Sept. 2 (UPI) — Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jamie Newman, who was expected to be the team’s starter in 2020, has opted out of this season because of coronavirus concerns.
Newman announced his decision Wednesday on social media, saying he will begin preparing for next year’s NFL Draft. The graduate transfer from Wake Forest departs the school without ever playing a snap for the Bulldogs.
“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 wrote in a statement.
“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 ahead, I remain hopeful and excited about what the future holds especially during these challenging times in our world.”
With Newman’s departure, USC transfer J.T. Daniels — who joined Georgia in May and received an NCAA waiver to compete this season — becomes the favorite to start at quarterback for the Bulldogs. He will replace three-year starter Jake Fromm, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills earlier this year.
Newman, listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, started 16 games for Wake Forest over the past two seasons. In the 2019 campaign, he completed 60.9% of his passes for 2,868 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He added 574 rushing yards and six scores on the ground.
Georgia also has three other scholarship quarterbacks on its roster: senior Stetson Bennett, freshman Carson Beck and redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis.