COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Quarterback Justin Fields confirmed Friday night he is transferring to Ohio State following one season as Georgia’s backup.
Fields’ much-anticipated announcement gives new Ohio State coach Ryan Day a sublimely talented dual-threat passer to run his offense if Dwayne Haskins Jr. makes an expected jump to the NFL.
Fields decided to transfer from Georgia after he was unable to beat out starter Jake Fromm. Fields announced the transfer after he was expected to visit the Ohio State campus earlier Friday.
Fields issued a statement on his Twitter account in which he said his one season at Georgia “has given me the opportunity to refine my skills under great coaches and to play with incredibly talented teammates who’ve become like brothers to me.”
Fields’ arrival at Ohio State is huge for Day, who took over as coach Wednesday after Urban Meyer’s retirement. Fields was the overall No. 2 national prospect in the 2018 recruiting class and was highly sought after he announced his intention to transfer last month.
Fields helped give Georgia coach Kirby Smart the nation’s top-rated signing class last year.
The Kennesaw, Georgia-native deepens Ohio State at quarterback and sets up an intriguing competition with Tate Martell.
NCAA rules would require Fields to sit out next season if he transfers, though he could request a waiver to become immediately eligible.
Fields was the target of a racial slur from a Georgia baseball player during a football game in September.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Field was relegated to backup for the sixth-ranked Bulldogs behind star sophomore Fromm this season. Fields played in all 12 games, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns, and running for 266 yards and four touchdowns. His most significant playing time, though, came in lopsided victories against nonconference opponents.
“I appreciate what coach Smart and the UGA football coaching staff have done to help me progress as a quarterback and for their patience and understanding while I thoughtfully considered my future as a student-athlete,” Fields said on his Twitter account.
Fields’ most notable play of the season came in the SEC championship game loss to No. 1 Alabama, when he was used on a failed fake punt in the fourth quarter that set up the Crimson Tide’s go-ahead touchdown.
Haskins, who broke several single-season Big Ten and school rushing records and was third in Heisman Trophy voting, said after the Rose Bowl on Tuesday that Fields had contacted him about whether he planned to enter the NFL draft. At the time, Haskins said he hadn’t made a decision.
Fields said he would make no further comment on his transfer and referred any questions to the Ohio State sports information department.
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