Justin Fields couldn’t help but shoulder the blame after a late-game loss to North Cobb.
During his senior season at Harrison, Fields, the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, played a spectacular game in moving the offense up and down the field. But he lost a key fumble that led to a North Cobb touchdown. Harrison dropped the game 45-42.
Afterward, Fields told Harrison head coach Matt Dickmann and his teammates that he was the reason for the loss. Fields put the blame on himself even though he threw for 96 yards and a touchdown while also totaling 208 rushing yards and four scores.
“It’s great of you to say that but we scored 42 points,” Dickmann said. “We missed an extra point, missed a field goal and our defense didn’t stop them. He was taking the blame for the loss.”
That’s the type of player Fields was for the Hoyas. And that’s how Fields, who has since enrolled early at Georgia, is likely to be depicted in the second season of the documentary series "QB1: Beyond the Lights."
This is the same show, executive produced by Peter Berg, that rising UGA sophomore Jake Fromm appeared in for its inaugural season a year ago. Fields, along with fellow quarterbacks Sam Hartman (Charleston, South Carolina; Wake Forest) and Re-al Mitchell (Bellflower, California; Iowa State), were followed around during their final year of high school football. The show can be viewed on Verizon's go90.com. The second series' first three episodes premiered Wednesday.
Brett Whitcomb was the producer who shadowed both Fromm and Fields in consecutive years. During the time he spent with them, Whitcomb noted that both quarterbacks share some of the same leadership qualities. Both carry a certain confidence, which attracts their teammates to them.
They also were able to stay level-headed despite the attention they garnered throughout their rise.
“Both Justin and Jake had those qualities where they were working toward something that they knew they wanted,” Whitcomb said. “They knew they could get it if they worked hard enough.”
Dickmann described Fields as the “the total package.” Fields not only can dazzle with his arm and legs, but his ability to comprehend a complex offense sets him apart from other quarterbacks his age. He’s extremely competitive and hates to lose, which is something Fields admitted during the season’s first episode.
“It could probably be a game of cards. He’s just very competitive,” Dickmann said. “Being that he’s competitive, he also knows how to control his emotions, which a lot of young men don’t know how to do today. He knows how to look at it at a point of view a lot of young people can’t.”
Quiet and reserved at times, there is also a fun-loving side to Fields that Whitcomb said is captured on film.
When Fields wasn’t preparing for an opponent at practice or giving it his all during a game, he would spend some of his down time with teammates and close friends Marquis Alston and Mario Nunez, whether it was on a boat, at an indoor trampoline park or at the YMCA.
“It’s just those moments where he’s relaxing and not talking about football,” Whitcomb said. “I know his two friends Marquis and Mario, they like music, they’d make up songs. It was nice to see him relaxing with his friends but not talking about football.”
Dickmann called Fields “the best I ever coached” and believes his potential is limitless. Now that he's at Georgia, Fields will enter a competition with Fromm for the starting quarterback job when spring practice begins. Fromm is coming off of a freshman season that saw him lead the Bulldogs to an appearance in the national championship while throwing for 2,615 yards and 24 touchdowns.
But Fields enjoys competition, which will make for an interesting spring featuring two quarterbacks highlighted in consecutive seasons of "QB1: Beyond the Lights."
“Georgia’s getting not only a great person, but a very smart and intellectual person when it comes to the game of football, who will spend that extra time at the next level to make sure he has everything perfected,” Dickmann said. “To me, the only thing that would ever prevent an athlete like Justin from reaching his full potential would be an injury. That’s something we don’t control as coaches and players. Those things happen. I’ve seen that happen to some great players and I hope it doesn’t happen to him.
“He brings a new level of excitement to the game.”