ATHENS, Ga. — Well, Georgia’s quarterback room just got a lot more interesting — and crowded.
J.T. Daniels, a recent 5-star recruiting prospect and one-time starter at USC, announced via social media that he is transferring to UGA.
It’s a stunning development considering the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation, though uncertain, wasn’t lacking for options. Senior Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer from Wake Forest, was expected to lead a competition that included junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D’wan Mathis, freshman signee Carson Beck and three invited walk-ons. Meanwhile, Georgia also is holding a commitment from 5-star prospect Brock Vandergriff of Bogart for the Class of 2021.
If Daniels’ special-circumstances transfer waiver is approved by the NCAA, Daniels would have three seasons to play for the Bulldogs. He is reported to be well-recovered from a knee injury and could compete for playing time this season.
With Daniels in the mix, the Bulldogs not only would have more options for the future, but he could possibly be a factor in the 2020 season. Daniels is an experienced former starter in a pass-first, RPO spread offense. Georgia is expected to incorporate a lot of those concepts under first-year coordinator and quarterback coach Todd Monken.
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Daniels was considered the No. 3 quarterback prospect in the nation in the 2019 class. But he reclassified and graduated from high school early and enrolled at USC in June 2018.
With the Trojans, Daniels became just the second USC freshman quarterback to start a season opener, joining Matt Barkley. In 2018, he would start 11 games (all but one because of a concussion) and completed 216 of 363 passes (59.5%) for 2,672 yards with 14 TDs and 10 interceptions.
Daniels also opened last season as the Trojans’ starter and got off to a great start, completing 15 of 17 passes in the first half against Fresno State. But he suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the second half and ultimately lost the starting job to freshman Kedon Slovis. Slovis passed for 3,502 yards with 30 TDs and nine interceptions and was considered the starter heading in USC’s spring practice, which was canceled.
©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)