And now we arrive at the final edition of our UGA football post-spring depth chart series, and this beat writer keeps wondering: Should I pull a Lewis Grizzard?
Grizzard, for those who don’t remember, was once tasked with writing about his beloved Georgia Bulldogs losing to Georgia Tech. Grizzard’s opening sentence: “Frankly, I don’t want to talk about it.”
This was followed by … well, nothing but white space. The column was over at that point.
A similar temptation comes now when we approach the Georgia quarterback “competition.” The headline could be: “Who will be Georgia’s starting quarterback?” The first sentence would read: “Jacob Eason.”
And it would be followed by white space.
Point made, with emphasis, though no points for originality.
Grizzard at least had the benefit of writing about something that already had happened. When it comes to this subject, however, there is still the unknowable: Could Eason get hurt, or could he struggle immensely in the preseason, or could the Russians leak some damaging information about him, or …
Look, there’s always a chance that Jake Fromm could somehow become the first quarterback out there when Georgia plays Appalachian State. Fromm really has impressed in his brief time on campus with his intangibles, and his quick knowledge of the offense.
But Fromm is still a true freshman, and Eason, for the warts that he showed last year in his own freshman season, still has 12 starts under his belt. And he still has plenty of talent.
Maybe Kirby Smart and Jim Chaney will let the competition — the air quotes are gone for now — carry on for awhile. As I’ve pointed out several times, it serves a dual purpose: It pushes Eason to keep working hard, and it gets Fromm mentally ready to play, which he will need to considering he’s the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster.
The idea that Fromm will beat out Eason isn’t as outlandish as, say, Brian Herrien beating out both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to be the starting tailback.
But it’s just still not likely. In fact, it’s unlikely. Because if Grizzard were around today, he might be a bit suspicious about Eason, what with him being from all the way out west. But he’d still want what’s best for his Dawgs, and for now the best shot is with Eason.
- Returning starter: Jacob Eason, Soph.
- Notable reserves: Jake Fromm, Fr.; Sam Vaughn, Jr. (walk-on).
- On the way: Stetson Bennett IV, Fr. (walk-on).
- Analysis: What, more? OK, beyond the two scholarship guys, it’s worth pointing out that Vaughn is a capable emergency backup, as he knows the system. The team has survived before with two scholarship quarterbacks, and Parker Welch did well as the top backup in 2012, when Hutson Mason was redshirting. Bennett offers some intrigue as a walk-on. But ultimately if someone other than Eason or Fromm is behind center, it will be deep into the fourth quarter of a blowout, or things will have really gone off the rails.
- Prediction: Eason starts every game this season. Fromm sees action in 4-7 games, as the coaches get him experience and keep him prepared.