Some Georgia Football fans underestimate Justin Fields’ character

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes against the Missouri Tigers in the second quarter at Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes against the Missouri Tigers in the second quarter at Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

After Georgia Football didn’t play against Florida I see a lot of fans questioning if Justin Fields is going to stay in Athens. I think those people are underestimating his character and the program as a whole.

I’m not a huge one for hot takes. After Georgia Football beat Florida last week, I started to see a lot of immediate opinions about Justin Fields. With Jake Fromm playing his best game of the season, UGA’s coaching staff did not put Fields in at all against the Gators and that caused a lot of concern. Throw in a tweet that some people suggested was a cryptic message and all of a sudden, rather than celebrating what should have been a great win, a faction of UGA’s fanbase instead started to spread a rumor that Fields was going to leave after the season.

Firstly, why can’t we just be happy people? Our team just thumped our biggest rivals by 19 points, let’s celebrate, not create some conspiracy. But can we also please show some respect not only to the program and coaches who run it but also to the player himself. Justin Fields is not some petulant child who is going to throw his toys out of the pram because he didn’t get his own way. If he was, then he wouldn’t be the young man that we have heard so many people rave about.

Let’s start with the tweet, shall we? Considering Jake Fromm rattled off that same phrase in a press conference and variations of it are being used this week in media that is going out for Kentucky, it’s pretty clear that is a team phrase, much like ‘keep chopping wood’ from last season. If Fields is tweeting that out, then he’s not exactly gone rogue. Instead, it’s a sign that he’s listening to the staff and he’s taking in the messages they are communicating with the team. I’d say that’s a good sign for his future in Athens, not that he’s heading out the door.

Secondly, there’s the person himself. Look, I get that some athletes only think about themselves. I understand that 5-star QB’s have egos. But I’ve also written a lot about the culture that Kirby Smart is trying to build in Athens right now. He talks all the time about character and the type of kids he has in his program. That’s just as important to him as talent and everything I have ever read about Fields suggests that he’s got that character himself. He’s a hard worker and great teammates by all accounts. Those stories do not reconcile with a player who quits on his team just because he doesn’t play in a game.

Besides, Jake Fromm was brilliant last week. He had quite possibly his best game since arriving in Athens and was a huge reason the Dawgs won. Fields is one of the most talented young QB’s in the country but he still has a lot to learn. Watching and working with Fromm, he can do that and not only will he become a better player in college, but he will also set himself up for a bright future in the NFL.

Look, NFL scouts are not going to care if he didn’t start in his freshman or even his sophomore year. Andrew Luck redshirted as a freshman and it worked out pretty well for him. Ditto for Sam Darnold and plenty of other QB’s who are currently starting for NFL teams. I mean Mitchell Trubitsky started 12 games and got picked number 2 overall. Teams do not care what you did in college, they’re drafting you based on what you can do for them going forward. Show the talent, progression and the attitude needed to be an NFL QB and they’ll draft you. Again, quitting the team because you don’t want to wait, learn and compete is not a good look.

If Fromm keeps getting better himself, he’s going to be tough to overcome as a starter. That doesn’t mean that Fields won’t be used by the Georgia staff or that he can’t overtake Fromm as he grows as a player. Working with a player like Fromm is making Fields better himself every single week. Sitting out a season and then playing somewhere else doesn’t guarantee the same thing. Fields knew who Fromm was when he committed to Georgia last season. He knew that he was going to be competing every week with a guy who is a potential 1st round pick himself and he choose to come here rather than go to other programs who offered him the starters job from day one.

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Like Kirby himself said, I’m sure Fields was disappointed that he didn’t play in his first every cocktail party, but he’ll have other chances. He’s a good kid who has a chance to be a legend in Athens if he continues to grow and maximizes what we all know is a crazy amount of god given talent. Just like every other player in this program, Fields is focused this week on Kentucky and winning the SEC East, not leaving the team. So give him more credit than suggesting that he’s just going to transfer. The way I see it, the guy has certainly earned that.