Georgia will have another proven quarterback for the 2020 season, though his next snap against a Southeastern Conference opponent will be his first.
Jamie Newman, who guided Wake Forest to an 8-5 record and a berth in the Pinstripe Bowl this season, announced Saturday via Twitter that he will be playing his final year for Kirby Smart's Bulldogs. Newman cited Smart and offensive coordinator James Coley as reasons why he selected Georgia over other graduate-transfer opportunities around the country.
"As I look ahead, I am excited about joining such a great football program under the leadership of Coach Smart and Coach Coley," Newman said. "I believe in UGA's amazing staff, great football program and the passionate fans supporting this team. Most importantly, I am ready to get to work, ready to make new friendships and am committed to contributing to this great program."
Former Georgia coach Mark Richt reacted on Twitter to Newman's change of location by posting, "I have been watching Jamie Newman all season with the ACC Network. Georgia just landed a great one! I predict he will be the best quarterback in the SEC!"
Newman, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Graham, North Carolina, was a three-star signee in 2016 and the nation's No. 17 dual-threat quatrterback, a position group headed that year by Jarrett Guarantano and Jalen Hurts. After redshirting the 2016 season and playing just 22 snaps in 2017, with 17 of those coming in a 51-7 opening rout of Presbyterian, Newman became Wake Forest's starting quarterback late in the 2018 season.
As a redshirt junior this season, Newman completed 220 of 361 passes (60.9%) for 2,826 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 574 yards and six scores but on New Year's Eve announced that he would be leaving Winston-Salem.
"My decision has been primarily based on my need to develop further and my desire to stretch myself to prepare for the next level," Newman posted on Twitter when revealing his transfer announcement.
Georgia's starting quarterback the past three seasons, Jake Fromm, announced Wednesday that he would be forgoing his final year of eligibility and would enter the NFL draft. The only other scholarship quarterbacks for the Bulldogs this season have been redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett and true freshman D'Wan Mathis.
Bennett is a former Bulldogs walk-on who played the 2018 season at Jones County (Mississippi) Community College before returning, while Mathis had a cyst removed from his brain last spring and never went through a full-contact practice. Georgia added four-star quarterback Carson Beck of Jacksonville, Florida, during last month's early signing period.
Newman instantly vaults to the favorite role this spring, with Pro Football Focus recently rating him college football's third-best returning quarterback behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields.
A glowing critique of Newman by PFF reads, "The tight-window passing he has put on display has been next level and a large reason why he is highly sought after on the transfer market. Joe Burrow is far and away the highest-graded quarterback throwing to a tight window, but Newman is second and third isn't anywhere near him. Newman has some rushing ability and has seen the eighth-most designed rushes for a quarterback (128).
"While some may say it's his rushing that can be his greatest weapon, it's clearly his arm."
Newman could become Georgia's first graduate-transfer starting quarterback since Greyson Lambert, who arrived from Virginia in 2015 and started that season for the Bulldogs. Lambert started Georgia's 2016 opener against North Carolina but was beaten out by Jacob Eason, who lost the job to Fromm a year later.
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