Georgia doesn’t know who’s starting at quarterback for week 1 against Arkansas, but it’s more of a smokescreen. Jamie Newman’s opt-out led most to believe USC transfer JT Daniels would walk in as the starter, but recent quotes from head coach Kirby Smart suggest D’wan Mathis starts. He said recently that his USC transfer was expected to be cleared by Sept. 26 for the opener, but now he’s changing his tune.
Kirby Smart says JT Daniels still hasn’t been medically cleared to play Saturday but remains “hopeful” it will happen in the next couple days.— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) September 23, 2020
“It’s one of those things that’s beyond our control right now,” Smart said.
“We hope JT will be cleared by Saturday, officially,” Smart told reporters on a Zoom videoconference.
Seems that Smart can play Mathis and claim health concerns handed the starting job to D’Wan Mathis. As the more mobile option, waiting to name Mathis the starter gives the Bulldogs an advantage this Saturday. He’s playing this situation exactly like the NBA playoffs when coaches don’t release the starting line up until tip-off.
“It’s beyond our control right now,” Smart said.
Technically this is true, but most reports from practice felt D’wan Mathis was earning the starting job anyway. Keeping the media clean like he needs Daniels back creates a competitive QB situation reminiscent of Ohio State.
“D’Wan has done a great job. He has embraced every opportunity. (Mathis) has competed, he has gotten better,” said Smart. “He is very talented with his feet. He understands what we’re asking him to do. I think he’s done a great job preparing, and so have Carson, Stetson, and JT. They really all have done a good job preparing for this moment, and I feel comfortable with all of those guys.”
Anyone ever had a boss tell you that you’ve done a great job and that they feel you’re getting better everyday? Praise about your work performance usually calls for new responsibilities on your plate. D’Wan Mathis is about to have a new responsibility to lead the Georgia Bulldogs down the tunnel for Saturday’s opener.
We’ll be sure to check up on official updates this week, but expect Kirby Smart to milk this thing til’ the buzzer like he did last year.