Bum’s rush

I don’t get the backpatting here.

On Wednesday, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant announced that he would be redshirting for the rest of the year and transferring, essentially removing himself from the Clemson team. This comes after Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced that freshman quarterback Trevor Lawerence would be starting against Syracuse on Monday.

Bryant called the decision by Swinney a slap in the face, as Bryant posted a 16-2 mark as a starter and led Clemson to a College Football Playoff a year ago. But Lawerence is a generational type talent, as he was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2018 class. And Swinney’s faced a decision like this before. In 2014, Swinney went with a veteran, Cole Stoudt, over a hyped freshman, Deshaun Watson, to start the season. That Clemson team lost to Georgia, but had Watson, who led Clemson to the 2016 national title, started maybe the game ends differently.

We’ve laid all of that out to say that juggling a quarterback room is no easy task. And yet, Georgia coach Kirby Smart has done a pretty great job of it so far. In his first year, he turned to the generational talent in Jacob Eason. While the team went 8-5, no one would say that was the wrong move. Last season he again turned to a freshman in Jake Fromm, even through Eason had more raw talent. But again, the results can’t be questioned as Georgia was a handful of plays from a national title.

As for this year, Smart is sticking with experience—and also it’s not like Fromm is a bum.

He’s not a bum.  Cool, man.

Does anybody really think things would be different in Athens than they are at Clemson had Fromm been benched in favor of Fields?  I sure don’t.

Kirby’s doing a great job — dare I say he’s not a bum? — but let’s not act like he’s got some unique skill here.

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135 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

135 responses to “Bum’s rush

  1. Bob

    Bingo. And in the long run, Kirby’s job is tougher than Dabo’s. There are three separation between the two at Clemson. There is but one in Athens, which means this has the potential to be dragged out for some time. Nice problem to have, but hardly to the point of back slapping.

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  2. Bulldog Joe

    Showing no mercy on Tennessee will go a long way toward getting Fields the passing game experience he needs.

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    • dawgtired

      I would like to see Fields play a full qtr or more in the next two games. Neither QB will lose you the game so we don’t have to be afraid of playing them both. Defense will have to game plan for both and it would be building real (even equal) depth at the position. If all goes well, there won’t be a game we would not feel comfortable in playing either one.

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      • Uglydawg.

        Good idea. But the defenses are already having to prepare for them both. If Fields doesn’t get much time, it may lull future teams into the belief that they don’t have to worry about preparing for him…then, wham! There he is and better than they’d ever imagined.
        Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of CKS?

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  3. Dabo has acted like he wanted to name Lawrence the starter since the beginning, but he had to know Bryant would leave as soon as it happened. I’m surprised he chose the 5th game to do it. The cynic in me thinks he probably wanted to wait until game 6, so Bryant would have no alternative.

    Dabo better hope this whole episode doesn’t split his team. Maybe he did it now, so Bryant can leave with his eligibility still intact for the sake of the team going forward.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      If he named Lawrence as the starter at the beginning of the season, he loses in College Station.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dawg Vegas

      I believe he said that was the case

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    • ASEF

      Dabo is down to a true freshman starter, a raw rs freshman back up, and Renfrow running 3rd string. Who is running their scout team? I am guessing Dabo hoped Bryant would stick it out. But starting a guy 5 games and then benching him is going to make the sort of waves that wash away recruits.

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      • Merk

        Well Bryant will prob run the scout team to keep up football skills, as he is still on the team.

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        • Uglydawg.

          He sounds pissed off though, and he should be. Taking a kid like that and telling him to run the scout team is a bridge too far. I bet we see him in the SEC before it’s over.

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        • According to the article, it sounds like Bryant has left the team and doesn’t plan to return. I don’t know what to think about that, but it’s seems he has made the decision not to be part of Clemson’s team going forward. Dabo offered not to play him the rest of the year if he would stay. I wonder if that would have held up if something happened to Lawrence or he was ineffective in a game. I don’t think Bryant wanted to be put in a position to be requested to enter a game and to tell Dabo no.

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          • PTC DAWG

            Agree, if you’re going to leave, do it. No need to put Coach/Player in an awkward position going forward.

            The Ncaa and this 4 game rule created this.

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            • Every decision has unintended consequences. I think the 4-game rule is a good step toward what the process should be … 5 years of eligibility to play. With 5 years of eligibility, I bet Bryant stays to help Lawrence and play in a pinch. He walks out of Death Valley after his last home game with his held high.

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              • PTC DAWG

                Agree totally about the unintended consequences…..5 years sounds fair to me too…

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                • Mayor

                  Then you’re going to have a hell of a lot of players playing 5 years. Do you want that? Do the players want that? Won’t the coaches expect that, at least of some position players? All the guys who are possible NFL players but who aren’t going to be high draft picks will be expected to play 5 years in order to improve their draft position. What does that do to the recruiting cap of 85 players? Will the NCAA have to raise the cap to 100 or maybe more?

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          • The other Doug

            According to a friend that is tight with his parents he isn’t with the team and wants to withdraw from school.

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            • I would, too. I have to imagine it’s awkward as anything to walk into class and have people whisper or not to be able to go to the athletic building. His whole support system at Clemson has likely disappeared overnight.

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  4. Derek

    Agreed. He’s only been lucky.

    First he was lucky that Fromm was able to handle the job last year. Had he or the team had issues in the middle of the season without Eason healthy, there would have been issues. I still say a guy should t lose his job just because he got hurt. Once healthy they both should have played. (This does not discount the possibility that things were going on befmhjnd the scenes that I’m ignorant of. Like partying, not caring, not doing the the job, quietly announcing he was out. Who knows?)

    Second, Kirby is lucky because Fromm continues to play really, really well. If he were struggling a little things would get harder. I still say 1 needs more snaps when it matters. Don’t play scared, play them both.

    I still can’t figure out how Hurts hasn’t done the same as Bryant. He should. If he plays in game 5 he’s a fool.

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    • JCDawg83

      Fromm is a better qb than Eason and was from day one. Eason didn’t lose the starting job because he got hurt, he lost it because Fromm is a better qb than he is. I don’t think anyone really believes Eason would have gotten us to the playoff or the SEC championship last season.

      Kirby is going to play whoever gives him the best chance of winning and that’s exactly what he should do.

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      • california_dawg

        Humbly disagree. Eason’s ceiling is way higher than Fromm’s. Eason had an oline held together by duct tape and a first year head coach. You can’t say definitively the result wouldn’t have been the same with Eason behind center last season, after the team started to gel. I feel we did the kid wrong.

        I love Fromm and I’m ecstatic with what he did, but I think we’re seeing this season with our inconsistency on offense and inability to grind Mizzou with our running game that he benefitted greatly from two team leaders and once-in-a-generation RBs in Chubb and Sony. I feel he’s a more talented Hutson Mason and not in the elite passer camp like Eason, Stafford, and Murray.

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        • William (the other one)

          Allow me to disagree with you. Eason had the talent, yes. However, his decision making was lacking and he was slow to pull the trigger on his throws (even though he could make all of them). Fromm may not have the same arm talent, but he is smart, savvy, and not afraid to fire off. I think he feels very much like a Murray, but that’s just my opinion. he checks into plays and knows where to go with the ball. Yeah he makes mistakes (and does seem to take a bit to get settled), but he is easily on par with some of our best passers. I don’t feel Eason was wronged. He just gave way to someone equally prepared to take over. It was unfortunate, but it happens.

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        • I feel like I had seen enough in Eason’s last spring game and those few series against App State to figure he had not progressed much, if at all. I believe that had he not gotten hurt, we lose at Notre Dame last year and maybe lose more. Just my opinion. Also, the jury is still out on whether he will be an elite passer. There is more to it than being tall with a strong arm.

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          • Mayor

            Everybody is certainly going to find out next year at U Dub. I’m one who thinks Eason takes U Dub to a PAC 12 Championship and the 4 team playoff and is a high NFL draft pick in either ’20 or ’21. I wish I could be his lawyer.

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            • Skeptic Dawg

              Mayor, here is one subject that we agree upon! I think Eason has a huge upside and will do great things as a Huskie. I would have loved to see what that kid could have done behind our o-line last year.

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              • Macallanlover

                Always fun to wonder what? My strong guess is it would have cost us an SEC title we would not have won, maybe not even played for, with Eason at QB. Hope he does get it together at UW, Peterson deserves good things, as does Eason.

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        • JCDawg83

          If the goal was to have a player who could throw the ball harder and/or farther, Eason would have definitely been the better choice. If the goal is to have a qb who can read the defense, manage the game, make catchable throws to all parts of the field, make the team around him better and win games, Fromm is the better choice. The “elite passer camp” qbs you cite combined for exactly 0 championships of any kind in 8 seasons at Georgia. I want to see a great college qb playing for Georgia and winning championships for the Georgia Bulldogs. If he also turns out to be a great NFL qb, that’s great but I don’t really care as much about that. Having a great future NFL qb playing at Georgia and not winning any college championships holds no interest to me at all.

          Eason may have the bigger upside as far as an NFL career but I think Fromm will go down as a much better college qb. If Eason had truly been the better college qb he would have regained the starting job after he recovered from his injury. As to Fromm being a more talented Hutson Mason, I take that as a compliment of the highest order. Mason was an excellent college qb and I can’t think of a single game he caused Georgia to lose. If Fromm is a more talented Hutson Mason, great things are ahead for Georgia in the next few years.

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          • Mayor

            Excellent rant JC and I agree totally. I like Eason but I also think Fromm is the better QB for the system Kirby is running at Georgia. I also think we may run up against Eason in the future though.

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        • But still, the Dawgs expanded and then maintained upon a 2-score lead in the 2nd Half on the strength of Fromm’s arm. 3 TDs.

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      • Derek

        and Eason started because????

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      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        I humbly disagree also. Part of my disagreement is that it is really an apples/oranges comparison. Fromm has done great, is a student of the game and a leader. But raw talent (basically, his arm)? That edge goes to Eason, imo. Both Fromm and Eason can run a little, but neither is going to be a Fields type.

        Conventional wisdom says that if you have 2 quarterbacks you don’t have a quarterback. I’ve bought into that in the past, but more and more I would like to see Fields get more live action especially in games that we have well in hand.

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        • california_dawg

          I was worried my comment would trigger a needless message board war. Glad we can all debate civilly!

          And I definitely agree in wanting Fields to see meaningful playing time. No more of this bring him in for 1 play crap.

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      • No Axe to Grind

        Eason had the physical gifts but Fromm has the brain for the game. The brain always proves to be the decisive factor.

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        • Macallanlover

          He had two advantages physically: he was taller, and he could win the long drive contest. Period. Neither of those make you a really good QB in and of themselves. I really liked Eason, but he was never the QB at Georgia that Fromm has been. I hope he studied Fromm last year, gets coached up, and becomes a great QB, but when he left UGA as the 2nd team QB, he was there for a reason. I also appreciated the way he handled the change, he was a team player and feel he paid attention every week in case he was needed. That is special, with all the adoration and winning every matchup since he was 7 or 8, he could have pouted and been disruptive. So #10 will always be a DGD in my book, and I hope he realizes his dreams in football and life.

          If Jake Fromm ever loses his job to Fields, I think he will act the same way, but he is still the best we have at the overall position of QB. He may not always be, but he is in 2018. And it will take a damned good QB to beat him down. UGA is blessed to have this as a possibility, although the fans calling for a change should have those conversations at home, or to a buddy in a bar, imo. We don’t have a controversy, and I see no advantage from those who want to create one. And yes, Fields should get more reps to make sure he is ready, and they shouldn’t just be handoffs. I think Fields is underrated as a passer from all I have seen, or heard; his being a good runner is gravy.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Right on, PeatMan! I know it cannot be gauged but I’ve always been conscious of a vibe of grit that Fromm plays with. That has an effect on teammates.

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            • Macallanlover

              Justa clarification, Macallan is as far from a “peat taste” as you can get. I cannot swallow any single malt with a peaty taste, much less enjoy. Lagavullen is the highly rated peat choice, I could not finish one finger of it and have run from others in that category. Macallan is aged in virgin sherry wood barrels, and that is the secret to their differentiation. Everyone has their own preference, mine is for smoother, milder, and (much) less smokey taste.

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    • ASEF

      Hurts would be a fool to leave Alabama right now. The team is doing historic things. Hurt’s shown improvement from last year. He’s got a proven QB coach and no better model to learn from in Tua. Hurts is getting the sort of media attention and media love he would never see based on his arm at Houston or a similar landing spot, which will serve him well after his playing days are over. And he’s a hit away from once again running an offense with an insane collection of talent around him.

      This year at Alabama will do more for Hurts’ future than any alternative in CFB right now.

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      • Jim

        I’ve come around to this line of thinking as well. If he transfers he ends up on a tram with significantly less talent around him and probably continues to be a running qb. Not helpful to any NFL aspirations he might have

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        • Derek

          So you think he’s the bench rider that gets drafted? Got it.

          I think if he starts two years at another place he has a SLIGHTLY better chance at it, maybe??

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          • Jim

            Maybe yeah.

            But maybe he’d also be a disaster without 10 five stars around him and would more than likely end up with a team that structures its offense around his running ability and won’t develop his passing skills. And he is sitting in 2019

            At Alabama at least he has good coaching to improve his passing skills and a chance that because of injury he is the guy again

            In either event he is an Undrafted free agent most likely

            I usually agree with your comments on this blog but your inability to look at Alabama in an unbiased fashion clouds your judgment sometimes. And comments about being drafted as a bench rider in response to my post make you look like an axxhole

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            • Jim

              I’m wrong – he won’t sit in 2019

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            • Derek

              He gets his pick of both systems and depth charts.

              Playing at elite football programs isn’t exactly the recipe for NFL success at QB of for being a high draft pick. Its pretty random.

              If the kid thinks he can throw it, he should be throwing it, not throwing a year of eligibility away.

              I do hate Saban. Not bama. Saban.

              I just don’t think many qb back ups either get drafted or get a look in the league. I can think of 1. The guy that played behind Leinert.

              I am an asshole, so feel free.

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              • Mayor

                Funny thing Derek, I hate Bama–have for 40+ years–but don’t hate Saban. He’s the best coach in America and taught OUR coach how to be a top notch HC. Maybe all of us ought to love Saban. But I do agree with you about one thing–you are an asshole.

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                • Derek

                  Thanks!

                  Saban is a lying soulless asshole. I’m sure if your kid was run off and handed an unwarranted medical redshirt to bring in a 5-star you’d still suckle his cock. I won’t. That’s just one example.

                  Then you’ve got Darius Philon. Jonathan Taylor. You’ve got the kid who led three teammates on a robbery spree 2 days after he was arrested for a illegal gun possession that no one knew about because the press and police conspire to keep shit out of public view.

                  I could go on. He’s a bag of shit.

                  Good program builder but a totally evil little bastard that I pull for to lose almost every week, save ND and when Auburn has a chance to do something. He’s 0-3 in those games so fuck him for that too.

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        • ChiliDawg

          Hurts probably will never be a QB in the NFL anyway, but he DEFINITELY will not be if he stays at Alabama. That is 100% certain. If he stays it’s because Nick swindled him into the idea that his prospects are better staying, which is a lie.

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      • Macallanlover

        Agree, think he has decided to stay in his current role already. He has a chance to start again if Tua is hurt at any point, get additional coaching, and is on pace to graduate in December and still play another year for someone else. If that doesn’t give him a chance to get a call from the NFL, it doesn’t matter anyway.

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      • Derek

        2 years of eligibility is better than 1.

        Pretty easy math for the sentient among us.

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        • ASEF

          He still has five years to play four. Not sure where you’re getting the idea that he’s losing a year of eligibility. He could, for example, transfer as a grad to a new program, red shirt, and then play as a fifth year. It’s effectively what Jake Coker did coming over from FSU.

          Maybe Jalen decided playing this year at Alabama was in his best long-term interests. You can make some obvious and compelling arguments that it is, from a QB perspective, from a potential coaching career perspective, and from a potential media career perspective.

          I know you hate Saban, and I get it – but your loathing for the man has you locked into the idea that Saban is hoodwinking poor Jalen. It’s patronizing and, given the totality of evidence, pretty myopic.

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          • Derek

            When he graduates he can transfer and play immediately, so its 2 years left, not 1

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            • ASEF

              Exactly. He still has two years of eligibility left after he plays this year and then graduates in December. He can choose to one or both of those years.

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              • Derek

                Really?

                If this is his third year playing, he has only 1 left: 4-3=1

                If he doesn’t play past game 4: 4-2=2

                Jesus dude!

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                • ASEF

                  He can spend 2 years at FSU or wherever. Period.

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                  • Derek

                    and play 1 IF he doesn’t shut it down NOW.

                    If you don’t think there’s a difference between playing 1 year or playing 2 years fine, whatever.

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                    • ASEF

                      No I think he’s made the decision that playing THIS year is worth more to him in the aggregate than shutting it down now and playing an extra year somewhere else.

                      You’re making an assumption that playing this year at Alabama has less value to Jalen than playing somewhere else the next 2 years. It’s not even clear that’s necessarily true on the NFL QB front, and it’s pretty obvious that on other front – coaching, media – this year at Alabama would have FAR more value to him than a second year on the field at NC State or FSU or Auburn or wherever.

                      You called him a fool for playing. We disagree on that. You said he would only have 1 year of eligibility left and could only play 1 year. No, he could play 4 games next year somewhere as a redshirt and then a full year the following.

                      So, yeah, we disagree. Whatever.

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                    • Derek

                      How much is he going to play this year after his RS is burned? I think he’s being played.

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                  • Mayor

                    ASEF….I hate to say it but Derek’s right. If Hurts stays at Bama through the rest of this season that will be the third year he has played CFB and he will only have one season of college eligibility left. That’s one of the reasons I think he has made the decision to go pro after this season–because he didn’t leave Bama already.

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                    • ASEF

                      No, Derek’s wrong. Jalen could play 4 games next season – out of the gate, or into the post-season – as a redshirt, and then play a full season after that. Thats two season on the field – one a redshirt, one as a starter.

                      He has 5 years to play 4 full and 1 redshirt. Jalen has decided that playing full season this year at Alabama and redshirting somewhere else next season is worth more to him than redshirting this season at Alabama and having a full 2 years at some stop TBD. And given the unique situation he and his team occupies, it’s actually pretty clever on his part. He remains a vital part of a potentially historic football season and he can sit down when it’s done – when he has a lot more information than he has now – and make a fully informed decision on how he uses those two years to meet his goals.

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                    • ChiliDawg

                      Jalen has decided that playing full season this year at Alabama and redshirting somewhere else next season is worth more to him than redshirting this season at Alabama and having a full 2 years at some stop TBD.

                      This literally makes zero sense.

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                    • ASEF

                      Jalen has played 2 full seasons. Coming into this year, he had, by NCAA rule, 2 full seasons and 1 redshirt season left.

                      If he plays a full season this year, he will have two years remaining – one redshirt and one full. Jalen has clearly decided that using a full year this year is worth more to him and his goals than using his redshirt. He’d rather have a full season this year and save his redshirt season for something else.

                      You and Derek are locked in on the idea that only wise path Jalen can take is using his redshirt THIS season and then using his remaining 2 full seasons somewhere else. That’s the conventional wisdom everyone has been talking about since summer. And somehow, if Jalen does something different, it’s because Evil Saban deluded the poor boy. Jalen is surrounded by engaged, active adults who know football and who have talked in the press about making decisions in Jalen’s best interests.

                      Jalen was talked up a lot during last night’s UNC Miami game, in glowing terms. He’s rapidly becoming the poster child for Everything Right About College Football. Alabama has literally a global spotlight right now. He graduates in December. He wants to play. He’s making smart decisions for himself. I don’t give a crap about Saban, but it’s insulting as hell for Derek to act like Jalen is too stupid to make good decisions for himself.

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        • Macallanlover

          Not that simplistic, this isn’t a 1 or 2 year situation. There is enough tape on him. As single year of opportunity, for most every one, will be enough. Only advantage of two for him is if he changes positions, accepting he isn’t going to be an NFL QB. Many, many better passers have failed to make that step, and he wasn’t even an above average passer in college, surrounded by great talent. If you need two years to reach that conclusion, sorry.

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    • Uglydawg.

      I agree about Hurts…see my post a few down.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Hurts is a junior and likely not in position for a graduate transfer. He will also get plenty of live reps against Lafayette, Arkansas, Tennessee, The Citadel, and possibly a couple other teams.

      His game will improve and he will have options at the end of the season.

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      • Derek

        He graduates in December. If he doesn’t play in another game he has two years of eligibility. If he plays one more snap he goes from 2 years of eligibility to 1.

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        • PTC DAWG

          I believe this to be correct.

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        • ASEF

          No, he has five years to play 4 no matter what decision he makes this year. Most grad transfer QBs don’t work out because they don’t have time to pick up the offense in a round of spring ball. Jalen could red shirt at his new home and spend a year learning the new system. Or hell, he could red shirt at Alabama next year and then compete for the starting gig once Tua turns pro.

          He has way more options this way, not fewer.

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      • The rumor is that he graduates in December at Bama and could be on campus as early as January. The question on Hurts is whether he will be on his next campus for 1 or 2 years. If he plays in one more game and graduates in December or May, he would only 1 season. If he pulled out now, he would potentially have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining assuming he graduates.

        If he plans to change positions to play at the next level, having 2 seasons to hone his craft would probably be best. If he wants to play QB, he probably needs to stay and play as much as he can at Bama to prove to his next coach he can be a viable starter.

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    • ApalachDawg

      Because Hurts will take a pay cut if he leaves Bama

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  5. paul

    I think we will see a lot more of this sort of thing, just as we will see a lot more players skipping meaningless bowl games. I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I can’t blame the players for protecting themselves or attempting to maximize their earning potential down the road. On the other hand, you committed to a school and a team. As an old fart, that still means something to me and I think it ought to mean something to them as well. So I guess it’s just another indication that the game we’ve grown to know and love is becoming something that’s harder and harder to know and love. Just like the NFL. I quit watching the pros years ago. I guess the day is coming when I will no longer watch college football either. Too bad.

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    • PTC DAWG

      The Ncaa brought this on themselves. I’m guessing at some point you may have changed jobs for what you saw as greener pastures. I know I have. I’m guessing many on this board have. Things change…

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      I saw it put succinctly on twitter today:

      Everyone in college football is out for themselves, but only the players get criticized for it

      Liked by 1 person

      • JCDawg83

        Everyone gets criticized for it. The NCAA revised redshirt rule was a bad rule and the law of unintended consequences is fully in play now. I think they will change the rule very soon, possibly after this season.

        I think allowing players to play in 2 regular season games and any championship, bowl or playoff games without losing a year of eligibility would be a good compromise. Of course they didn’t ask me and probably won’t.

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        • Macallanlover

          It would be a better plan, I agree. If you are going to let them play 1/3 of a season, why not go all the way and give them 5 years? Between injuries and being beaten out by better competition, not that many guys will play 60 games in college. But it does play havoc with those who want to compare career records. Just like Herschel gets slighted because they didn’t count bowl game yardage and scores when he played. How hard is to add those three games in and talk apples to apples? Perhaps per game numbers is the better measurement anyway.

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  6. kfoge

    Anyone else think Bryant is a snowflake? A HC, who’s job is to put his team in the best position to win games, chooses the best QB for the TEAM (in the coaches minds) and this INDIVIDUAL (Bryant) calls it a slap in the face? So is a slap in the face better if its to one player (Bryant) or 85 (Team)?

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    • ASEF

      I think Dabo handled it poorly. And I think Bryant wants to play meaningful football, since he’s kind of dedicated his life to that up to this point. And I think a coach like Dabo, who constantly wants media pats on the back for putting the personal needs of players first, even above results, and who probably sells that during recruiting, is going to risk locker room perceptions of hypocrisy when he’s benching a senior QB who is winning games now for a true freshman QB who might give Clemson a better shot to beat an Alabama team that Clemson might run into in the playoffs.

      This was a huge gamble by Dabo on two fronts. He’s already lost the first bet. We’ll see how the second one goes.

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    • PTC DAWG

      QB’s haven’t just started transferring….just that the Ncaa changed the rules…makes it easier mid year to make the call. Saves a year of eligibility.

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  7. Biggus Rickus

    I don’t get why people keep comparing these situations as if they’re the same. Clemson’s is different from Georgia’s is different from Alabama’s. Next year, Georgia may well find itself in Alabama’s current situation.

    I think Swinney has handled his situation okay. He had a senior who was given the opportunity to lock up the job and couldn’t, and he’s made the decision early enough for the senior to transfer if he wants to. A slap in the face would have been stringing Bryant along until he had no option other than to play out the season.

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    • Cojones

      Don’t you think that Bryant had figured the number of games out when Lawrence was recruited? He wasn’t going to be caught in some Freshman Hope Chest while reality stared him, his family and friends in the face. It was figured out that he would do this long before Monday.

      It’s exactly the situation that we have with Justin and Jake. If, at this time, we have a great Freshman QB substituted as starter for another QB with almost an exact similar record to Bryant’s, wouldn’t you consider it a slap in the face for Jake? It continues to be a touchy situation with these QBs and the path to fairness for both is narrow and strewn with tire flatteners. The path thus far keeps Jake as the starter and Justin to play at the O Coach’s whim. We all know that both players should play, but who is to say how that is accomplished?

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Well, first off, QB record is a terrible metric. Maybe the team went 13-2 because of you or maybe in spite of you, or maybe it falls somewhere in between. In the vast majority of cases, it’s going to be that last option. And no, it’s not a slap in the face. If the other player outperforms you, the team’s record while you were the starter is irrelevant. Why should teams saddle themselves with a worse player at the most important position on the team just because he’s the incumbent?

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        • Cojones

          So, If info coming from the players and coaches that Justin is a better athlete than Fromme, you think that Fromme should be replaced? I don’t, nor do I think that Fields should not get quality time.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            There’s more to playing QB than athleticism. I would expect that for now, Fromm has a better understanding of the offense, and he’s clearly able to make the throws they want him to make. I also trust the coaches to make determinations based on what they see in practice. It’s entirely possible that Fromm will continue to outperform Fields even next year, but if he doesn’t, I don’t think he is entitled to the starting job based on what he did as a freshman and sophomore.

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  8. Thorn Dawg

    I’ll say it… Kelly Bryant sucks. He’ll suck on his next team too.
    Trevor Lawrence is the better QB. The other three Clemson QBs that transferred saw that in the spring and bolted.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      He doesn’t suck, but he’s not a good enough QB for Clemson to do more than win a shitty ACC.

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    • Border Dawg

      The only real team Clemson has played this year, who put pressure on the QBs, was Texas A&M. I saw an experienced college QB outplay a true freshman. Lawrence was throwing everything at his receivers feet. If Bryant hadn’t played in that game, I’m not so sure Clemson would have won. Yes, Trevor Lawrence is a generational talent throwing the ball. Can he handle an aggressive defense? We shall see

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      • The other Doug

        I agree, but go look at Clemson’s schedule. They have the opportunity to bring Lawrence along, and have him prepared for the playoffs. They can even lose a regular season game, win the conference, and still make the playoffs.

        Bryant won’t beat Bama, but Lawrence might.

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  9. The Truth

    “Does anybody really think things would be different in Athens than they are at Clemson had Fromm been benched in favor of Fields?”

    I do because I believe Jake Fromm would not leave. I think he’d fight to get his job back. Can’t base it on much besides my gut feeling about Fromm’s makeup and character.

    And I say that not as a knock on Bryant’s makeup or character. The circumstances at Clemson are different enough from UGA that I don’t really begrudge Bryant his decision.

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    • Steve

      This is what I hope would happen if Fields beats Fromm out next year. Hopefully, Jake, being a longtime UGA fan, would want to stay and compete for his spot, rather than bail out. Wouldn’t blame him if he did, but it sure would be nice to be able to have both guys.

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    • Sanford222view

      I am not so sure on that. Not because of Jake but because of his dad. His younger brothers transferred from Houston County to Warner Robins HS because of a coaching change at HOCO. Jake transferring from UGA wouldn’t even require the Fromm’s to move to a new school district. If Fields beats out Fromm I have a feeling Jake would be advised by his father to transfer.

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  10. I mentioned this in the playpen, I just don’t know what Bryant gains here other than playing time. He was setup to succeed last year with a playoff caliber team, yet was merely an above average game manager. What does he expect to show NFL scouts if he wins the starting job at a lesser program? If he stayed we would be a bad hit away from being the man again, what if he came in and won the ACC CG or a playoff game?

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  11. Bright Idea

    And we wonder why schools pay Saban, Kirby, Dabo etc. the big bucks instead of just letting the fans and media decide these QB issues and who has a pulled groin or a broken leg. It was decided before he was a high school junior that Lawrence would be the best QB for whichever school he played for and no coach’s evaluation would be needed. This is all just a sign of the times; excess blather, recruiting news profit and every QB is an NFL prospect (not).

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  12. ASEF

    I think Dabo made some promises to Lawrence during recruiting. Dabo could have continued his QB platoon for the rest of the regular season. Bryant seemed ok with it. Lawrence was clearly developing in his back up role.

    Maybe Lawrence develops even faster now, but he and his team will now have to do it without a safety net. The fact Dabo felt the need to take that risk is the odd thing here. The cited reason is that Dabo felt morally obligated to give Kelly the option to transfer, but again, Kelly was fine sharing the position, and sharing the position wasn’t holding Lawrence back. He was getting better weekly.

    Just a really weird situation all around.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Or maybe Lawrence has demonstrated himself to be a better downfield passer, making their offense more dynamic. There doesn’t have to be a conspiracy when you can merely look at their production and obviously see why the change was made.

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      • Cojones

        Isn’t Justin considered a better downfield passer than Jake?

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Based on what?

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          • Cojones

            Reports from players, coaches and observers? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have answers nor do I promote one over the other. I confess to liking Fromme because he has unforgettable history with us that will give us great memories and hope during any play on the field, no matter the situation spelled out by pundits or outsiders trying to divide us.

            My point is that it is not a “settled” situation that is unlike Clemson or, as some like to project, ‘Bama.

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      • ASEF

        You’re missing my point.

        Before Dabo made the change, he had:

        Bryant providing leadership and stability. Lawrence developing as a passer. A crap schedule that they could handle with a WR like Renfrow playing QB.

        After the change, Dabo has:

        No Bryant. Lawrence developing as a passer. And now Dabo reportedly actually is devoting at least a portion of practice time to running Renfrow at QB, just in case.

        Lawrence was never going to leave or stop getting better week by week. Dabo already had that. He didn’t gain that with this move.

        Dabo lost Bryant. He gained nothing in return. Why?

        As I said, weird.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Maybe he thinks Lawrence is fully ready and not “developing”. I just don’t think naming your best QB the official starter is weird. Will he regret it if Lawrence gets hurt? Maybe.

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          • ASEF

            If Kirby made a decision today that sent Fields or Fromm packing immediately, would you say that was a smart thing on his part?

            Georgia needs both. Clemson needs both. It’s Dabo’s job to manage that. He didn’t.

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  13. Uglydawg.

    Somebody give Dabo Stetson’s phone number.
    The new 4 games without losing red-shirt rule will contribute to a coming trend of kids deciding they aren’t going to ride the pine. They will get a taste of the field and may have a great game or two. “Why should I sit” will become a question “He’s better than our starter”, will become a point of discussion on coaching staff meetings.
    For Kelly Bryant, the choice was so obvious that he didn’t even need to hesitate. While he shouldn’t have criticized his coach, his fate was sealed barring an injury to Lawerence. (who will be great). And judging from Bryant’s words, he may have now have a bad attitude. Not good for Clemson.
    It may become, (and probably should be) more and more difficult for schools to hoard talent.
    Should, or will kids look at what they’re facing and decide it’s not in their interest to ride the pine for a couple of years?
    I think so. But they should realize it before they sign, not after being in the program for a couple of years.
    We might need to realize how fortunate we are at UGA, as the “Death Star” building industry may be in it’s hay-day and soon declining. We may be on the trailing edge, but at least we’re on it right now.
    College football will be changed if this becomes a trend.
    There will still be programs that get great recruiting classes, but the depth and satisfaction of having more talent than you can even field could be a thing of the past.
    “Parity” may become a trendy term again.
    Then again, things may just rock on as they are. I can live that as long as Georgia is one of the builders.

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    • Cojones

      Good post and one that appeals to reasoning. I don’t think we are anywhere near being out of the woods for a repeat of this at UGA. I don’t think it’s fair to put Fromme in the position of being a hero to help solve it either. He has a right to an expectant future the same as Fields and traversing this territory is going to create human behavior of resentment among many factions.

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    • GruvenDawg

      So only graduate transfers don’t have to sit out a year AFTER they transfer…So if a sophomore decides to leave who has not graduated he will still have to sit out a year per NCAA rules. Only graduate transfers (typically JR/SR players)would benefit using a redshirt for the 4 games they played and then transfer. They will not have to sit out a year at their next school and saved a year of eligibility. A junior graduate transfer could have two years of eligibility at his next school (5 years to play 4, taking redshirt JR year)

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  14. Bulldog Joe

    Leaving after the 4th game takes you away from practice or live reps for at least six months, while your future competition at QB continues to improve their game.

    The risk is larger than it appears on the surface.

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    • Cojones

      They know they have to keep working out for their future. If they want it, they will do it – whatever it takes. Think of it as an injury that a player has to come back for and the things he has to do to overcome it.

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  15. Macallanlover

    Not sure UGA has dodged this bullet at all, Kirby has handled ti well but this seems the lull before the storm to me. Unlike both Clemson and Alabama, we two excellent QBs, one year apart, who can command the entire offense, and be the offensive leader. Hurts was clearly lacking the passing ability required so that wasn’t a hard choice at all. Bryant was an average passer, and seemed to lack the inspirational skills to be the leader Clemson needed. Not as easy a call as Saban’s but one that could cause disharmony.

    Kirby’s decision seems much tougher. Both of his guys have top flight skills, able to run the offense and seem to have the leadership skills required. One has vastly more experience and a proven track record in big games than the other, but Fields has shown up well prepared and not lacking in his limited opportunities. I don’t see a big issue this season, but the off season could get dicey if neither takes a step back. Get your popcorn, but expect high drama by May of 2019.

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    • we may have two qbs that can command the entire offense. Not trying to discredit Fields, and it isn’t his fault he hasn’t been given more opportunities to really run the offense yet, but one read and then scramble is what i have seen, and that isn’t full command of the offense. He is on pace, but more game proof is required, IMO.

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    • PTC DAWG

      I agree, taken in it’s totality, I think UGA’s two QB’s are better, an not by just a little.

      Hell, it may get interesting in Red Stick…

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    • We may have two QBs with full command of the office. It is meant as no disrespect to Justin, but I can only judge what I have seen in real games, and one read and then scramble is not full command of the offense. I hope he gets legit time to show he can operate the full playbook, but at this point we have not seen it, though clearly we all believe he has the potential

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    • Gurkha Dawg

      I think you are exactly right Mac. I think we will have high drama next year, but it might not be fun to watch. A split locker room is the only thing that can stop this team next year.

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    • ASEF

      On the one hand, it’s the sort of problem you want as a coach. But it can blow up in your face.

      I agree. My only additional question would be what happens if Fields’ reps dwindle with the schedule ticking up in difficulty and we get to the end of the year without Fields seeing meaningful moments on the field.

      Will Kirby play Fields enough to keep him engaged and happy? He’s thrown one pass so far in SEC play. UT and Vandy are probably his last chance this year to get SEC reps, and then he’ll probably be shelved until UMass and GaTech.

      So, I think the intrigue starts about two seconds after the SEC Championship Game. If Georgia is playoff bound, it’s going to be in large part because of Fromm. And if Georgia isn’t playoff bound, then the bowl game is basically Spring Practice I.

      As you said, high drama.

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    • It is my understanding that CKS has already had to have meetings with both the Fromm & Fields parents. I think this is already a smoking gun. I hope we can hold on to both of these kids for the duration. But I agree with some of the earlier comments that Justin needs to play more meaningful snaps, not just handing the ball off to run out the clock. Glad this isn’t my call, but then I don’t make $7 mil a year either to make the call..

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    • Mayor

      With the new redshirt rule Fields can still be the backup and also redshirt as long as he doesn’t play in too many games. That effectively puts a year between Fromm and Fields. Like what CMR did with Murray and Mason only Fields gets into some games too. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen this season but sure it might next season.

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  16. sorry for the duplicate-ish response

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    • Cojones

      We understand. Sometimes when I post, the post isn’t printed. I have to leave and bring up the conversation again before seeing it posted. Don’t know whether my computer is slowing or if it’s the site.

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  17. Union Jack

    This is all speculation but I guess that Bryant believes it a slap in the face because he probably did everything that the coaching staff asked to mentor Lawrence. I would have guessed that during Spring and Fall camp, the coaching staff was in Bryant’s ear telling him that Lawrence was too good to keep off the field but don’t worry about it – you are the starter. We just want to get him reps to make sure he is ready – just in case. So don’t worry and don’t complain, Lawrence is going to play.

    However, I anticipate the conversation Swinney had with Bryant after naming Lawrence the starter didn’t commit to giving Bryant playing time unless the situation warranted it – because Lawrence is inexperienced and needs as many reps as possible.

    It’s not like Bryant has played poorly or Clemson is stuggling – they are not so Bryant probably wonders why they made the change.

    I don’t think Swinney deserves any kudos for the timing of it … he was planning on Bryant staying and disagrees with Bryant’s decision. I think they wanted Lawrence to be the starter and if they waited to after Saturday you always run the risk of Bryant playing lights out against Syracuse and having even more of a controversy.

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  18. Bright Idea

    Nobody here thinks Dabo was hoping Bryant would leave?

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    • Macallanlover

      And be left with only one QB, somewhat unproven, in the midst of what looks like a cakewalk to the playoffs? He isn’t dumb, and that would be really stupid of him. I think he did it this week to not look like a total dick and leave Bryant hanging. Heard him on an interview today, said he didn’t think Bryant would leave but felt he couldn’t take away that decision from him. Also said Lawrence had been there since January and had made continual progress and had finally passed Bryant, and it was obvious to the staff. He said it happens all the time at other positions and the media doesn’t send satellite trucks and demand interviews and explanations.

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  19. MDDawg

    I like how the quoted piece says Kirby turned to Fromm over Eason with no mention of Eason’s injury. Yeah, Kirby had to make a tough decision about who to start once Eason got healthy, but for the first several games the decision was made for him. It’s not exactly apples to apples with Dabo’s situation.

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    • Russ

      Yeah, the article was weak. Kirby has done nothing wrong, but I think he’s also been a little lucky with the changes. Eason to Fromm decision was made for him, and then Fromm showed he was up for the task so Kirby decided to go with the flow. It might get real interesting next season, or the first time the offense really stalls with Fromm at the helm.

      Dabo could’ve been a real dick and started Bryant the next game, essentially sealing his fate. But instead, he announced Lawrence was taking over before the 5th game. He had to know Bryant leaving was a possibility, yet he took the risk. Not sure what else he could have done.

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  20. Will Trane

    Do you think Swinney is concerned if Bryant leaves? Perhaps. Was it wise or whatever for him to announce Lawrence is the starter in a game to an opponent to whom they lost last year on the road? I’ll give Dabo some credit, because he recruits very well, he has a national championship won against Bama [something we did not do], and his record [plus staff and players] if very very good.
    So Dabo changes QB, another sports writer makes a comparison to a situation at UGA. Dumb. Hello, please Maria Taylor write a story adding to this one.
    Let’s say Lawrence is at UGA rather than Fields, and Fields is at Clemson.
    Now how would that story go.
    Better get this down. Trevor Lawrence is a player. Look at his skill sets, his high school performance is a very good scheme and coaches, and his field presence and leadership.
    Would I start him over Bryant at this time in the season. Why yes. So why did Bryant come to the conclusion to leave, actually, he left the door open. But Dabo is closing it based on 2018 and forward performance. All QBs behind Lawrence are going to be parked there for awhile.
    Is he better than Fromm at this point in his first season. They are both very good. Much has been said about his passes to the sideline. They are stellar. But this year his deep ball is there, too.
    Fields is a talent, but so are Lawrence and Fromm.
    You are not going to see RBs carrying a ball 25+ a game over the course of a season anymore in the SEC. It is a grind against current defenses, the schemes, and the number of plays teams run over 4 quarters
    Likewise, the day of a single starting QB could be over, too. Spinning the ball 40, 50 + game over a season is a grind to. Taking hits while dropping back and/or running will take a toll over a season.
    So where will he go? Arkansas? Tech? Miami? Vandy?

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  21. W Cobb Dawg

    Can’t blame him. Now he can switch to someplace like Virginia or UCLA and his degree won’t say clemson at the top. That in itself is a really smart move.

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  22. Uglydawg.

    He should transfer to Auburn..he will instantly become a Heisman candidate.

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  23. Greg

    “Does anybody really think things would be different in Athens than they are at Clemson had Fromm been benched in favor of Fields”?

    Yes, thinks Fromm would at least give it a year and fight for it (job). That is who he is imo, a fighter.

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  24. RangerRuss

    Clemson sucks.

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