ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia true freshman quarterback Justin Fields hasn’t been on campus long, but he already has made a strong impression on his coaches and teammates.
Fields – a five-star early enrollee – started turning heads during 7-on-7 drills, with teammates quickly taking notice of his arm.
“He’s got a cannon,” tight end Isaac Nauta said.
As a recruit, Fields was lauded for his athleticism and running ability, qualities that earned him the top spot among dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2018 recruiting class. But Nauta and senior wide receiver Terry Godwin, among others, have taken more notice of Fields’ throwing ability.
“He’s a quarterback,” Godwin said. “We’re not going to recruit a guy who doesn’t have a good arm or anything like that.”
Coach Kirby Smart said he hasn’t gotten to see much from Fields from a “football standpoint,” but he’s been impressed by his competitive nature.
“He’s a competitor who competes every day,” Smart said. “He’s first in line trying to compete with every guy at his position.”
Will Fields be given a chance to compete for the starting spot with incumbent Jake Fromm, who guided the Bulldogs to the SEC title and a spot in the national championship game as a true freshman last season?
The players say coaches will put the best players on the field, regardless of past experience or success. And Fromm’s job may not necessarily be safe, Godwin said.
“It’s competition everywhere,” Godwin said. “No one’s here safe. You’ve always got to battle every day to save your spot. Just go out there and give Jake Fromm that extra push. It’s a challenge, so everybody’s got to fight.”
Nauta, who has dealt with quarterback controversies in each of the past two seasons, said he’s not opposed to another year of competition at the game’s most important position. Much like Godwin, Nauta said he hopes the best player will win each position competition.
“I know how it goes,” Nauta said. “If you don’t perform or you if don’t execute like you’re supposed to do, you can get replaced, just like every other position.”
(You can follow Nathan Berg on Twitter @NathanxBerg)
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