ATHENS — It was the first time most fans had ever seen Jacob Eason throw in person. And it confirmed all the hype they had heard.
The highly-touted freshman quarterback had a dazzling first series in Georgia’s spring game, going 4-for-4 with a beautiful throw-and-catch to fellow early enrollee Riley Ridley.
Eason didn’t enter the game until the second quarter, as veterans Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey started for the Black and Red offenses, respectively. Eason has run third team throughout this spring, as the coaches bring him along slowly.
But when he finally went in, Eason didn’t do anything to temper his massive expectations, even if it was only a spring game, and against the second team defense.
A loud ovation ensued as Eason jogged on the field, the fans realizing he was finally in the game. His first two plays were both screens to Brendan Douglas, for 13 and then two yards. The first appeared to be a look-away and then check-down, the second a possible direct screen call.
Then came the big play: Ridley went down the left sideline, Eason ran a perfect play-action, then fired a spiral that Ridley caught over his shoulder as he went out of bounds.
The drive only ended on a sack, when a complete protection breakdown led to Eason having three white jerseys converge on him. (The play was whistled dead before anybody hit him.)
But the crowd still cheered loudly as Eason came off the field. His first series ended without a touchdown, but it didn’t matter to the 93,000-plus fans who came to see him.
UPDATE: Eason’s second drive was pretty much as good – and finished with a touchdown pass to tight end Isaac Nauta, another early enrollee. Eason also fired a nice completion to Isaiah McKenzie to move into the red zone.
Again, this is all just against the second-team defense. But the five-star’s talent is on display, and his performance was the story of the first half.
More on G-Day from DawgNation:
- Photos: 93K fill Sanford Stadium for G-Day game
- Coaches are much more optimistic about the kicking game
- G-Day marked the first victory for Kirby Smart
- One NFL star says Smart is taking the program to a ‘new level’
- Jacob Eason impressively surpassed his hype
- The biggest highlight of the G-Day game wasn’t on the field
- Watch: Kirby Smart’s press conference after G-Day
- Black beats Red, but there were other winners on Saturday
- Eason was rousing in his debut
- A look back at G-Day’s biggest plays