Georgia’s surprise signee yesterday seems to be saying it both ways.
“I just signed with Georgia,” Mathis told The Detroit News. “It’s not always about Justin Fields. I didn’t know if Fields was going to Ohio State so I decided to go to a place that I had the best chance of playing at in a couple of years.
“I’ve been wavering back and forth for the last couple of days, but I decided today (Wednesday) really. I decided to go to Georgia because of my chances of playing more. They only have one quarterback on scholarship on their roster (Jake Fromm). I’m enrolling early, can’t wait to get there.”
If I’m reading that right, he seems to be saying that the uncertainty for him isn’t Fields staying at Georgia, but maybe/maybe not going to Ohio State. As a result, Georgia became Mathis’ safer default option.
Evidently, while that may have been a late decision on his part, it was a decision that had been guided for a while.
The idea of potentially having Jake Fromm as the only scholarship quarterback on hand for spring practice was a troubling thought indeed, and that’s the reason – according to head coach Kirby Smart – that he and his recruiting staff had been keeping their eyes peels for potential late additions for basically the entire 2018 football campaign.
“I mean you wouldn’t be a very good coach if you didn’t think this could happen all year, right? So, we were anticipating this as we looked across the country at quarterbacks,” Smart said. “What you find tough is you’re talking in hypotheticals. So yeah, I might be interested coach, if this, if that, if you all have one guy. That’s hard to do in the middle of a season. So, I was very animated with our staff about continuing to recruit kids across the country, because we have a possible situation with one of them with one quarterback on scholarship.”
With Mathis, his interest in the Bulldogs was already established. He camped at Georgia over the summer, and despite his commitment to Ohio State, the Bulldogs stayed in contact with the four-star performer throughout the year.
“We tried to keep relationships developed,” Smart said. “But that one came really fast, where there was mutual interest, he had come here to camp before, and he jumped on board.”
At some point, then, prudence morphed into necessity. Would the results have been the same without Smart’s planning, though?