Where do losers in Justin Fields sweepstakes turn next?
With his Friday commitment to Georgia, Justin Fields is officially off the board. And while Bulldogs fans are thrilled to have him, the other schools Fields considered are now sent scrambling. Still, missing on the elite quarterback hurts some programs more than it does others. Below is a look at the losers in the Justin Fields sweepstakes and where each may turn from here.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Where they go from here: This doesn’t hurt the Tide much simply because Fields was never a real possibility or priority. Nick Saban took a flyer on the five-star by hosting him on a recent official visit, but nobody actually thought Fields would land in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s top quarterback target is another Georgia-based quarterback prospect in Heard County High School star Emory Jones, an Ohio State commit. Would Saban have been thrilled to land a surprise commitment from Fields? Sure, but it’s business as usual here. Should the Tide miss on Jones, however, things will become more dire.
Where they go from here: Unlike some of the schools on this list, Auburn already has another very talented quarterback in the fold in Rivals250 prospect Joey Gatewood. Obviously the Tigers have limited depth at the position, especially if Stidham decides to enter the draft, but Malik Willis has shown flashes already this season and Gatewood has been well established as a prospect since his freshman year. It hurts for the Tigers to go from the once perceived leader to watching Fields land with the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Where they go from here: This one stings. There’s no other way to put it. FSU has had rotten luck when it comes to quarterback recruiting in recent years, as both Malik Henry (2016) and De'Andre Johnson (2015) both parted ways before making any sort of impact. Add in the fact that current starter Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending injury in this year’s opener, and you have a full-fledged quarterback disaster in Tallahassee. The fact that Fields waited until so late in the cycle to choose another school does the Seminoles no favors, as they’ll likely need to flip a commitment to fill the massive hole in their recruiting class. FSU has offers out to seven other quarterbacks, including North Carolina commits Tyler Shough and Jace Ruder. The ‘Noles are also interested in UCLA pledge Dorian Thompson-Robinson as well as Kentucky-bound Jarren Williams.
Where they go from here: LSU signed two quarterbacks in the 2017 class so adding one in 2018 wasn’t as pressing of an issue as it is for some schools on this list. But first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada would probably like to have his own guy at the position and landing Fields would have been huge, even if it would have been quite a stunner. The Tigers will now likely shift their attention back to Rivals100 quarterback Justin Rogers, the TCU commit who chose the Frogs over the Tigers earlier this year. Beyond Rogers, the Tigers will have go to pretty far down their board to sign a quarterback in this year’s class.