Former USC starting QB JT Daniels transferring to Georgia

Sam Cooper
·3 min read

Georgia has added another high-profile quarterback transfer.

JT Daniels, a transfer from USC, announced Thursday that he is headed to Athens to play for the Bulldogs. Daniels is now the second quarterback to transfer from another Power Five program to Georgia this offseason, joining ex-Wake Forest signal caller Jamie Newman.

While Newman is a graduate transfer expected to start in 2020, Daniels would likely have to sit out before potentially having three years of eligibility remaining. His exact eligibility situation — he could receive a medical redshirt for 2019 or even apply for an immediate eligibility waiver — is not immediately clear.

Daniels started as freshman, missed 2019 with injury

Daniels was a five-star recruit who graduated high school early — reclassifying from 2019 to 2018 — to get to USC ahead of the 2018 season. He quickly earned the team’s starting job and threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman while the Trojans endured a 5-7 season. Daniels was the starter again to open 2019, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.

That injury opened the door for Kedon Slovis to thrive in USC’s pass-happy offense coordinated by offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. Slovis, an under-the-radar three-star recruit from Arizona, ended up throwing for 3,502 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a true freshman.

With Slovis in the fold for 2020, Daniels announced in April that he would explore his options heading into next season and put his name in the transfer portal. USC head coach Clay Helton said in a statement that the program would “continue to support JT in every way possible and help him through his decision.”

Daniels, in a statement of his own, said it was in his “best interest” to look into other options, including potentially staying at USC.

“I love this university, coaching staff, and team. To me it is in my best interest to explore all my options going into the 2020 season,” Daniels said April 16. “I will remain in contact with the coaching staff through the process. USC remains one of my options, and that door has remained open for me.”

FILE - This Sept. 31, 2019 photo shows Southern California quarterback JT Daniels in an NCAA football game against Fresno State in Los Angeles. Daniels has entered the transfer portal. He announced his plan Thursday, April 16, 2020. Coach Clay Helton says the door is still open for Daniels to stay at USC, where Kedon Slovis took advantage of Daniels' knee injury to become the Trojans' starting quarterback last season. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
After starting as a true freshman at USC in 2018, JT Daniels missed the 2019 season with a knee injury. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Georgia’s revamped QB room

More than a month later, Daniels has settled on a transfer destination in the SEC.

Georgia has worked quickly to build up its quarterback room after Jake Fromm left early for the NFL. Before landing Newman, the Bulldogs were looking at Stetson Bennett (2019’s backup), redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis (who missed 2019 recovering from the removal of a cyst in his brain) and 2020 four-star recruit Carson Beck as potential starters on one of the nation’s most-talented teams.

Now, once Newman’s eligibility expires after 2020, the Bulldogs can turn to both Daniels and 2021 recruit Brock Vandagriff to take the reins of the offense. Vandagriff, a Georgia native, is a five-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in his class by Rivals.com.

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