JT Daniels, QB, Georgia Bulldogs
Redshirt Junior, 6” 3’, 210 lbs
Some people may be surprised to see JT Daniels so high in the Heisman betting. However, he showed in the four games he started in the 2020 season that he is worthy of his place on the list of Heisman Trophy contenders. Before arriving in Georgia, JT Daniels had 2 years at USC. His Freshman year wasn’t too bad, throwing for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 games. The following season, he suffered a horrible ACL tear in the first game of the campaign that ruled him out for the year. JT Daniels then transferred to the Bulldogs, where he got his chance late in the season. He threw for 1,231 yards with 10 TDs in just 4 games, with over 401 yards and 4 touchdowns coming in an impressive debut against Mississippi State. Is this the breakout season we have been waiting for?
The time is now
JT Daniels looks primed for the starting role this season. If he can step up from the impressive sample we saw from him last season, the Bulldogs could be playoff bound. Daniels has shown character and determination to fight back from injury. These are traits that will benefit him going into the 2021 college football season. An example of these said traits was in last season’s Peach Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Trailing 21-10 entering the 4th quarter, Daniels threw 11 completed passes from 15 attempts for 137 yards and a touchdown. The 4th quarter comeback was all courtesy of Daniels’ arm, with only 2 rushing attempts made for 0 yards. Kirby Smart will be licking his lips at a potential full season with JT Daniels as the Georgia signal caller.
A bright 2021 season
The Bulldogs’ schedule is relatively kind in 2021. They face Clemson in Week 1 which is a tough opener. After that, it’s a decent run either side of the Florida game in Week 9. Even so, they have a bye week to prepare for the Cocktail Party. The news that rocked Athens in the Spring was the torn ACL to star wideout George Pickens. With Pickens likely to miss most of the season if not all of it, JT Daniels will require help from the rest of the receiving core. Luckily they have talent in Jermaine Burton, LSU transfer Arik Gilbert and the potential return of Dominick Blaylock from injury. Mix that with the talented Running Back pairing of Zamir White and James Cook, then add 6’ 7” tight end Darnell Washington, it all points to a potentially great season for the Bulldogs.
It is unknown exactly what we will get with JT Daniels and Georgia in the 2021 season. The projections look positive, even without George Pickens. When it comes to the Heisman Trophy, a playoff place won’t necessarily get JT Daniels the coveted award. Games will need to be won in style and with Daniels as the architect of it. A strong performance in the opener against Clemson would be a way to get voters’ eyes on him. On paper, JT Daniels has a great chance of lifting the 2021 Heisman Trophy and he has the ammunition around him to make it happen. If he does win the award, he will be the first Bulldog since Herschel Walker in 1982.