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Kirk Herbstreit Addresses Justin Fields Transfer Situation

justin fields runs the ball during the sec championship game

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball in the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It appears that Justin Fields, the No. 2 recruit in the 2018 recruiting class, may leave Georgia football after just one season. The UGA coaching staff looked to involve Fields a bit this year, but with sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm posting a great season, there wasn't a ton of meaningful playing time available.

Fields could have waited through next year, and perhaps taken a redshirt by playing in four or fewer games. Instead, it sounds like he is looking for a path to immediate eligibility in 2019.

According to Sports Illustrated, Fields may have a case, using the incident earlier this season when he was called the n-word by a former Georgia baseball player, to argue that his well-being may be in question by staying in Athens.

And it wouldn’t be a stretch at all if, in 2019, a young black man such as Fields said his safety and well-being might be affected by continuing to stay at a school where a white fellow athlete would refer to a black athlete by that word—even if it was lobbed from the stands while the player was on the field. Even if Fields wanted to transfer exclusively for playing time reasons, the NCAA would be foolish to challenge such an assertion and Georgia officials would be crazy to do anything except wish Fields well as he plays next season at his new school. Georgia’s administration could make a (quite convincing) argument that the fact that Fields’s younger sister Jaiden signed to play softball for the Bulldogs after the Sasser incident took place indicates that the family doesn’t consider the campus a bad environment. But it probably isn’t worth it for the Bulldogs to make that argument. No matter what anyone considers the real reason for the transfer, trying to force Fields to sit out would only make everyone else look terrible.

This ruling allowed Shea Patterson and other Ole Miss transfers to play right away this year, albeit for much different reasons.

Ohio State is reportedly a potential frontrunner if Justin Fields does leave Georgia (and Dwayne Haskins enters the NFL Draft, as presumed), while Penn State, where Fields had previously committed, Auburn, Florida State, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma have been floated as other options.

One prominent former Buckeyes quarterback—Kirk Herbstreit—has weighed in on the Justin Fields transfer talk.

With how indispensable Fromm has been and the fleeting nature of Fields' playing time this fall, he says he's not surprised that the former five-star is looking elsewhere.


“I wondered how Justin Fields was doing behind the scenes,” Herbsteit told DawgNation in an exclusive interview on Tuesday morning. “I haven’t spoken with him, I don’t know specifically what went on behind the situation.

“But I’m not surprised— I’m more surprised he signed at Georgia than I am he’s transferring.”

Almost every good college football team utilizes one clear-cut QB1 at this point, and Fields obviously has his eyes on the 2021 NFL Draft. It may still be jarring to see a five-star up and leave that abruptly, and Fields probably should have considered how hard it would be to displace Fromm, who just led the team to a national title berth. Still, it is his career, and he should be allowed to make the choices that he thinks are best for him.