The Georgia Bulldogs will have a full quarterback room in 2020, including redshirt sophomore/USC transfer JT Daniels. Further, there is graduate transfer Jamie Newman, true Redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis, and junior Stetson Bennett. That will likely be the order of the depth chart this season. Freshman Carson Beck, freshman Jackson Muschamp, redshirt freshman/Nevada transfer Austin Kirksey, and redshirt freshman Nathan Priestley will likely be the guys on the practice squad for the Bulldogs this year.
Georgia Bulldogs Quarterback Room: D’Wan Mathis
Mathis will likely be sitting at the third spot on the depth chart this season for the Bulldogs. The Belleville, Michigan, native has had quite the road to Athens, GA. At the end of his sophomore year, Mathis committed to the Iowa State Cyclones. Four months later, he decommitted. At the end of September during his junior season, the four-star quarterback committed to the Michigan State Spartans. In June before his senior season, he flipped his commitment to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Finally, six months later in December, Mathis changed his commitment one final time as he decided to join the Georgia Bulldogs. Mathis was redshirted last season to give the young quarterback time to recover from surgery to remove a brain cyst.
It’s almost cliche to say, but you want a tall quarterback, so he can see over the guys protecting him. Mathis is the tallest quarterback on the roster. Standing at 6’6” and weighing 205 pounds, Mathis is a full two inches taller than any other quarterback on the team. When you have an offensive line that is expected to be averaging 6’5” tall across the starters, you need someone who will be able to see the full field over their heads. That is one of the major assets that Mathis brings to the table.
We have not seen a whole lot from Mathis because of his injury. However, what we have seen shows that Mathis is very accurate, especially in the short game. During the 2019 Spring Game, Mathis definitely made some impressive plays. On the short passes, he was consistently accurate and putting his receivers in a good spot to make a play. He did not complete any long throws, but that was through no fault of his own. Mathis hit Matt Landers in the hands on his one deep attempt, but he could not hold on to it.
Mathis was scouted as a pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, but that does not mean that he does not have some wheels. In high school, he played a little wide receiver. Mathis even caught a pass in the Spring Game on a trick play. When in the pocket, he shows a good feeling for the area around him and knows when to get out of the way. When scrambling, he has a good tendency to continue to look downfield for a receiver.
This is an obvious one. You have a couple of quarterbacks on the roster, who have already played Power Five football so far in their careers. Mathis has a leg up, as he has been in Georgia’s system a year longer, but he has yet to truly prove himself against the top talent in the country. He will eventually get the chance to start in the SEC and play against the best players in all of college football, but he has not yet had that yet.
This might be the one biggest flaw you can see when watching Mathis throw the ball. You can see it start when he holds the ball before throwing it. He holds it near the bottom of his numbers, making him have to bring the ball up before he can throw it. It just adds a little bit of time onto the whole throw. The lower hold also could cause some ball security problems if a defender is able to get into the pocket. Also, with his size, Mathis has longer arms, which again, adds just a bit of time onto the throw. He can not fix that, but working on the little things could help overcome that tiny disadvantage.
Armani Rogers, Feleipe Franks, Adrian Martinez – It’s tough to find one player to compare Mathis to. So instead, we’ll look at three players. First, Rogers was a three-star, pro-style recruit in 2016. He committed to Cal before switching to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. He transferred this past offseason to Ohio.
Franks committed to LSU before changing over to Florida. He was a four-star pro-style quarterback coming out of high school. Following last season in Gainesville, Franks transferred to Arkansas. Martinez was a four-star dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school. Martinez was committed to Cal and Tennessee before finally settling on Nebraska.
Mathis is a combination of these three players. He holds all of the talents of three. He has a similar build to Rogers. He has the mobility of Martinez. And his play-style most resembles that of Franks. He is such a unique player though that it is hard to find just one guy that fits the same prototype as what he brings to the table.
Mathis has the chance to sit a year or two longer behind two more amazing quarterbacks. While backing them up, he will need to work on some of his fundamentals. But, when his time comes, Mathis should be ready to shine and could be hugely important to the success of the Georgia Bulldogs football team during their SEC play.