REPORT: JUSTIN FIELDS INTENDS TO TRANSFER, WHAT'S NEXT FOR BULLDOGS?
A report leaked out on Monday night from Dan Woken at USA TODAY that highly touted QB Justin Fields intends to transfer at the end of the season. There have been no confirmations from the family or the university, but USA TODAY nor Dan Woken would put themselves on the line if there wasn't a trusted source. The newly NCAA rules prevent student athletes from red-shirting if they play in more than 4 games in a season. Fields played in all but one game in his freshman season.
Fields could push to challenge this rule but would be very interesting if NCAA would allow for it since he isn't moving closer to home and he doesn't knowingly have a sick relative. Fields was also the subject of racially bigoted comment made by a UGA baseball player during win against Tennessee this season, which led to that player’s dismissal from the program after an internal investigation. Sources close to the situation report Fields' representation could possibly use this as a way to bypass sitting out next season.
Georgia would look to limit Fields' choices if he were to follow through with his transfer. SEC schools and possibly other future opponents may be off the table as well. Current likely landing spots include FSU, Oklahoma, and Ohio State.
The possible transfer leaves the Georgia Bulldogs in a tough situation for 2019. Jake Fromm would be the only scholarship quarterback on the roster. The Bulldogs currently have a verbal commitment from dual-threat quarterback John Rhys Plumlee of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the No. 148 prospect in the ESPN 300. However, it's unclear if Plumlee will sign with Georgia when the early signing period begins on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs are also actively pursuing quarterback Zach Calzada of Sugar Hill, Georgia, who is committed to Texas A&M. Sources close to the Lanier High School QB cited Coach Smart confirmed to him that Fields was leaving after the 2018 season. UGA has also had 3-Star QB Dillon Gabriel from Hawaii on campus for a visit this past weekend. Gabriel is deciding between USC, Georgia, and Central Florida.
Coach Smart has now possibly had two 5-star quarterbacks (Jacob Eason & now Justin Fields) transfer from Georgia in his first 3 years. Jake Fromm has beaten out both! Fromm is 23-4 in his 2 years at Georgia and is among the elite quarterbacks in the nation. Dawgnation is in good hands moving forward under Smart and Jake Fromm. But UGA could be one play away from being in some serious trouble at the QB position if they don't get help on campus. Expect the recruiting of quarterbacks to turn up over the next few weeks for the February signing day. Continue to keep an eye on this situation as things are fluid.