Georgia football: Justin Fields & Dawgs have a bright future

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball in the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball in the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Some Georgia football fans have been worrying about Justin Fields leaving all season but in his first interview after the game, he made a few things very clear.

Kirby Smart’s policy of not allowing Georgia football freshmen to speak to the media is not a bad thing. It does stop young players who are finding their way in the program from being ambushed by reporters looking for a story. However, much like last season with Jake Fromm, it’s presented some challenges with Justin Fields. As ESPN’s top-ranked player in the 2018 class, a lot of people have wanted to hear from him and because he’s not a massive social media user, have instead made up and spread a whole lot of rumors.

After the SEC championship game, we finally got to see Fields speak for himself. Chip Towers from Dawgnation has all of the quotes in an article that can be found here. One of the first questions that he was, of course, ambushed with was going to be back next year. To that, he had an emphatic answer;

"“Yes, sir,” Fields said. “I love this team. That’s the plan.”"

Oh rats. There go all of those conspiracy theories that we saw all season about Fields trying to leave and take his recruiting class with him. It was fun while it lasted internet trolls. Aside from that important comment, there was something else that Fields said that really stuck with me.

"“At halftime, nobody was satisfied,” he said. “The whole team was like, ‘We need to finish. We need to finish.’ Everybody knows what happened last year, so we just came all together and told each other we need to finish the game. ‘Fight harder.’”“It’s definitely shocking, but it’s nothing but motivation for this team,” Fields said. “We know we have areas to get better at and we’re going to keep working.”"

I feel so gutted for our seniors because that loss will have hurt for them. They had their shot at revenge over Alabama and couldn’t take it. It’s not a nice way to end your college football career. But those quote from Fields made me as a fan feel pretty damn good. There’s no fear, no dejection, just motivation. The Dawgs had the right mindset all game, but they couldn’t quite seal the deal and that’s ok because this team is young.

Fields kind of already sounds like Kirby Smart in those quotes. He’s focused on fighting hard and getting better. That’s the kind of tough-minded thinking Smart demands from his players. Not beating themselves up and instead focusing on working and getting better. Staying committed to the everyday grind that so many players don’t want. To hear that coming so clearly from a freshman who has been battling for a spot tells you that this message has gotten through. UGA’s sophomore and freshman class right now is incredibly talented but they were inexperienced. If they have this mindset, however, well then the sky is the limit.

It’s also a sign that this guy has the potential to be a leader going forward. Look, he’s not going to be one in his freshman year when he’s not starting, but it’s obvious from his interview that nothing seems to scare him. He’s not afraid to work, he’s not afraid to compete and he’s not afraid of losing. That’s the sort of attitude you need from a QB and that’s what many Georgia fans were hoping we’d get from Fields to go with his tremendous physical talent.

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I’m not saying Fields is going to start next year. Jake Fromm was freaking incredible yesterday and if he’s that guy next year, then look out NFL draft 2020. But Fields is an important part of this team and at some point, he’s going to be the guy. Before that though, it’s great to see him buy in to being a part of a team that fights for each other because that’s what wins championships. Bama doesn’t win yesterday if Jalen Hurts quits like Kelly Bryant and transfers. Justin Fields’ future at Georgia has never looked brighter and that is a reason to be happy, even on a day like today.