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Georgia photo by Tony Walsh / Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer from Wake Forest, has opted out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns.

Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman, the graduate transfer from Wake Forest who was the favorite to guide the Bulldogs this year, is opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro Football Focus earlier this year ranked Newman as the third-best returning quarterback in college football behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields. Lawrence has been outspoken on social media about wanting to play this season, while Fields and his Buckeyes are having their season delayed after the Big Ten's decision to postpone fall athletics.

Newman revealed his decision to the public via Twitter.

"With much prayer and discussion with my family, I would like to announce that due to the uncertainties of this year amid a global pandemic, I will officially opt out of this football season to prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL draft," Newman said. "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. Although my time has been short, I've built some great relationships, and I've had a chance to continue my development.

"As I prepare for the journey, I remain hopeful and excited about what the future holds, especially during the challenging times in our world."

Newman started 13 games for Wake Forest last season, throwing for 2,868 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also had 180 rushes for 570 yards and six scores.

The Bulldogs scrimmaged for the first time this past Saturday, with Newman competing along with JT Daniels, the transfer from Southern California, Stetson Bennett, D'Wan Mathis and Carson Beck. Smart said after the scrimmage that Daniels has yet to be cleared medically to play in a game.

Georgia opens its 2020 season at Arkansas on Sept. 26.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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