Justin Fields, rookie quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is all the hotness in NFL circles these days, and rightly so. He’s a highly touted prospect who the Bears traded up in the first round to select, and who showed he belonged during the NFL Preseason. The Savior of the Midway is the apple of Chicagoland’s eye.
When Fields, a Georgia native, committed to hometown University of Georgia, it was presumed that he would lead the program on a quest to a national championship. Inexplicably, he was never given the chance to do so.
Jake Fromm started over Justin Fields
For the 2018 college football season, which was Fields’ freshman year, University of Georgia head coach Kirby Smart decided to go with sophomore and incumbent starter Jake Fromm as his starting quarterback.
Fields saw limited action but was impressive when he got between the lines. He logged only 39 pass attempts, but he converted those into 328 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also ran for 266 yards and four more scores.
It wasn’t enough. Smart un-smartly decided to roll with Fromm heading into 2019, so Justin Fields entered the transfer portal. He landed at Ohio State, taking over where Dwayne Haskins had left off, and went on to solidify himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Fromm went on to be a fifth-round draft pick in the 2020 draft by the Buffalo Bills, essentially being relegated to a career backup quarterback. As part of roster cutdowns, Fromm was released by the Bills and re-signed to their practice squad.
Justin Fields was an elite high school recruit
Fields is from the state of Georgia, where he and 2021 No. 1 overall selection Trevor Lawrence were the two most-talked-about recruits in the country. According to 247Sports, Fields and Lawrence were the top two recruits, both receiving nearly perfect grades.
In two years as the starting quarterback for his high school, Fields totaled 4,187 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, 2,096 rushing yards, and 28 rushing touchdowns.
He has always been a star.
Fields built his resume at Ohio State
All Fields did in his two seasons at Ohio State was complete 68.4% of his passes for 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns, and only nine interceptions.
And that was with the COVID-19-shortened college football season that led to only eight games for Ohio State in 2020.
He showed up in the biggest games, eviscerating the Lawrence-led Clemson Tigers in the 2021 semifinal game, completing 22 of 28 attempts for 385 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. Not only did he perform at a high level, but he also did so after taking a punishing hit. He bounced up and was back on the field the following play.
Fields is a gritty leader with rare athleticism and arm talent, yet somehow Smart neglected to name him the starting quarterback for his hometown school. The guy who pushed him out the door is now taking practice squad reps while Fields will take over as the Bears starter sooner than later.