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Kirk Herbstreit defends Kirby Smart on social media


Ever since Kirby Smart chose Jake Fromm over Justin Fields in the 2018 season at Georgia, criticism followed. ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit is tired of that, and defended Smart on social media.

In 2018, just one year after Fromm led the Bulldogs to the national championship as a true freshman, five-star recruit Justin Fields arrived on campus. Fromm won the quarterback battle in fall camp, and Fields transferred to Ohio State after riding the bench that season.

At Ohio State, Fields exploded and became one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Fromm was still a reliable option under center for Georgia, but he plateaued later in his college career. Because of that, some in the college football world have second-guessed Smart’s decision to commit to Fromm as the team’s starter. When that topic was revisited on social media, this weekend, Herbstreit defended the Georgia head coach by saying that anyone else would’ve made the same decision.

“SO RIDICULOUS this keeps being brought up!” Herbstreit tweeted. “NO CHANCE of ANY QB dethroning the QB, the year before, led the Dawgs to the Natty as a FR! Obviously Justin is a special player-but this argument is TIRED! Please stop this!”

In their two seasons with Fields at quarterback, the Buckeyes went to the College Football Playoff. Georgia was still great with Fromm under center, but the team still hasn’t gotten back to the playoff since reaching the national title game in 2017.

This year, there is no controversy at all when it comes to who will be the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. After taking over down the stretch in 2020, USC transfer JT Daniels showed that he is plenty capable of running the team’s offense. This offseason, Daniels has only gotten more confident.

“I think his mental growth and maybe his confidence level in his relationship with the receivers and tight ends has improved,” Smart said. “His relationship with the players, just sheer connection has improved, which therefore has improved confidence. It’s much more easier to demand excellence when you know somebody personally than walk out there and you’ve been on Zoom for three months like we were this time last year. He’s in a much better position to be confident.”

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This will be Daniels first season at the college level of having the same offensive coordinator for two seasons in a row. He experienced a transition from year one to year two at USC. He obviously had a new coordinator when he arrived at Georgia but now Daniels and Todd Monken get to build off a strong four-game showing a year ago where he threw for an average of 307 yards per game and tossed 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

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