UPDATE (Dec. 18): Georgia quarterback Justin Fields is now listed in the NCAA's new transfer portal, according to Seth Emerson of The Athletic. The new system allows coaches to contact players who are interested in exploring other options.
ORIGINAL STORY (Dec. 17): Georgia quarterback Justin Fields will transfer from the program after just one season, according to a report from USA Today. The report cited an unnamed source close to the situation as neither Fields nor the school has made an announcement on his current status with the team. Though there are some discrepancies as to where Fields stands in his decision-making process, the AP also reports that Fields has informed the Bulldogs of his plan to leave.
ESPN reported that Fields is exploring a transfer but is expected to remain with the team through the Sugar Bowl with a source calling his departure from the program "a possibility" after he explores his options. "He might come back," the source told ESPN, though it was reported that Ohio State, Florida State and Oklahoma are under consideration as transfer destinations.
One potential way to wade through the differing reports is that Fields has told Georgia coaches of his plans but has not formally filed the transfer paperwork. Therefore, he could potentially play in the Sugar Bowl and then announce his transfer afterwards.
As an underclassman, Fields would have to sit out a year in residence and would not be eligible to play until 2020, per NCAA rules, unless he received a waiver.
Fields was the prized recruit in Georgia's 2018 recruiting class. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound native of Kennesaw, Georgia, was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect and No. 2 signal caller overall behind current Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, according to the 247Sports Composite. He saw action in 12 games as a true freshman with the Bulldogs, serving as sophomore Jake Fromm's primary backup and as a change of pace quarterback. He threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 266 yards and four touchdowns.
His best game came against UMass on Nov. 17 when he threw for 121 yards and two touchdowns, also running seven times for 100 yards and one score. Fields carried the ball on the ill-fated fake punt that coach Kirby Smart called on fourth-and-11 at the 50-yard line of a tie game vs. Alabama with 3:04 to play in the SEC Championship Game. The Bulldogs went on to fall to the Crimson Tide 35-28 and miss out on a chance to play in the College Football Playoff.
Prior to arriving at Georgia, Fields was a standout at Harrison High School where played in the 2018 Under Armour All American Game and was the MVP of the 2017 Elite 11 camp.
Fields would be the second five-star quarterback to transfer from Georgia in as many years. Jacob Eason left the program last year after Fromm led the Bulldogs to the SEC title and the College Football Playoff National Championship. Eason was a starter as a true freshman in 2016 but injured his leg in the first quarter of the first game of the 2017 season allowing Fromm to step in as the starter. Eason transferred to Washington and is one of the front-runners to take over for Jake Browning next season with the Huskies.
If he does transfer, Fields would be the latest in a growing list of high-profile quarterback transfers. Of the 18 other five-star quarterbacks since 2010, 10 have transferred at least once.
|Player||Class||Original School||New School|
South Florida (via Arizona State)
|Kyler Murray||2015||Texas A&M||Oklahoma|
|Kyle Allen||2014||Texas A&M||Houston|
|Gunner Kiel||2012||Notre Dame||Cincinnati|
|Jeff Driskel||2011||Florida||Louisiana Tech|
|Phillip Sims||2010||Alabama||Winston-Salem State (via Virginia)|
Freshman Matthew Downing is the only other quarterback on Georgia's roster who attempted a pass in 2018. The Bulldogs do have a commitment from four-star prospect John Rhys Plumlee from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, heading into the early signing period that starts on Dec. 19.
Georgia plays Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.