QB Daniels cleared to play for Georgia

Transfer quarterback JT Daniels has been cleared to play for Georgia this weekend, coach Kirby Smart said Monday.

Daniels, who started his career at Southern California, tore multiple ligaments in his right knee in the Trojans’ 2019 season opener and hasn’t played since.

Smart said he wasn’t sure yet what role Daniels will fill when the No. 4 Bulldogs host No. 7 Auburn on Saturday night. Both teams are 1-0 to begin Southeastern Conference play.

“JT will be cleared, but I don’t know how much that changes the picture in terms of reps and development. We’ll be looking at everybody across the board,” Smart said. “JT has got to be able to show us that he can function efficiently and do it with his knee being able to do it.”

Daniels was not cleared for the season opener — a 37-10 win at Arkansas — and Smart turned to redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis as his starter.

Mathis, who missed last season as he recovered from emergency brain surgery, was 8 of 17 passing for 55 yards and an interception before being replaced by redshirt junior Stetson Bennett.

Bennett completed 20 of 29 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns.

A five-star recruit in the 2019 class from Southern California, Daniels reclassified, graduated from high school a year early and started 11 games as a true freshman for the Trojans in 2018, throwing for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

With Kedon Slovis expected to start after impressing as a true freshman in Daniels’ absence, Daniels entered the transfer portal in April, selected Georgia and was granted a waiver from the NCAA to play this fall.

Daniels was the second high-profile quarterback to transfer to Georgia this offseason, after Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman made the move as a graduate transfer in January. Newman ultimately decided to opt out of the season.

The Bulldogs are seeking to find a permanent replacement for Jake Fromm, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round in April after three years as a starter.

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