ATHENS — Georgia begins preseason practice in about two weeks. Finally. Alas, we’re almost certainly more than a month from finding out who the starting quarterback will be against North Carolina, with the decision possibly taking until … well who knows, maybe right up until game time.
Everyone has opinions. The point of this series, however, is to predict what will happen, not what should happen.
If you read this story, two former SEC quarterbacks watching the situation closely believe Greyson Lambert will take the first snap in the Georgia Dome, but that Jacob Eason will come off the bench. If you read ESPN.com Chris Low’s tweet on Monday, after speaking with Kirby Smart, he believes Eason “will be Georgia’s QB this season, (it’s) just a matter if he starts the first game.”
The name you don’t hear mentioned much is Brice Ramsey, who this time last year most everybody expected to win the job. While Ramsey isn’t out of the running, the feeling around the program is he will begin the preseason with a long way to go to catch Lambert and Eason.
The schedule will play a big role in the decision. Smart said they “are not putting all our eggs in the first-game basket.” So does that mean you start Lambert the first week, then Eason the entire second game against Nicholls State, before running the Missouri-Ole Miss-Tennessee gauntlet?
Or do you put Eason in there right away against North Carolina, getting him the vital starting experience, even if it risks losing the opener? It may be a risk worth taking, as it after all is a non-conference game, and Smart is in his honeymoon phase.
Also: Is there anything more we can POSSIBLY write about this?
A-ha, why yes!
Your quick-hitting preseason quarterback primer:
- Returning starter: Greyson Lambert, Sr.
- Top competition: Jacob Eason, Fr.
- The rest: Brice Ramsey, Jr.; Sam Vaughn, Soph. (walk-on).
- The skinny: Eason offers the upside, Lambert the experience. The latter may end up winning out, what with the tailback situation and the opening opponent, but from what is being said behind the scenes, Eason is doing everything he can to make the coaches feel comfortable in him. He’s impressed people with his grasp of the playbook. He’s been in the film room. It will probably come down to the scrimmages, possibly the first two, and how Eason does reading defenses and whatever simulations the coaches throw at him.
- Prediction: Today I predict Lambert starts against UNC but Eason plays, with whoever plays better getting the start the next week. But tomorrow I may predict Eason starts. It’s going to be a fascinating August.
Next: Running backs.