Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields has informed Bulldogs coaches he plans to transfer, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Fields, the former five-star recruit, had yet to formally notify No. 6 Georgia of his intention to leave. Under new NCAA rules, players no longer request permission from a school to transfer. Now an athlete submits a notification paperwork, which results in the athlete’s name being placed in an NCAA-run database of available transfers.
Another person with access to the database told AP Fields’ name was not listed as of Monday night. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because the database is not public.
USA Today first reported Fields intends to transfer.
Georgia spokesman Claude Felton told the AP in an email the school and coach Kirby Smart would have no comment Monday night on Fields.
NCAA rules would require Fields to sit out next season if he transfers, though he could request a waiver to become immediately eligible if he can show some sort of hardship he would endure by staying at Georgia.
Fields was one of the most highly rated recruits in the country in the signing class of 2018. The Georgia native from Kennesaw, northwest of Atlanta, decided to stay in his home state and sign with the Bulldogs, despite the presence of quarterback Jake Fromm on the roster.
Fromm led Georgia to a Southeastern Conference championship and an appearance in the national title game last season as a freshman. This year Fields was expected to push Fromm for playing time, but he was firmly entrenched as a backup.
Fields played in all 12 games, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns, and he ran for 266 yards and four touchdowns, but his most significant playing time came in lopsided victories against nonconference opponents. Fields most notable play of the season came in the SEC championship game loss to Alabama, when he was used on a failed fake punt in the fourth quarter that set up the Crimson Tide’s go-ahead touchdown.
Fromm, meanwhile, developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The sophomore is third in the nation in passer efficiency rating (175.81) with 2,537 yards, 27 touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Fromm will be a junior next season and will be eligible to enter the NFL draft in 2020.