Jamie Newman's career as a Georgia Bulldog is over before he played in a football game.
The highly regarded quarterback transfer from Wake Forest announced on social media Wednesday that he plans to opt out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns. He and Southern California transfer J.T. Daniels were the top two contenders to replace Jake Fromm at quarterback.
He plans to continue his preparations for the NFL Draft, where he is one of the top players at his position.
"I would like to thank Coach (Kirby) Smart for extending the opportunity for me to be a part of the University of Georgia football program," Newman said in a Twitter post. "Although my time has been short I've built some great relationships and I've had a chance to continue my development."
Newman gave Georgia a dual-threat at the position. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns last season at Wake Forest, in addition to rushing for 574 yards and six more TDs. He completed 60.9 percent of his passes.
Colleges pursued Newman heavily when he entered the transfer portal after his graduation from Wake Forest.
“One of the guiding principles of both the SEC and UGA return-to-play protocols has been the health and safety of our student-athletes," Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said in a statement on Newman's decision. "We have emphasized continually that any student-athlete who decides to opt-out because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 would be fully supported to include honoring scholarships, access to academic facilities, etc., and would remain in good standing with the team. While we will miss him being part of our program, I fully support Jamie’s decision and we will continue to regard him as a Georgia Bulldog. Certainly we wish him nothing but the best in his quest for an NFL career and he knows he will always have a home at UGA.”
Daniels, who received an NCAA waiver to play this season after his transfer, has three seasons of eligibility with the Bulldogs. The other scholarship quarterbacks on the Georgia roster are senior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and freshman Carson Beck.