MACON, Ga. — Kennesaw (Ga.) 4-star quarterback Justin Fields isn’t yet a month into his Penn State verbal commitment, yet he’s already all-in with the Nittany Lions.
That much was evident during a brief conversation with the 2018 recruit following the Georgia Junior Bowl on Friday night at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Fields was fresh off a 30-10 win in that Georgia all-star game, but he spent some time to offer his prediction for his future team’s next game. Monday’s Rose Bowl game against USC.
“Penn State wins it over USC, they win it by 12 points,” Fields said. “I don’t know what the score’s going to be, but they’ll win by 12.”
He pauses for a beat. It’s the first indecision he’s shown all night, after a performance that saw him toss one touchdown pass and combine for over 100 total yards in the victory.
“Actually, the offense is explosive, so I feel like we’re going to get them by more than 12. Sixteen, 18 points. Somewhere around there.”
— RisingSeniors (@RisingSeniors) December 30, 2016
That would be impressive. USC has won eight games in a row by an average of nearly 20 points per game, rebounding after a 1-3 start.
But excuse Fields for being confident. He’s just sure of his prediction, much like he’s sure of the decision he made when he committed to James Franklin on Dec. 1. He verbally pledged to the Nittany Lions over offers from 26 other Power 5 schools, including Georgia.
Perhaps with the writing on the wall about 2018 No. 1 overall player Trevor Lawrence, the Bulldogs offered Fields in mid-November. By then, however, it was too late. Fields said Penn State had been recruiting him the hardest, and he was ready to make his decision public.
Two weeks after he committed, Lawrence — a 5-star quarterback from Cartersville, Ga. — announced his decision to play for Clemson.
“The academics are great there, and Coach Franklin is a good guy,” Fields said about his commitment. “I just love it up there. The tradition, they have great tradition, a great fan base and everything, so I like everything about it up there.”
Fields already has visited Penn State three times, and hopes to major in business and economics in State College.
“I’m pretty solid with them right now,” Fields said.