Justin Fields began his college football career at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State. Fields was not able to beat out Jake Fromm for the Bulldogs starting quarterback position and left the Bulldogs after his freshman season.
Fields wanted to find a school where he could be the starting quarterback and ended up transferring to Ohio State. The Buckeyes quarterback played sparingly while in Athens. Fields played in 11 games for Georgia but was mostly in the game for just a few series. He finished the season with 328 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Bulldogs utilized Fields’ athleticism for special packages, and he added 266 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Fields put his name in the transfer portal prior to Georgia taking on Texas in the Sugar Bowl last season. Fields announced he was heading to Ohio State in January via a statement, per ESPN.
“I’ve decided to transfer to Ohio State University where I will continue to pursue my undergraduate degree and play football for the Buckeyes,” Fields noted. “I’ll miss my teammates more than they’ll ever know, and I wish them all the best as they get ready for another great season. I hope the bonds we’ve developed this past year will never be broken by where we choose to play football or where we end up after college.”
Fields Cited the NFL as One of the Reasons He Chose Ohio State
Fields spoke with ESPN about his decision to join the Buckeyes and cited the NFL as a big reason he is in Columbus. The quarterback felt Ohio State head coach Ryan Day could give him a chance to succeed.
“Coach Day, he’s been in the NFL. He knows what it takes to get quarterbacks to the NFL,” Fields told ESPN. “…I was just worried about the best place to develop me for the next level. That’s the main thing I was looking for.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes Fields made the right move both in the short-term and for his future NFL career.
“Ryan Day is a head coach with an NFL pedigree and a proven track record of putting players into the NFL, particularly quarterback,” Kiper noted to ESPN. “…There’s a reason that Fields talked to Haskins before he decided to transfer to Ohio State. Haskins gave him plenty of reasons to do so, and that started and ended with Ryan Day.”
There Was Some Surprise Fields Originally Signed With Georgia
Given Fromm’s initial success at Georgia, there was some surprise that Fields decided to sign with the Bulldogs coming out of high school. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit discussed Fields’ being a highly touted prospect and his surprise over the quarterback signing with Georgia.
“Now, (QB coach) Georgia Whitfield told me that in all the years he’s worked on the Elite 11, that Justin Fields is the most talented quarterback to come through that system,” Herbstreit told Dawg Nation. “I don’t question Justin Fields ability, but he has a guy who has played in a lot of big games and played really well, so when you have Jake Fromm, you have to say ‘I’m good with sitting for the next two years and learning under Jake Fromm. So I was more surprised when he had all these other options that he went there to begin with.”