For those of you who spent the last year under a rock, I have some breaking news.

There’s a wee bit of a quarterback discussion going on in Athens. And believe it or not, it’s not all focused on the guy who just led the program to its first national title berth in nearly four decades.

Everyone wants to get a peek of 5-star freshman Justin Fields. The No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country is finally playing college football, and much to the delight of the locals, the home-grown mega-recruit is doing so at Georgia. The question about the quarterback room dynamic between Fields and Jake Fromm can finally be discussed by Georgia coaches.

With Fields in action for the next few weeks, Kirby Smart knows that he’s probably going to field more questions on a kid who’s never played a game than he will on the quarterback who just led the program to an SEC title.

It’ll be unlike anything Smart has experienced. The closest comparison in recent memory was at Alabama last year when No. 1 dual-threat quarterback Tua Tagovailoa arrived and competed with national championship runner-up quarterback Jalen Hurts. Not many people believed Hurts was in danger of losing his job in the preseason, which will likely be the case for Fromm after he quieted plenty of doubters as a true freshman.

There’s not anything Fields can do in the next few weeks to suddenly become the starter, and only an injury would slow down his hype train.

So what do I want to see from Fields this spring? A few things.

Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

All the compliments

Praise isn’t easy to come by in life, but Fields shouldn’t have much of a problem getting it. Smart is going to have to discuss the freshman signal-caller a ton, as will Fromm and other Georgia veterans. It’s telling when you hear other guys talk about a teammate. I want to see if coaches and teammates are praising Field’s on- and off-field habits.

Is he understanding the playbook? Do you forget that he’s an early enrollee? Has he embraced the strength and conditioning program already?

Those are all things that Fields can accomplish this spring. At 6-3, 220 pounds, he doesn’t need a physical transformation to play on Day 1 (hence, the extremely high rating). But I’m looking forward to hearing how his peers talk about his approach to the offseason from a work ethic standpoint.

All signs point to Fields passing that test with flying colors.

Say the right things … if ever given the chance

So I’m assuming that we’re not going to hear from Fields this spring, or if we somehow do, it’ll just be for a few minutes after the spring game. That’s par for the course for an early enrollee. That’s usually so that they can get coached up on how to speak to the media. It’s easy to fall into a trap with a question like “do you think you should be the team’s starting quarterback?”

If for whatever reason we do hear from Fields, “compete” should be his verb for basically every sentence. You’ll hear that word countless times from Smart and Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Nobody is breaking any news by suggesting that the 5-star quarterback is competing for the starting job.

While Fields probably won’t get any time with the media until he plays in an actual game, I’m curious if Smart goes the Nick Saban route and closes spring by saying “there’s really not a quarterback controversy” like he said last year. Whatever the case, there’s a fine line that will need to be walked when discussing all things Fields/Fromm.

Saying the competition is “wide open” could easily come back to bite Smart, who was rewarded for making Fromm the guy just a few months ago.

Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

What about on the field?

Yeah, so that stuff is mostly out of Fields’ control. As for the things that he does control, I’m looking forward to seeing him sling it. In the practice/spring game snaps that we see from Fields, I’ll be curious how comfortable he looks in the pocket. In high school, he developed a knack for always looking relaxed even when there was a free rusher.

I’d probably be relaxed if I could dance out of those spots like Fields, too.

But obviously, Chaney and Smart would like to keep those situations to a minimum. Can Fields recognize blitzers? And if he can’t, will he leave college edge rushers in the dust, too?

I’m most interested in seeing Fields’ poise. We know that he can make all the throws and that he can scramble like few can, but I want to see how he adjusts to everyone around him getting closer to his speed and athletic level.

One thing I thought Fromm did extremely well as a true freshman was hang in the pocket when he knew he was going to get clocked. He kept his eyes downfield, and more times than not, he knew where his hot read was. The natural thing for Fields might be to do the same, or it might be to try and shake off a defender and scramble for a first down.

Either way, that decision-making process will be worth watching in the spring game.

What’s the goal by the end of spring?

The most important thing is for Fields to stay healthy. If he really is going to get Tagovailoa-like playing time as a true freshman behind Fromm, this month of learning the system, the speed and the personnel are huge. Fields needs as many reps as possible this spring.

By G-Day April 21, the hope is that Fields doesn’t look like like a true freshman. If we’re seeing a guy who looks more like a college starter than a nervous 18-year-old playing on the biggest stage of his life, that obviously bodes well for the notion that Fields is ready to be an active No. 2 on the depth chart.

The best case scenario is that Fields is making more and more people say, “this kid is too good to keep out of the lineup.”

That’d be the best problem for Smart — or maybe any coach — to have.