ATHENS, Ga. (CBS46) -- University of Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman has informed the team he will opt out of playing this season due to COVID-19.
Newman transferred to UGA after a successful campaign as quarterback at Wake Forest University. While at Wake Forest, he became the first quarterback to throw for over 2,000 yards in a season in fewer than eight games. He threw 35 touchdown passes in 16 career games as a starter at Wake.
The transfer quarterback enrolled at UGA in January and was on multiple watch lists including the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, and Johnny Unitas Gold Arm Awards.
Following Newman's announcement, UGA Head Coach Kirby Smart said he fully supports the quarterback's decision to opt out of the season.
“One of the guiding principles of both the SEC and UGA return-to-play protocols has been the health and safety of our student-athletes. We have emphasized continually that any student-athlete who decides to opt-out because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 would be fully supported to include honoring scholarships, access to academic facilities, etc., and would remain in good standing with the team. While we will miss him being part of our program, I fully support Jamie’s decision and we will continue to regard him as a Georgia Bulldog. 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.”
For the Bulldogs, the cupboard is far from bare, even with Newman reportedly out of the picture. Dawgs head coach Kirby Smart said as recently as this week the quarterback job was still open. Perhaps the first in line to start will be quarterback J.T. Daniels, a former five-star recruit and USC transfer.
Daniels' health could be the biggest hurdle for him to overcome. He tore his ACL in the opening game of the 2019 season and hasn't played since. He transferred after the 2019 season and landed at Georgia. He's scrimmaged, but it's unclear if he's been cleared for contact and could be ready for the opening game.
Georgia opens the 2020 schedule on September 26 on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks.