible to play in the 2019 season.
While Fields considers his future, he will be with the Bulldogs when they play Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
“I’m pleased with his work towards Texas, that he’s out there with us and has a really good demeanor,” Smart said. “He’s getting good reps and providing good competition.”
If Fields leaves, Georgia will have just one quarterback on scholarship — Fromm. The school has a verbal commitment from quarterback John Rhys Plumlee of Hattiesburg, Miss., who is the 148th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300. The early signing period ends Friday.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.