Former 5-Star QB Justin Fields Reportedly to Transfer from Georgia Football

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

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)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Justin Fields, the 247Sports composite's No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2018, reportedly has told the program that he'll be transferring, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.

A source told ESPN's Mark Schlabach "he might come back," though he reportedly is exploring other options, including Florida State, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

Fields spent the 2018 season serving as the backup to Jake Fromm, who led Georgia to the national championship game a season ago and took the Bulldogs to the SEC title game this year, losing to Alabama in both games.

While Fromm continued to play excellent football for the Bulldogs (2,537 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, five interceptions, 68.4 completion percentage), Fields saw far less usage, completing 27-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing 42 times for 266 yards and another four scores.

While Georgia did make it a priority to get Fields playing time and gave him a role in the offense, Fromm's play has made him the definitive starter, a situation that likely won't change next season.

Transferring from Georgia will mean that Fields has to sit out the 2019 season and won't be eligible to play until 2020, though Wolken reported that Fields is "expected to appeal to the NCAA to be eligible this season." If he transfers despite losing the appeal, it's perhaps an indication that he believes Fromm will remain with Georgia through his senior year, meaning Fields wouldn't have a line at the starting gig until 2021.

On the other hand, if Fromm leaves for the NFL after next season as a junior, Fields would be his successor as the starter in 2020, the same year he'll be eligible to play for any school he transfers to unless the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility.

An interesting subplot of Fields' decision to transfer is that he originally committed to Penn State before choosing Georgia. Had Fields kept that commitment, he would likely be heading into 2019 as the Nittany Lions starting quarterback, with Trace McSorley graduating.

Regardless, he'll be an incredibly sought-after transfer if he indeed leaves Georgia. His ability to impact the game on both the ground and through the air is highly valuable, and in his limited role at Georgia this past season he showcased his talent. He'll have no shortage of suitors.

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