The Georgia Bulldogs just lost their projected starting quarterback for the 2020 season. Jamie Newman announced he would not play this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will now get ready for the 2021 NFL draft as he's expected to be a top pick.
"I would like to thank Coach [Kirby] Smart for extending the opportunity for me to be a part of the University of Georgia football program," Newman said on Twitter. "Although my time has been short, I've built some great relationships, and I've had a chance to continue my development." Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart released a statement shortly after Newman's announcement and said the team would miss him.
"I fully support Jamie's decision, and we will continue to regard him as a Georgia Bulldog," Smart said. "Certainly, we wish him nothing but the best in his quest for an NFL career and he knows he will always have a home at UGA." There have been several colleges and NFL players to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus, including LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase. However, it's rare to see a quarterback decide not to play. According to Athlon Sports, seven quarterbacks in the FBS have opted out of the 2020 season out of 118 players.
"I know Jamie has been very mature about the process," Smart said. "These grad transfers, No. 1 the fact that they graduated college, the fact he graduated from Wake Forest, these kids understand what they want. And they're very driven in what they want. "
Newman transferred to Georgia after the 2019 season and was looking to replace Jake Fromm, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. In 2019, Newman played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and threw for 2,896 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 574 yards and six more scores.
With Newman gone, the Bulldogs will look to JT Daniels, a transfer from USC. In 2018, Daniels became the second true freshman quarterback to start an opening game for the Trojans. He finished the year with 2,887 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Kedon Slovis took over at QB and threw for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns after Daniels suffered a knee injury in the 2019 season opener.