JACKSONILLE, Fla. - Georgia football fans are not sure who will start at quarterback against rival Florida on Saturday. One interested party -- and Gator alum -- has a good idea: Faton Bauta's high school football coach.
"[Bauta] texted me out of the blue and I said I know you're texting to tell me you're starting this week against my alma mater," said Dwyer High School football coach Jack Daniels. "He goes, 'I don't know coach, there might be a good shot that I will.'"
Daniels said Bauta didn't go as far as to say he's definitely starting, but said he saw an increase in practice reps leading up to facing Florida. Bauta said he had two tickets earmarked for Daniels, but with his Dwyer team still playing and young kids looking to trick-or-treat he wouldn't be able to make the drive from Palm Beach Gardens.
Bauta and Daniels stay in touch, and the coach says his former pupil never got down about not getting an opportunity to play despite UGA's shuffling of quarterbacks.
"I know it's been frustrating with him," said Daniels. "He's never, one time, said anything negative about anything there. He said when my opportunity comes I'm going to make sure I'm ready."
Dwyer is a powerhouse program that churns out Division 1 football players and won state titles in Florida in 2009 and 2013. That makes Daniels' praise for Bauta even stronger.
"[Bauta is] the hardest working player I've ever coached, bar none," said Daniels. "On the field, in the film room, outworks everybody: just an incredible kid."