680 THE FAN – Kirby Smart’s Thursday got a lot better, when he received news that USC transfer JT Daniels would be heading to his program.
Check out the Twitter Announcement from JT Daniels here: https://twitter.com/jtdaniels06/status/1266098115578220544?s=20
Daniels comes to Athens, after starting all 11 games of his freshman season in 2018. He threw for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during that freshman campaign. Daniels would only play one game in 2019, before being sidelined the rest of the season with a knee injury. Daniels was eventually replaced by Trojans standout Kedon Slovis.
It is unknown at this time, if Daniels will be eligible to play in 2020. The Bulldogs do already have Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman coming to campus this season. Experts believe that Newman is likely going to be the starter for UGA this season.
Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard is a current college football analyst for Fox Sports and has been able to see a good amount of Daniels’ games on the west coast. He tells me that he’s looking forward to seeing what the former Trojan signal-caller looks like in red and black.
“JT reminds me an awful lot of Jay Cutler,” Huard said. “Plenty of arm talent to go around and a personality that will keep people talking. Kirby’s culture and system will demand the most from JT and it will be sink or swim with Monken as well. This should be a phenomenal story to watch unfold.”
All of the sudden, Smart looks to have a quarterback room that is all of the sudden crowded. Last season, the Dawgs had to scramble to find QB’s to back up Jake Fromm. They had to bring back former walk-on Stetson Bennett from the junior college level and signed dual-threat four-star D’Wan Mathis in their class of 2019. Mathis missed all of last season, after having a brain cyst removed.
Newman and Daniels are also joined in the quarterback shuffle by 2020 four-star QB signee Carson Beck. As of right now, Georgia has 247Sports.com‘s second ranked dual-threat quarterback for 2021, Brock Vandgriff committed.
From my opinion, Daniels will have every opportunity to earn the starting job in 2021. I do not believe that the NCAA will grant him immediate eligibility. So, that would likely mean that he’ll enter next season as a redshirt junior.
Like Jake Bentley did when he went to South Carolina, Daniels re-classified and entered Southern Cal’s program a year early in 2018. He was the nation’s second ranked pro-style quarterback for that recruiting cycle, behind eventual Clemson signee Trevor Lawrence.
This is a huge pickup for the Bulldogs. It also shows me that Kirby Smart is not going caught off guard at the quarterback position, like he was in 2019. He likely anticipates that someone or multiple QB’s will eventually look for opportunities elsewhere.