On Jan. 11, the university’s starting quarterback Jamie Newman announced that he would be transferring to the University of Georgia (UGA). Newman, who ranked second in the entire ACC in 2019 in terms of total offense with 287 yards per game, will compete for the starting job at UGA. The position was left vacant by Jake Fromm, who declared for the 2020 NFL draft earlier this year.
“As I look ahead, I am excited about joining such a great football program under the leadership of Coach [Kirby] Smart and offensive coordinator [James] Coley,” Newman said in the statement he released. “I believe in UGA’s amazing staff, great football program and the passionate fans supporting the team. Most importantly, I am ready to get to work, ready to make new friendships and committed to contributing to this great program. UGA and Coach Smart, thank you for this amazing opportunity.”
There is a lot of hype surrounding the transfer, in large part due to Newman’s tremendously impressive 2019 campaign. Newman commanded the offense to a 7-1 record before injuries began to stack up and the team lost key players. During the season, Newman completed over 60% of his passes and racked up over 2,800 yards passing and 570 yards rushing. Newman accounted for 36 total touchdowns and finished the season with a passer rating over 145.
Newman, who will be playing under his last year of NCAA eligibility, has a good chance to win the starting job under Smart. He is 6’4 and 230 pounds, has a great arm and plays a physical game. The quintessential dual-threat quarterback, Newman rushed for over 70 yards six times over the past two seasons and had two 100+ yard rushing games in 2019. Smart will certainly take note of Newman’s ability as a ball carrier as he assembles his pro-style offense for the Bulldogs 2020 season.
“Newman has all the physical and mental tools needed to compete at the highest level, but also has a winning mentality that enables him to deliver in clutch moments,” Les Johns, the publisher at Demon Deacon Digest, per 247sports.com, said. “He’s big, physical, intelligent and decisive, with a strong arm and the ability to deliver a crisp pass into a tight window. He led three game-winning two-minute drills in his first five starts for Wake Forest, delivering thrills Demon Deacon fans will remember for a lifetime.”
Ample praise regarding Newman’s physical nature also comes from those who have competed against him during his time at Wake Forest.
“I think (Newman) is great. He’s a hard-nosed physical runner and then he can pass the ball,” Tanner Muse, a safety for the Clemson Tigers, per Mike Griffith via DawgNation, said. “When you get a dual threat guy like that, it’s very tough. I think Georgia got a good pickup.”
In Athens, Newman will be competing with several other quarterbacks for the starting job. Among the candidates are former walk-on Stetson Bennett IV, D’Wan Mathis and the recent four-star signee Carson Beck.
Newman leaves large shoes to fill in the university’s football program. The most likely successor will be rising junior Sam Hartman.
Hartman already has some experience calling plays for the Deacons. During the 2018 season, he earned the starting job during preseason and was one of only five Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) freshmen quarterbacks to start their team’s season opener. That season, Hartman set records for true freshmen quarterbacks at Wake Forest including most wins in a season (4), most total offensive yards in a game (442), and most touchdown passes in a season (16). In 2019, Hartman attempted 97 passes, completed 55 and scored five total touchdowns.