/Georgia QB JT Daniels granted immediate eligibility after transferring from USC

Georgia QB JT Daniels granted immediate eligibility after transferring from USC


Georgia has a second transfer quarterback eligible to play in 2020. 

JT Daniels, who transferred to UGA after two seasons at USC, announced Monday that he has been granted an immediate eligibility waiver by the NCAA. Daniels will now compete for the starting job in Athens against Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer from Wake Forest. 

Daniels, a native of Irvine, California, was a five-star recruit who graduated high school early — reclassifying from 2019 to 2018 — to get to USC ahead of the 2018 season. He quickly earned the team’s starting job and threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman. 

Daniels was USC’s starter again to open 2019, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. The injury opened the door for Kedon Slovis to move into the starting lineup for USC. Slovis had a great year, and Daniels decided in April to put his name into the transfer portal. More than a month later, on May 28, Daniels announced his transfer destination: Georgia. 

Southern California quarterback JT Daniels in an NCAA football game against Fresno State Saturday, Sept. 31, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Southern California quarterback JT Daniels in an NCAA football game against Fresno State Saturday, Sept. 31, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Southern Cal quarterback JT Daniels prepares to throw against Fresno State on Sept. 31, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Many thought Daniels would have to sit out a year upon his arrival at UGA, but he applied for an NCAA waiver — one that was ultimately granted. Because Daniels missed nearly all of 2019, he will have three seasons of eligibility to play at Georgia. Newman, who threw for 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2019, is a fifth-year senior with one year remaining. 

When Jake Fromm left Georgia early for the NFL, Kirby Smart and his staff were left scrambling for a veteran quarterback for 2020. They found it in the 6-foot-4 Newman, who started 16 games during his time at Wake Forest.

Newman, with only Stetson Bennett (Fromm’s 2019 backup), redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis (who missed 2019 recovering from the removal of a cyst in his brain) and 2020 four-star recruit Carson Beck on the depth chart, looked like a pretty safe bet to emerge as the team’s QB1. Now with Daniels healthy and eligible to play, the Bulldogs will have a quarterback competition in fall camp — should the season proceed as scheduled, of course.

Not only will Georgia have a new starting quarterback, it is working in a new offensive system under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. There’s other talent to replace, too, with four offensive line starters (three to the NFL, one transfer) and star running back D’Andre Swift (NFL draft) no longer in Athens.

UGA has a combined 36-7 record over the last three seasons with three SEC East titles, one outright SEC title and a College Football Playoff appearance. Smart is hoping upgrades on offense — quarterback included — can get the Bulldogs back to the CFP.

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