Film Study: What is Georgia getting in Wake Forest graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman?
When Jake Fromm declared early for the 2020 NFL Draft following his junior season in Athens, he left a big hole at the quarterback position in Georgia’s offense. Considering how inconsistent Georgia’s offense was at times last fall, losing Fromm could have been a devastating blow to the 2020 offense if the Bulldogs had to start from scratch at the position.
Thankfully, that won’t be the case as Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman is now a Bulldog.
Following Newman’s decision to join Kirby Smart’s program, I went back and watched all the game footage I could find on the Bulldogs’ new signal-caller to find out exactly what Dawg Nation was getting in the Wake Forest transfer.
After studying his career at Wake Forest, here are the strengths of Newman’s game.
Ability to run
The first start of Newman’s Wake Forest career was at NC State in 2018. The Wolfpack were 6-2 and ranked No. 14 nationally. Things started slow for Newman and the Wake Forest offense; they had only 3 points in the first half, but they finished with 24 points and earned a surprising road victory.
Wake Forest’s offense got going with this run by Newman. He isn’t going to pull away from many SEC defensive backs, but he’s quick enough to blow past linebackers and get to the third level of an opposing defense.
Here’s another example of Newman’s ability to punish a defense on the ground.
While Georgia’s new quarterback might not punish opposing defenses with his speed, he is capable of delivering a blow and has shown the ability to fight through tackles.
Here’s yet another example as Newman’s extra effort gets him in the end zone.
Here’s another example of Newman’s ability to bust out for a big gain on the ground.
Ability to push the ball downfield accurately
Georgia has too many good receivers to not push the ball down the field. That’s something that Alabama and LSU corrected with their new offenses and something that the Bulldogs must be able to do if they plan on competing for a national championship next season.
The good news is Newman has that ability and considering he’s going to be working with a better overall group of receivers than he had at Wake Forest, this attribute of his game should only be amplified in Athens.
Here’s a good example of what Newman can do while pushing the ball downfield.
This is another clip from his first career college start at NC State.
Newman then follows with another just as good on the same drive.
Here’s another deep shot Newman takes after looking off the safety and hitting Memphis’ defense over the top.
Here’s another good deep ball. Keep an eye on the score of the game and the clock situation.
Wake Forest is down to its final possession, losing to Utah State but the moment wasn’t too big for Newman.
Toughness is not easily measured. You can’t look it up on a box score, but every great quarterback has to possess it if he’s going to ask them to believe in him.
There are plenty of different ways to judge how tough a quarterback is and I found a few good examples from Newman.
In the clip below, Newman knows he’s going to get hammered but he also knows he’s got a man wide open for a touchdown if he can put it on him. He takes the hit and delivers the perfect pass for the score.
Newman takes a big shot on this play but stands in and delivers a nice touch pass for a touchdown against Duke.
Here’s another example of Newman showcasing his toughness. If you watch closely at the end of the play, it’s Newman (No. 12) who is blocking downfield on this trick play. It appears Newman was the intended receiver, but when the ball wasn’t thrown to him, he attempts to block well downfield for his teammate.
This is a subtle thing to notice, but it’s the type of thing that’s going to get teammates to buy-in and play hard for their quarterback.
Make no mistake, playing quarterback for Wake Forest in the ACC and playing at Georgia with are completely different challenges. The national spotlight is now on Newman and as we get closer and closer to kickoff against Virginia for the 2020 opener, he will feel the mounting pressure that comes with controlling the hopes and dreams of Dawg Nation.
How well he handles that remains to be seen, but given what I saw from him at Wake Forest, the senior signal-caller isn’t fazed by pressure.
Remember the first clip in his first career college start? That game came down to the wire and Newman led Wake Forest down the length of the field, without any timeouts, for the game-winning score.
Check out that entire drive here.
Newman found himself in a familiar spot in his first bowl appearance — Wake Forest was down 4 with under a minute remaining and needing to drive 70 yards for the win.
Take a wild guess at what happened.
After watching Newman play, it’s clear the Bulldogs have found their starting quarterback for next season. That being said, Wake Forest played a wide-open offensive system that featured tempo that seemingly aimed to take as many snaps as possible per game.
Newman isn’t Fromm. Their games, strengths and weaknesses are different. If he’s asked to run the same offense Georgia ran last season, the Dawgs will be setting Newman up for failure.
That likely won’t happen. Georgia hired Todd Monken to run the offense in Athens.
With the shift in offensive philosophy underway, the Bulldogs not only landed a great quarterback to fill the void left by Fromm’s early departure, they appear eager to transition to an offense that will fully maximize Newman and the bounty of playmakers on the roster next season.
Smart would have been foolish to continue down the same path offensively and hope for new results next season. Thankfully for Georgia fans, their head coach has seen what LSU and Alabama have accomplished in recent years by opening things up on offense.
If Georgia wins the SEC next season, you will likely be able to trace that achievement back to 2 offseason moves by Smart — hiring Monken to run Georgia’s offense and convincing Newman to transfer to Athens to run the offense.