Former USC quarterback JT Daniels is headed to Georgia.
Daniels, who went in to the transfer portal back in April, had options from schools all over the country but Georgia was able to land a quarterback we still feel has NFL first-round ability.
The Daniels family has played things extremely close to the vest throughout this whole process but in analyzing the decision, it’s easy to understand why the Dawgs were such an attractive option for him.
We knew from the beginning scheme fit was going to be huge for Daniels. New UGA OC and QB coach Todd Monken has an NFL background and plans to run an offense that mixes in some pro-style and air-raid concepts that Daniels should thrive in.
More than anything, Daniels is as cerebral as they come and his ability to grasp advanced NFL concepts, figure out pre-snap reads and make quick post snap decisions is something he thrives in and something we know attracted him to Georgia as well.
We also didn’t think Daniels would be worried about competition or depth charts. Georgia has a talented transfer already in place with Jamie Newman but scheme fit and being comfortable in the offense was going to matter more than who else is in the quarterback room with him.
This is a win-win for UGA. Newman has already appeared on several 1st round mock drafts and has a lot of ability. If Newman is the guy, you have a difference maker at the position and still have Daniels in the wings for 2-3 more years. If Daniels wins the job, he must have had an incredible fall camp to do so.
We know Daniels was looking for a place where not only could he thrive in but compete for a National Championship as well. He loves the big stage and that was another box that Georgia checked off for him.
He’s coming in to an offense that has difference makers at the skill positions and is strong up front. Even going back to high school, Daniels never played in an offense that had a power running game to complement what he can do as a pure thrower. His football IQ and the way he thinks the game has always been at an incredibly advanced level.
He was able to win the starting job as a freshman at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, one of the nation’s heavyweight programs, known for having a college level playbook and advanced concepts. By his sophomore year, Daniels was already at a point where he was running the offense, changing protections, and calling plays at the line of scrimmage. His junior year, the Monarchs won a CIF, State and National Championship and many long time observers have called that the best Southern Section team in the last 20 years.
Daniels was originally part of the class of 2019 before deciding to graduate a year early and reclassified in to the 2018 class. Despite not being able to enroll until the fall after taking nine classes his final spring semester, Daniels won the starting job and had a solid freshman season.
Daniels threw for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and looked poised for a huge sophomore year before tearing his ACL in the first half of the first game of the season. He’ll have three years to play three and is on track to be 100% healthy and ready to go by fall camp.
Daniels was rated the No. 6 prospect nationally in the 2018 class and No. 2 pro-style quarterback after Trevor Lawrence. He put on a show during All-American Bowl practices, even out-throwing Lawrence in a couple of practices. If healthy a year ago, there is no doubt he would have put up video game numbers in that USC offense and would be talked about as a potential 1st round pick going in to this season.
This was simply a huge pickup for Georgia and the competition between him and Newman should be a lot of fun to watch.