ATHENS — Georgia’s Greyson Lambert is going to start at quarterback for the Bulldogs on Saturday when they open the season against North Carolina, people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to DawgNation on Thursday.
UGA confirmed the news late Thursday morning. The quarterbacks were informed of the decision after practice on Wednesday.
Lambert, a fifth-year senior who started 12 games for Georgia a year ago, has been embroiled in an intense competition with true freshman Jacob Eason for the starting job. In the end, first-year coach Kirby Smart decided to go with Lambert’s experience — which is 28 games including his time at Virginia — over the potential of Eason, who was a 5-star recruit and the No. 1-rated pocket passer in America coming out of high school.
It remains uncertain at this point whether Eason will also play in Saturday’s game. But, for all practical purposes, the Bulldogs are handing their game plan to Lambert, a 6-foot-5, 234-pound resident of Jesup. Redshirt junior Brice Ramsey had also competed for the starting job but was eliminated from consideration last week.
Lambert won the starting job at Georgia last year after transferring in from Virginia in July of 2015. He started 12 of the the Bulldogs’ 13 games last season, going 10-2 in those games. For the season, he completed 63.3 percent of his passes (162-of-256) for 1,959 yards and 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Lambert set an NCAA record for completion percentage in a game when he completed 24-of-25 in a win over South Carolina last September.
The games Georgia lost with Lambert under center were on the road at Tennessee (38-31) and at home against Alabama (38-10).
Eason (6-6, 242) was named the Bobby Dodd Back of the Year and Gatorade National Football Player of the Year after passing for 3,585 yards and 43 touchdowns as a senior at Lake Stevens High in Washington. An original commitment to former head coach Mark Richt, Eason stuck with the Bulldogs last December after Smart was hired as head coach and brought in Jim Chaney from Pittsburgh to serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Smart has said the quarterback competition will continue throughout the season.