The Georgia Bulldogs are one of the nation’s best college football programs, but the quarterback position is a big question mark heading into the 2020 season.
The skinny: Jake Fromm left school early to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Bulldogs may struggle to replace him this season. The two main candidates to start in 2020 are Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman and Fromm’s backup last year, Stetson Bennett.
A quarterback competition to replace Fromm will take place throughout the spring and summer months. And it’s one of the biggest storylines in college football heading into next season.
Lofty expectations: Georgia spent more money on recruiting than any other school and it paid off with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class for the 2020 season, per 247 Sports. As a result, the Bulldogs are among the teams with the shortest odds to win the College Football National Championship Game next year.
But if neither Newman or Bennett can handle the job, this team will disappoint. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at the two players most likely to win the Georgia quarterback competition.
Jamie Newman: Most people expect Newman to be the starter for Georgia in 2020. He’s a graduate transfer who started for the Demon Deacons last year and has dual-threat abilities that could change the Bulldogs’ offense in a big way this season.
Here’s what he did last season at Wake Forest:
- Completed 60.9% of his passes for 2,868 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
- Rushed for 574 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
So you can see that Newman has the ability to lead scoring drives, but he also can struggle with accuracy and decision making, and his rushing yardage was tough to come by in 2019.
However, the experience he provides is a big reason why most assume that Newman will land the gig.
Stetson Bennett: If the Bulldogs hope to keep the offense looking like it did during Fromm’s tenure, and if Bennett can provide steady play from the pocket, then he may be the best guy for the job.
- A pro-style quarterback, Bennett came into college without much fanfare but worked his way into a backup role to Fromm last year.
- As a redshirt sophomore, Bennett had just 27 pass attempts, completing 20 of them for 260 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
- Before attending Georgia, Bennett had a strong season playing JUCO ball in 2018, passing for 1840 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
It’s worth noting that Bennett was just a three-star recruit coming out of high school, and that he completed just 56% of his passes during his JUCO season in 2018.
The verdict: Due to the lack of established talent underneath Fromm when he shocked many by leaving the program early, the Bulldogs may struggle to feature a reliable quarterback capable of tackling the challenge SEC defenses present. But looking at the options, it seems clear that Newman will exit the summer with the starting job well in hand.
Whether he can up his game and give Georgia a legitimate chance to win the title remains to be seen.
If Newman can cut down on turnovers and provides the Bulldogs with steady leadership from Week 1 onward, they have a legitimate shot to win the title. If not, then the entire season could be a major disappointment for a program that is otherwise stacked at every position.