Georgia’s offensive players will see smiles from a No. 2 black jersey as it begins practice Friday. It’ll be a long-awaited return and a fresh start for freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis after enduring a tumultuous summer.
Mathis underwent brain surgery on May 28 to remove a potentially life-threatening brain cyst. On Friday, he begins progression into a full workload alongside quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett.
“D’Wan is not fully cleared, but he’s able to do passing drills and individual drills,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “We will do things where we know he will be safe.”
Mathis enters his freshman campaign as a depth asset for the Bulldogs. He was signed as a four-star prospect and a former Ohio State pledge — within the same period that five-star backup quarterback Justin Fields opted to transfer to Ohio State.
Mathis found good fortune during his last appearance in a Georgia uniform, too. At the G-Day spring game, Mathis recorded a 113-yard passing performance to lead the Black team. His final line included a 39-yard touchdown pass to Matt Landers.
Now, a return could serve as an escape. So once a smile flashes from Mathis’ facemask, he’s back where his passion lay.
In an effort to have Mathis return to form, however, Georgia continues to exercise caution with safety as a priority.
“We still don’t know when he will be fully cleared, but I’m excited to see him go out and work today,” Smart said. “He’ll get to do 7-on-7, individual drills and a lot of things.”