Two prospects from the Peach State are set to hit the ground running as college freshmen.
Justin Fields and Emory Jones, both highly-ranked dual-threat quarterbacks from Georgia, now find themselves on opposite sides of one of the best rivalries in the SEC.
Fields, the centerpiece of the No. 1 recruiting class in 2018, enrolled early at Georgia, while Jones, the No. 9 prospect at his position, did the same for Florida.
Athlon Sports’ Steven Lassan has included both Fields and Jones on his list of the nation’s most high-impact freshmen quarterbacks going into college football’s 2018 season.
Each quarterback begins his career entering completely different situations.
In Athens, rising sophomore Jake Fromm is the starting quarterback after leading Georgia to the SEC Championship, Rose Bowl win, and national title game. But as Kirby Smart has done since his arrival, nothing in the depth chart is guaranteed, and Fields will be given every chance to compete and prove he should get the starting job.
Even if Fromm maintains his role as QB 1, it is very likely that Smart and Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will have a package for the freshman to come in a play at various points in games. And if Fromm sustains an injury, Fields will probably be to whom the Bulldogs turn in order to keep things rolling, just as Fromm did in place of Jacob Eason last year.
Jones, on the other hand, goes into Gainesville with an excellent opportunity to earn the starting job for the Gators. He’s a great fit for new coach Dan Mullen’s offensive scheme, and none of Florida’s quarterbacks over the last couple seasons has shown any type of consistency running the Gators offense in recent seasons.
As an early-enrollee, Jones will receive the benefit of going through winter workouts and spring practice with the Gators, giving him an even better chance to secure the starting spot when fall comes around.
Regardless of whether Fields and Jones start in their first years in the SEC, we have to think that there will be at least one World’s Largest Cocktail Party in the near future featuring these signal callers and friends going throw-for-throw and run-for-run.