How Georgia landed grad transfer QB Jamie Newman in short order

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How Georgia landed grad transfer QB Jamie Newman in short order

Post by admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:44 am

Kirby Smart always had the thought stored in the back of his mind.

He might need a quarterback for the 2020 season. Georgia went through an 11-2 campaign in preparation mode that three-year starter Jake Fromm could leave early for the NFL Draft. Smart and his staff took frequent looks into the transfer portal to survey their options.

“We had a pool of 30 to 40 guys that would be potential (targets),” Smart said last week during his National Signing Day press conference. “Whether they were transfers, whether they were grad transfers, whatever it may be, we knew we could possibly be in the quarterback market. That included high school kids.”

Fromm’s possible announcement became reality Jan. 8, a Wednesday, which became the Bulldogs’ busiest day of the offseason. Fromm said farewell to his Georgia days and declared for the NFL Draft.

Instantly, a list of options began to circulate. Some of them included Houston product D’Eriq King, Clemson’s Chase Brice, South Carolina QB Jake Bentley and Stanford’s KJ Costello. But one name continued to appear — Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman, an option less than 300 miles up Interstate 85.

Two days later, Newman’s name appeared in the university’s student directory. The Bulldogs had their signal caller to go along with a new offensive staff, led by offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

“We started communication immediately. It was a process of finding out if what he wanted aligned with what we wanted,” Smart said. “These kids understand what they want. They are very driven in what they want. They’re not really into the whole recruiting process. He handled it that way and was very professional about it.”

Georgia now has a formidable quarterback room, or at least one that’s not vacant. The Bulldogs recently signed early-enrollee quarterback Carson Beck out of Jacksonville, who Smart raved about during the early signing period. D’Wan Mathis, a 2019 addition who seldom practiced last season due to brain surgery, is still recovering and waiting for his opportunity to arise. Then there’s Stetson Bennett, the junior college product who served as backup to Fromm in last season’s run to the Sugar Bowl.

There are plenty of choices, but Newman stands out. He’s a pro-style quarterback with the ability to scramble. As a senior at Wake Forest he threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns while adding 574 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Smart always knew he might need this type of signal caller. The Bulldogs start spring practice March 17.

“We are looking forward to putting him to work and letting him go out and compete this spring,” Smart said.

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