Another reason to love Kirby Smart: he overcame Cam Newton to sign Justin Fields.
Fields had played in Newton’s seven-on-seven league after his junior season at Harrison, and the Carolina Panthers QB had offered some advice to the hot-shot recruit.
Newton’s career began at Florida, where he rode the bench behind a legend named Tim Tebow. Thing is though, Newton thought he was better than Tebow, and he wasn’t alone. The problem, however, was Tebow was ensconced, a fan favorite, a guy they ended up building a statue of at Florida. The way Newton saw it, that’s all that mattered to Florida’s coaches.
“I’m a Tebow fan, so I can’t say definitively Cam was better,” Pablo Fields said, “but that was a quote from Cam to Justin.”
Newton ended up transferring to Auburn, winning a Heisman and a national championship and being selected first overall in the 2011 NFL draft, but the end result wasn’t the point. Newton told Fields to be sure that, wherever he landed, they were willing to give him a fair shot from day one.
That all seemed reasonable enough last October and November. But then Georgia won the SEC, won the Rose Bowl, came within one defensive snap of winning the whole darn thing. Would the Bulldogs really bench Fromm, the guy who took them to the brink of a national championship, in favor of a true freshman?
“That’s a roll of the dice,” Pablo Fields said.
In the end, Smart convinced the family Justin would get a fair shot, and it’s a sentiment that, however far-fetched it still seems, has been repeated by Georgia’s staff this month.
Maybe stealing that laptop was part of a plan.