UPDATE (February 18, 2020): Georgia quarterback D’Wan Mathis has been cleared to practice with his Bulldog teammates heading into spring training camp, according to UGASports.
UGA head coach Kirby Smart told a group of supporters that Mathis, who underwent emergency brain surgery last year, “He’s been cleared, he’ll be able to practice… [Coach Todd Monken is] excited about him and thinks he’s going to be in the midst of that [quarterback] competition. He’s really a talented young man.”
This article was originally published on May 24, 2019.
The Georgia Bulldogs are junior quarterback Jake Fromm’s team. That was obvious when Justin Fields transferred out of the program and headed north to join the Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite losing a Freshman All-SEC player from last year, UGA still has talented signal callers to back up from Fromm this season.
According to DawgNation, Mathis underwent emergency surgery at Piedmont Hospital in Athens to remove a cyst from his brain on Thursday, May 23. Terence Mathis, D’Wan’s father, said the brain cyst formed as a result of severe sinus pain caused by the change in climate. Mathis is an early-enrollee who arrived in Athens after playing for Oak Park High School in Romulus, Michigan.
“I want everyone to know my son is OK and will be back better than ever because of Coach (Kirby) Smart and the University of Georgia medical staff and coaching staff,” Mathis told DawgNation.
“The procedure today was a success, and I want to thank Coach Smart and Georgia for the way they treated my son and my family through all of this,” Mathis added. “Coach (James) Coley is at the hospital with my son right now, in fact.”
Mathis spent the night in ICU as a precaution, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
Heading into the 2019 college football season, transfer Stetson Bennett IV, former walk-on John Seter, and D’Wan Mathis were the only quarterbacks on the Georgia football roster competing to backup Jake Fromm. But it’s Mathis, rated as the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class, who figures to be Georgia’s quarterback of the future when Fromm inevitably makes the jump to the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4 freshman was able to participate in Georgia’s G-Day spring game, completing 15-of-28 passes for 113 yards. He also caught a 39-yard touchdown on a sweet double-reverse trick play from Matt Landers.
Mathis chose Georgia over offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa State and Oregon to name a few.
“D’Wan’s mother, aunt and stepmom is down in Georgia at his side,” Terence Mathis said. “Please help us pray for a speedy recovery. It’s not about football right now, it’s about the DawgNation Family we have in Athens.”
There’s no timetable for Mathis’ return, and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to go when training camp and fall practices begin. Until then, we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to the four-star freshman as he begins his recovery and return to the football field.
On Memorial Day, Mathis posted to his personal Twitter account that he’ll “be back sooner than ever” as he prepares to play football once again.
DawgNation reported that Mathis was cleared to run and lift with the Georgia football team to start July, though a timetable for his return to on-field activities remains unclear.
“The doctors are moving D’Wan along slowly, but we realize D’Wan could have died with the sort of operation we had, so we feel very blessed,” Terence Mathis said. “The doctor said the fact he’s being cleared to work out just six weeks after surgery is amazing, and that it typically doesn’t happen like this.”
Mathis’ father credited the quick diagnosis and response by UGA medical director Ron Courson and his team for his son’s life-saving surgery.
“I believe Georgia saved my son’s life.”