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Georgia photo by Steven Colquitt / Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback D'Wan Mathis has received first-team snaps in each of the first two preseason scrimmages.

Georgia conducted its second scrimmage of the preseason Saturday afternoon inside Sanford Stadium and the first without quarterback Jamie Newman.

The graduate transfer from Wake Forest this past week elected to opt out of his final college season in order to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. Despite Newman's departure, the Bulldogs still have a relatively stocked cupboard with Southern California transfer JT Daniels, redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and true freshman Carson Beck.

"It's a work in progress," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the scrimmage on a Zoom call. "We had guys today who went out and practiced well, but we really want a guy to take the lead, and that hasn't happened yet. You'll have a guy who has a great play and a great series, and then he comes back with a bonehead mistake and a turnover. Nobody has really taken charge and taken over.

"Both JT and D'Wan went with the ones. Carson went with the twos a lot. Then JT and D'Wan both went with the twos a little bit. Stetson went with the threes. We don't have a guy who is way ahead. I don't know what to say other than we're going to keep competing, and we're going to try and find the best one."

Newman informed Smart of his decision Tuesday, which was not a practice day. Newman publicly announced his leaving via Twitter on Wednesday.

Smart said after last week's scrimmage that Daniels, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in USC's opener last year against Fresno State, has yet to be cleared for a game. He is optimistic that will change by the time the Bulldogs visit Arkansas on Sept. 26.

"We expect him to be cleared by the first game," Smart said, "but that's not a complete certainty."

Mathis was not cleared to play all of last season after having a cyst removed from his brain not long after his appearance in the 2019 G-Day spring game. He did get to practice with the scout team during the season, which enabled him to face the pass rush of the top scoring defense in the country, and Smart said six or so NFL doctors looked at scans of Mathis before he was cleared.

Georgia's scrimmage Saturday contained roughly 135 plays.

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Alabama photo by Kent Gidley / Alabama football coach Nick Saban

Tide update

Alabama continued preseason workouts Saturday afternoon with a closed, two-hour practice in full pads inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide will resume workouts Monday afternoon.

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

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