Due to the cancellation of spring practice, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken didn’t get to have a first look a new grad transfer quarterback Jamie Newman.
But recently during an interview with ESPN’s David Pollack and Kevin Negandhi, Smart said he’s been nothing but impressed with Newman when he appeared on the College Football Podcast.
“We’re excited and Jamie has been a great addition to our program,” said Smart. “We didn’t really get to see him through the spring, but we did get to see him in spring workouts and the first thing that pops out at you is his leadership ability. He came into a situation where he doesn’t know a lot of guys on the team, but that hasn’t hindered his ability to lead.”
Apparently, that’s not all. Smart continued to say that Newman checks off a lot of boxes and has been throughly impressed with his work ethic throughout the pandemic.
“Physically, he’s well put together,” Smart said about Newman, who’s listed as 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. “Mentally he’s well put together and he’s got the right mindset and he’s approached this thing the right way.”
But of course, Smart didn’t make any promises or guarantees about his potential playing time. Even though most assume that Newman will be the starter, Smart said that Georgia’s other quarterbacks have had a really impressive summer workout session as well.
“Yeah, that’s not the say he’s not going to have competitors come in here,” Smart said. “D’Wan (Mathis) has done a great job, Carson (Beck), Stetson (Bennett) … J.T. (Daniels) if he’s going to be able to play and be eligible … all those things are going to play a factor.”
From what it sounds like, beating out Newman won’t a walk in the park.
“I really like where Jamie is at. We like what we did last year at Wake,” Smart said. “We think he can create a lot of problems for defenses and I’m excited to see him go play.”
Last season, Newman threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for 574 yards and six scores as his first season as a full-time starter at Wake Forest. He has solid numbers, but there are currently still questions surrounding the fifth-year senior that might not be answered until fall camp.
Smart and Monken will start to figure out what they have in Newman when coaches are allowed to start working with players on July 25. The NCAA rules say that they will be allowed eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film work beginning on July 15.
“That’s the toughest thing in a year of transition, transition being coordinator transition and quarterback transition,” Smart said. “It’s going to be very unique so we’re going to have to do a really good of managing our practice time, our walk-through time to make sure we take advantage of whichever quarterback winds up being the guy, especially if it’s him, that we can use his skill set the right way.”