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Top quarterback Justin Fields decommits from Penn State: Is Georgia back in contention?

NCAA Football: Georgia Spring Game Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia has ranged far and wide in recent months looking for a quarterback for the 2018 signing class. With Jacob Eason in Athens through 2018 and fellow five star Jake Fromm right behind him signing an elite signal caller in the class was always going to be a challenge. An uneven 2016 from the Bulldog offense certainly didn't help the cause, and it has begun to look like Kirby Smart and crew might have to take just about any passer they could just to fill out the depth chart.

But this evening the Red and Black may have gotten a glimmer of hope with the decision of Harrison quarterback Justin Fields to back away from his commitment to Penn State.

Fields had an offer from the ‘Dawgs before pledging to the Nittany Lions in December. Since then the 6’3, 220 pound dual threat QB has seen his stock blow up, moving from a four star recruit to a consensus five star and one of the top ten players regardless of position according to at least one recruiting service.

This may be a simple matter of a young man needing to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Fields appears to be keeping Penn State among his favorites. 247 Crystal Ball predictions in the wake of his decommitment also favored Auburn and Florida. Auburn however already has a standout 2018 commit at the position in Joey Gatewood. The Gators, like Georgia, are still looking for their QB in this class. Alabama may also be a contender for his services.

Fields brings skills to the table that are hard to match. As a junior he passed for 2770 yards while throwing only 6 interceptions, and added 1172 yards on the ground with 15 rushing touchdowns. Fields also ran a 4.51 forty and notched a 33 inch vertical at a February Nike event. No one in UGA’s quarterback meeting room is doing that, and it's an element that could earn Fields playing time from the day he arrives in Athens if he chooses the home state school. His younger sister is already committed to play softball at Georgia, so that may be a pull as well.

I wouldn't count on Fields ending up in the Classic City just yet, however. There will be stiff competition for his services, and the depth chart that was an issue before is still an issue. But Kirby Smart and Co. are not going to stop recruiting him any time soon. And in the interim something crummy happened to James Franklin, which many Bulldog fans will agree is almost never a bad thing.