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Josh Pate: JT Daniels Will Make a Difference

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CBS Sports’ Josh Pate thinks that West Virginia quarterback JT Daniels will be one of the transfer additions that makes a difference this season.

Speaking on his show ‘Late Kick Live’ Pate listed Daniels first on a group of transfers that have flown under the radar, but could make a difference for their team.

”What I wanted to do tonight is draw your attention to some names that are going to be factors on teams that are going to play for something very important down the stretch this year and I don’t think you’ve heard a lot about them,” said Pate. “And the first name I wanted to bring up to you tonight is JT Daniels.”

Daniels transferred to West Virginia back in May after two injury riddled seasons at Georgia.  In his very limited time there, he went 7-0 as a starter completing 148 passes in 213 attempts (63.8%) for 1,953 yards and 17 TDs while also throwing three interceptions.

“Everyone knows about JT Daniels,” said Pate. “Everyone knows his story. It didn’t work out at USC, he transferred to Georgia. He started last year, people kind of forget that, until someone other than JT ended up taking the last snap in the national title game.

”But JT Daniels gets hurt last year, he is never reinserted as the starter there, he’s out of there. He then transfers to West Virginia. This story to me is fascinating to watch no matter where he went, but it’s especially fascinating because of where he went.”

Pate hints at the story of Daniels, and his college career has certainly been an interesting story to follow. Prior to his two-year stint with Georgia he spent two years at USC after coming there as the No. 1 recruit in the nation in 2018. As a true freshman, he completed 59.5% of his passes for just 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns while throwing 10 interceptions.

He was set to start his sophomore year, but was injured early on and lost his job to true freshman Kedon Slovis who put together a historic season for USC. Interestingly enough, Slovis has since transferred to Pittsburgh and the two will face off this year in the renewal of the Backyard Brawl.

“I don’t know how much you know about West Virginia right now,” said Pate. “Neal Brown, who I knew from my time down at Troy, well his time at Troy, my time at Columbus, so I kind of watched him down there. He’s at West Virginia now. It’s probably a much more sneaky good roster than people realize.

“There’s a lot to replace in the secondary but offensive line, I think will be a strength for them this year. That receiving core could be a strength for them this year. If JT Daniels performs at a top three or top four level in the conference, that could be good enough for West Virginia to surprise a lot of people.”

There are several new quarterbacks in the Big 12 with former No. 1 recruit and Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, who Pate mentioned prior to Daniels as a big name that will make an impact, leading the way.

Besides Ewers and Daniels, Adrian Martinez (Kansas State) and Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma) are two more well-known transfer quarterbacks that will be starting for a Big 12 team this year.

Previous Big 12 freshman of the year Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State) is not a transfer addition, but rounds out an impressive group of the top five quarterbacks in the conference.

“I think we’re at the point in (Daniels) career,” said Pate. “Where we can throw away the recruiting hype. I think a lot of people stay married to hype attached with recruiting too long when your eye balls have told you it’s okay to think he’s just a pretty good player.

If JT Daniels plays pretty good for West Virginia this year. If he’s the third best quarterback in the Big 12. That’ll be good enough for them to do things they haven’t done so far under that staff.”

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