Georgia football: The battle for the starting quarterback spot

Georgia football will have four players competing for starting quarterback this spring. Only one player has starting experience in Div. I football.

When was the last time Georgia football had this many possible starting quarterbacks on campus at once? Probably never. The Bulldogs have four competent quarterbacks on campus and they’ll all square off against each other during spring practices. Georgia starts its spring practices on Tuesday, Mar. 17.

GRAD – Jamie Newman

The favorite by the media and oddsmakers to take over as starting quarterback is Jamie Newman, the graduate transfer from Wake Forest. It’s easy to see why the “experts” are so enamoured with Newman. First of all, he was plenty of starting experience. He started 12 games for the Demon Deacons in 2019, finishing the year with 2,868 passing yards and 574 rushing yards with 32 touchdowns.

His playing in a weaker conference shouldn’t curb expectations too much. Newman has a good arm and a good head. He has the arm strength for deep throws, but can also convert that strength to velocity for more accurate throws. Don’t let those 574 rushing yards fool you into thinking he’s just a scrambler. Newman is picky with his rushing opportunities, mostly running on designed run plays. If he doesn’t have to run, he’ll hang in the pocket and sling the ball around the field.

Fr. – Carson Beck

Before Newman ever transferred to Georgia, Bulldog fans were looking forward to Carson Beck arriving on campus. The 6-4 passer from Jacksonville, Fla. committed to Georgia a year ago today (Mar. 3).

Beck was a superstar high school quarterback in Florida. He won the Mr. Football award as a junior when he led Mandarin High School to an 8A State Championship. He had over 3,500 passing yards and 39 touchdowns that season. His numbers dropped significantly his senior year as he was the only returning starter on offense. Despite this fact, 247Sports Composite dropped him in their rankings and its caused him to fly under the radar.

RFr. – Dwan Mathis

Dwan Mathis is hard to judge. The lanky quarterback from Belleville, Mich. had an impressive G-Day performance last season and had fans generally excited about his future. But soon after spring ended, a cyst was found on his brain and he underwent surgery to have it removed in May. Mathis didn’t even get to practice with the team until November. He missed all of preseason practices and two months of work during the season. That’s a lot of time and Mathis already wasn’t sound mechanically.

RSo. – Stetson Bennett

Stetson Bennett may be short (5-11). He may be a quarterback mostly known for playing on the scout team. He may have transferred from Georgia at one point, looking for a place to start before coming back. None of that disqualifies Bennett from consideration.

True, Bennett doesn’t have much arm strength. His height will get him trouble against aggressive defenses and he’s only tossed 27 passes. But he’s a wildcard. Bennett is elusive, his arm is good enough if he throws a mechanically sound pass and teammates love him. In the past, this sports writer has called Bennett the perfect disaster scenario quarterback.