“And at the time, we had Jake Fromm, who was playing pretty well.”

Kirby Smart doesn’t blame Adam Sasser for Justin Fields’ departure from the program.

He blames… Trevor Lawrence?

(Fields) is a great kid, his sister plays softball here, he’s a very bight, well-rounded kid,” Smart said on a recent ‘All things Covered’ podcast hosted by his friend, Bryant McFadden. “So many players on the team really loved him.”

The fans and media were high on Fields, too, and the expectations followed him to Georgia.

“With the new recruiting age that we live in, and the hype that follows the No. 1 premier player, he and Trevor (Lawrence) were really the top two players coming out in the country,” Smart said. “and  (they) happened to be 30 miles from each other, and a lot of comparisons happened with Justin to Trevor.”

Smart revealed for the first time that Fields felt added pressure to get on the field early because of the success Lawrence was having his true freshman season at Clemson.

“It was very evident to us early on in the year that as Trevor had success, and began to play, and in the Texas A&M game (second of the season) he got in and played more and more, Justin felt the same way that, ‘Hey, I’m as good as him, and I should get an opportunity to play,’ ” Smart said.

That must have been one strange conversation for Kirby.  If only Dabo could have been a little more patient, who knows how it would have turned out at Georgia?  Or something like that…



Filed under Georgia Football

29 responses to ““And at the time, we had Jake Fromm, who was playing pretty well.”

  1. elbertadawg

    He could have given him a scripted set of downs automatically like Shockley at specific pre set times. He didn’t and that’s history and how it goes. It’s time to hang our hopes on JT and let Justin’s memories move on.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fields did get those in certain games. If you remember in 2002, we were marching up and down the field against Florida with Greene and then Richt gave Shockley his series. The kid throws a bad pick 6, and we never really get our mojo back after that. If Richt stays with the hot hand, are we playing for a national title that year?


      • elbertadawg

        I don’t disagree with your statement, but the question was/is how do you keep Fields happy for one season? I’m convinced he would have shown his better talent in the following spring with some command of the offense. Now, unlike Dabbo and Saban, would Kirby have made a change?. I’m not convinced he would have and thus I think Justin made the best decision for himself.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I don’t disagree that Chaney (and by extension, Kirby) mishandled Fields as the 2018 season progressed. For example, 1 should have gotten a chance to change momentum in Baton Rouge (although that game was as much on how poorly the defense played that day). I’m convinced Fields knew Fromm was staying for 4 years and knew he could find a landing spot in Columbus (I’m convinced Day was tampering through the personal QB coach – not illegal under NCAA rules but certainly unethical).

          Who knows if Kirby would have made the change in the spring? Justin didn’t stick around to find out.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Texas Dawg

            “Fields knew Fromm was staying for 4 years” yet he stayed only 3

            Liked by 1 person

            • I know. Fromm made a huge (and potentially expensive) mistake.

              Liked by 1 person

            • theotherdoug

              I agree with EE on this. Fields thought he would come to UGA, get some snaps freshman year, and then take over his Sophomore year. After one year he realized Fromm was probably a 4 year player.

              That brought in the business decision part to all of this, and Fields was smart to leave and get snaps at OSU.


              • ‘then take over his Sophomore year. After one year he realized Fromm was probably a 4 year player.”
                The truth is he probably would have taken over his Sophomore year or mid way through it. He was just to impatient and got bad advice.


                • theotherdoug

                  Yeah, but he didn’t know Fromm would struggle like that his junior year and then go pro.


                • theotherdoug

                  Also, he looks to be the 2nd over all pick in the draft. He didn’t get bad advice and his impatience paid off.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • JaxDawg

                  Bad advice from who’s perspective? He is playing for a title, was in the Heisman conversation, and will likely be a very early first rounder. I would have loved for him to stay, but that’s because my primary interest is UGA football; his primary interest is his career and hindsight confirms it was good advice and a good decision.

                  Liked by 3 people

      • Greg

        Yep…..believe Greene had completed 6 straight at that point an up in score.

        Took away all of the momentum.


  2. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    To quote the great camp Northstar counselor Tripper Harrison – “It just doesn’t matter…”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dawgman3000

    So Trevor Lawrence’s success was the reason for Fields leaving and Sasser presented him the opportunity to play immediately. Makes sense I guess. I think that he was leaving at the end of the season regardless of the Sasser situation. I lay that whole fiasco at the feet of Kirby Smart.

    I say that not because I believe that Kirby “ran him off” as some believe. I say that because of Kirby’s overbearing influence of protecting his defense to the detriment of his offense. You don’t relegate that kind of talent to ” just don’t make mistakes for defense .”

    IMO, that in itself was not a Fromm and Fields problem, but I also include Eason in there as well. Eason and Fromm thrived in running the HUNH but because Kirby was overly concerned about his defense, they weren’t allowed to run it consistently. I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t part of the reason Fromm left early.

    I’m thankful that it appears Kirby has learned his lesson now that he is letting Monken and Daniels do their thing. Here’s to hoping that we see plenty of Beck or Vandagriff running the WHOLE offense next season in mop up for a smooth QB transition in 22.

    Liked by 6 people

    • gastr1

      My thoughts on this pretty much the same. Re: Fromm leaving early, it had been a tough year for him re: the expectations, the leveled-off performance, the poor play of his WRs, but mostly, he had to have known that Coley would be gone and he’d be faced with learning someone else’s offense with a mostly whole new set of receivers in 2020. So if you have to do that anyway, why stay?, is my guess.


    • originaluglydawg

      Good post. But a caveat in all of this…It takes a hell of lot more to come in as a newbie and dominate the SEC than it did for Trevor to dominate the ACC. Basically, just about any middlin’ QB could have managed it. Fields could have won like that at Clemson..and so could have Fromm. Comparing what happens in the ACC and SEC doesn’t usually give us a lot of real life data.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ran A

    Dabo’s should send Richt and Smart a basket at Christmas every year. Bobo thought that Watson was a running QB that could not throw. And Clemson was on him from the 8th Grade.

    And Dabo won the T-Law sweepstakes and had the guts to make the change at Clemson early. Smart did not. Results – one Natty and in the play-offs every year the kid was there. Fields – at OSU and in the Playoffs two years out of two and now playing for the Natty.

    I’m a CKS guy and will always be grateful to Richt for righting the Georgia ship and keeping it competitive (without the facilities that everyone else was building by the way).

    But the QB mistakes over the years are breathtaking and have easily cost Georgia at least one Natty, possibly two (counting this year with Fields at the helm).

    Liked by 4 people

  5. charlottedawg

    It wouldn’t have mattered. Unless Kirby redesigned the offense we would have wasted fields talent. Kid goes from looking like a deer in the headlights at georgia to a heisman contender at Ohio State. Talent around him was relatively the same at both places, the only thing that changed was coaching and scheme.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Texas Dawg

    OSU would not be where they are today w/o transfers. Fields (a Georgia kid) leaves UGA for OSU. Sermon (a Georgia kid) leaves OU for OSU. I would wager the house that w/o those two, OSU is watching this game from their couch at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dawgphan34

    It seems like this is something that Smart made up and decided to put out there this week because he is tired of talking about the one that got away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • munsonlarryfkajim

      its from a story that is actually a couple of weeks old. Its just getting recycled the week of the championship game.

      But yeah, Smart wanted to make something up to get out there this week.


  8. RangerRuss

    The reason Lawrence started as a freshman and Fields didn’t was simply experience. TLaw had about 47 starts in HS and stayed healthy. Fields had 17 starts and was rehabbing a serious injury. There was no comparison between the two at that time. Fields just wasn’t ready to supplant a QB who had come within a blown call or four of winning a NC.
    Kirby isn’t as stupid or nefarious as some think.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. MGW

    I haven’t listened to the interview but based on what you posted, that doesn’t sound so much like an excuse to me, as he is lamenting being the butt end of a prime example of the new way of the football world.

    For sure, he’s saying having the “1A” to Fields’ “1B” top recruit right down the road kicking ass lit a more intense fire under Fields to get in the game or move on, but I don’t think he’s saying Fields would have stayed if Lawrence was playing somewhere across the country, or not starting at all. Just that this is the new way of doing business and it damn sure didn’t help having Fields see someone just like him right down the road doing what he believed he could do.

    The far bigger cause was that no matter what, Fields was going to be a junior by the time he took the reigns, and at that point there was a better chance than not that it would be his senior year before he took over, and he’d have just the one year to do or die. At the time Fields left, most people figured Fromm would play four years.


  10. unionjackgin

    They could have handled Fields and Fromm in the same manner that the Chiefs handled Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith.

    Alex Smith was playing at pretty high level in 2017 but everyone knew Mahomes was more talented. Smith led them to the division title and they lost by 1 point in the Wild Card round. The next year he was in Washington and Mahomes was league MVP.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Scotty King

    Any word from Zeus?


  12. so in other words Fields was a me player, not a team player,