GT Daniels moves to West Virginia: Former Georgia, USC quarterback picks Mountaineers as next destination

Former Georgia and USC quarterback JT Daniels announced Wednesday that he is committed to West Virginia at the expense of Missouri and Oregon. The former five-star potential player was listed as a rookie on Georgia’s roster this past season and will have at least one season left to play for the Mountaineers.

“Going up and down the list, I feel like they have very, very good pieces all over,” Daniels told ESPN. “I feel like a very suitable quarterback. I feel like there’s a really, really, really good team that I’m going to get into and do my part to contribute.”

Daniels’ career began with promise as a real freshman at USC in 2018 before a knee injury derailed his sophomore year and led to Kedon Slovis’ emergence as the quarterback for Troy. After the 2019 season, Daniels moved to Georgia and gained immediate eligibility. Although he was still rehabilitating his knee early in his time in Georgia, he made a debut for the Bulldogs late in the 2020 season. Ultimately, he didn’t wrestle the entire job apart from Stetson Bennett IV, who ended up leading the UGA to the national title Last season though, started the year buried on the depth chart.

Although Daniels has struggled with injuries and been battered in two positions, his career numbers are solid. Daniels completed 63.8% of these passes and threw in 32 touchdowns with only 16 interceptions. He’s become the favorite for a starting job at WVU as the Mountaineers are knocked out of season 6-7 and are looking to gain traction in coach Neil Brown’s fourth season as head coach. The Mountaineers ranked ninth out of the 10 Big 12 teams last season averaging just 5.4 yards per game.

With the addition of Daniels, the upcoming Backyard Brawl fight between West Virginia and Pitt on September 1 will see a distinct flavor of USC as former Trojans QB Kedon Slovis will be on the sidelines of the Panthers as a commute.

West Virginia Needs a QB

After winning the job late in the 2019 season, Jarrett Dougie has spent the past two seasons as a quarterback in West Virginia. But three days after the WVU lost 18-6 to Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in December, Doege announced his plan to move. This decision opened up a place on the depth chart, and gave both WVU and Doege a fresh start. Doege ended up in western Kentucky, while the Mountaineers began looking for a replacement.

Former potential three-star Garrett Green backed Dougie last season and remained on the list to provide competition for Daniels. True new four-star player Nico Marchiol and new three-star Will Crowder are also in the QB room, but these three players combined have attempted 32 career passes and will likely face a steep climb to take on the veteran Daniels.

Daniels gets another chance

As the No. 6 player in the enlistment class of 2018, according to 247Sports, many assumed Daniels would be in the NFL now. Instead, he’s entering his fifth season in college football and hasn’t played more than five games in a single campaign since 2018.

He must be excited to show that he has a lot more left in the tank and faces fewer obstacles than he did in USC and Georgia. With the Trojans, a knee injury and Slovis’ stellar performance brought him back. In Georgia, the continuing effects of a knee injury in 2020 delayed his rise to the starting role. Then, a problem in his middle division in 2021 kept Bennett the job for good.

Daniels’ career did not go according to the scenario in any way. As he meets former USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, who was in his first season as WVU offensive coordinator, there is plenty of reason to believe his final class in college football could do well.

During his seven starts in Georgia, Daniels completed 134 passes of 190 for 1,798 yards, 15 touchdowns, and four interceptions. If he can translate that proficiency to West Virginia over the course of an entire season, he will once again find himself on the radar of NFL scouts.