Humble, bright, calm and collected, and a role model; that’s how Justin Fields’ football coach describes Harrison High School’s star quarterback and the nation’s No. 1 football recruit.
After announcing his commitment to play for the University of Georgia (UGA), this “humble” football star answered questions from behind a lectern in a room packed with reporters and cameras Friday, October 6. Some media streamed Justin’s press conference live as reporters peppered him with questions about his decision to attend UGA over other schools. The documentary film crew following Justin throughout his senior season also captured it all.
Before the press conference, Justin gave the inside scoop to his teammates, classmates, and teachers during the school’s homecoming pep rally. His football teammates cheered and leaped with excitement when Justin pulled off his Harrison High School jersey to reveal a red and black jersey underneath. A news helicopter hovered high over the football stadium catching Justin’s big unveiling.
Justin’s dad, Ivant Fields, serves as a Cobb County School District resource officer at Harrison High School. He confessed to getting a little emotional when his son announced to the school community his decision to attend UGA.
“When he is a little boy and you hold him in your arms, you only dream of things such as this,” Justin’s dad recalled. “These dreams have come true. It is incredible. It is unbelievable.”
Officer Fields is trying to capture the memories of his son while he can still see him every day on the Harrison campus.
“It is priceless to be able to work in the same school as your kids,” he added.
The proud dad is thrilled that his son will be playing for a school within driving distance. He’s looking forward to seeing him play as a Georgia Bulldog, and he’s also grateful for the prospect of meeting Justin for dinner halfway between home and school.
UGA’s close proximity is also appealing to Justin’s mom, Gina Tobey.
“I’m really excited,” his mom said about her only child. “I get to continue to go to all of his games. I haven’t missed any games. So, I can continue to support him like I always have.”
Harrison Head Football Coach Matt Dickmann may not make it to watch all of the games in person like Justin’s parents, but he is excited to watch him play on Saturdays.
“I’m proud of him, how he has handled this whole [recruiting] process,” Coach Dickmann said about his star quarterback. “He has really been humble. He has been a really good role model for any athlete in this type of position. Not only is he an outstanding athlete, he is also an outstanding person.”
With a 3.9 GPA, Justin stands out in the classroom as well as on the football field. Despite his success both on and off the field, Justin is “really laid back” and “keeps a level head,” according to Coach Dickmann. Justin’s dad agrees with the coach.
“I’m most proud of his humility going through this,” said Officer Fields, aka Dad. “He is still Justin. He is still my little boy. Sometimes I look up, and he is 6 feet 3 inches, and I’m thinking he is still a little boy.”
How does Justin feel about announcing his decision to suit up as a Bulldog?
“I feel pretty great; I am relieved,” the top recruit said. “I’m ready to focus on my senior season with my team at [Harrison High.] It is my last season at Harrison, so I want to make the most of it.”
Justin described his football teammates as his best friends, as his family.
“They have supported me throughout the whole process,” Justin added. “Of course, they all had their opinions on where I should go, but they have helped me get my mind off all the recruiting stuff.”
The star quarterback also praised his parents and the support they have given him. His dad helped shield him from all the calls from college football recruiters, removing some of the pressure during the recruitment process.
With the big announcement out the way, Justin can focus on his senior year and graduating.
“My favorite memory of my high school career is last year against Rome. We were down with two minutes to go, and I ran it for a long touchdown. That is probably one of the best games I have ever had at Harrison,” Justin recalled. “I’m looking forward to making many more memories with all my best friends.”
When Justin moves on to UGA, he is most excited about improving his skills as quarterback, meeting new people, and building family-like relationships just as he did at Harrison. He also revealed something that those who only watch him from the football stands may not know.
“I’m not a big flashy guy. I don’t like a lot of attention to be honest, but I think I have adapted to it. I’m a hard worker. I’m grounded,” the nation’s No. 1 recruit said.