QB D’Wan Mathis not with Bulldogs in South Carolina

Georgia quarterback D’Wan Mathis didn’t make the trip to South Carolina. Whether that’s a one-game exception or evidence that Mathis intends to leave the Bulldogs remains to be seen.

Mathis, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound sophomore from Belleville, Mich., started the opener for the Bulldogs, but has appeared only in relief roles in two games since. Georgia turned to junior Stetson Bennett in Week 2, and he remained the starting quarterback until transfer JT Daniels assumed the role last week.

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The fan site Dawgs247, citing an unnamed source, is reporting that Mathis intends to leave the team. However, Mathis’ family has declined to confirm or deny the report. Also, Mathis currently is not in the transfer portal, according to another report citing sources.

This much is for certain: Mathis is not taking any snaps for the Bulldogs in Saturday night’s game against South Carolina. That probably would have been the case even if he had made the trip.

Last week, Daniels’ tightened his hold on Georgia’s starting quarterback job after passing for 401 yards and four touchdowns in his first action of the season. Bennett, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury after starting the previous five games, has assumed the role of backup after returning to the practice field last week. Freshman Carson Beck is another quarterback on scholarship for the Bulldogs.

It’s a disappointing turn in what has been an otherwise positive story of comeback and restoration for Mathis. He underwent emergency brain surgery to have a cyst removed after it was discovered by UGA trainer Ron Courson in May 2019. The quick action is thought to have saved Mathis’ life.

Mathis was cleared to return to the football field for the Bulldogs this past spring. He earned the starting job in preseason camp after graduate transfer Jamie Newman opted out 24 days before the season opener.

But Mathis struggled once on the field for Georgia. He was replaced by Bennett in the second quarter of the first game against Arkansas, closed out a blowout win over Auburn and played the second half against Florida after Bennett’s injury. His quarterback efficiency rating is currently 55.92, with a 40 percent completion percentage on 30 passes, no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Mathis committed to Ohio State as a 4-star prospect, but backed out and committed to Georgia after Justin Fields left the Bulldogs following the 2018 season.