ATHENS, Ga. - UGA’s staff got some gigantic news Friday morning as five-star quarterback Justin Fields committed to Georgia over Florida State, Auburn and Alabama.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound signal caller out of Harrison took the recruiting world by storm after he decommitted from Penn State on June 2. The Bulldogs took advantage of Penn State’s misfortune. Fields dominated the camp circuit in the spring and summer of 2017, and was eventually ranked as the top overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Florida, Florida State, Auburn and Georgia became strong contenders when Fields opened up his recruitment, but it became more of a Florida State-Georgia battle after Florida accepted the commitment of fellow five-star quarterback Matt Coral. Fields visited Georgia more than five times after his decommitment, and the Bulldogs became the team to beat as his recruitment went on.
A year ago, the Georgia staff went all out in their recruitment of another five-star quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, who would eventually choose Clemson over Georgia in December of 2016. In early 2017, the Bulldogs turned up their efforts in recruiting Fields, and quickly got back into the mix as the year went on. The Georgia staff did an excellent job recruiting Fields, with location being heavily in their favor.
So what does Fields bring to Athens?
The nation’s top prospect will bring a skill set to Athens that has been rare between the hedges. Fields is a true dual-threat quarterback, who can make plays with both his arm and his legs. Former Georgia quarterback D.J Shockley was a dual-threat quarterback who brought Georgia an SEC title in 2005, but he did not have the size, speed or arm strength that Fields has shown.
Fields is a pass-first quarterback, but is extremely dangerous when he escapes the pocket. He can run past defenders, run through them and even hurdle them when he needs to. He has great speed for his size and is tough to bring down by just one defender. As good as he is running the ball, Fields has shown he has an NFL-caliber arm as well. He continues to improve his accuracy.
Fields needs to continue working on his footwork. Like many young signal callers he can make the mistake of throwing off his back foot. His arm strength makes up for it at the high school level, but it won’t always work out for him in college. He also needs to handle the ball better when under pressure.
Overall, Fields is an elite talent at the quarterback position, and shows the leadership skills needed to lead a championship team at the next level.