ATHENS – The safe assumption remains that Jacob Eason will be Georgia’s starting quarterback again this year, and build on his solid freshman season.
Still, Kirby Smart sure sounds enamored with Jake Fromm.
The freshman from Warner-Robins enrolled in January, and has quickly won over teammates and coaches, according to Smart, who made an appearance Monday night on UGA’s Bulldog Hotline.
“I expect him to come out and compete like he’s trying to win (the starting job),” Smart said. “To me I see him in no different eyes than Jacob was this time last year. He’s coming in, highly-regarded, heralded recruit. But he’s very serious, very professional about his work. He’s a great leader in the locker room. A lot of the guys on the team respect him. He’s got good arm strength, is a good decision-maker. But what he’s got is he’s got a little leadership to him. He’s not afraid to jump out there and tell guys where to line up, what to do, get after it a little bit with a little fire.
“So I think that dynamic, Jacob sees that, and Jacob sees this young kid coming in with a little more fire and brimstone than even he had. And plus he’s coming in with Jacob there. It makes it a little different coming in with Greyson Lambert, who was the incumbent starter. So I think Jake’s in a good place, and I think he’s ready to go compete.”
Asked if Smart was again calling for a 93k spring game, the coach didn’t quite make the same pitch as last year, but it was clear he wouldn’t mind. And then he again mentioned the quarterback competition, such as it is.
“Our turn out last year was a major catalyst to our recruiting efforts. … Certainly we’re encouraging to get a great turnout for that game,” Smart said. “And certainly it would be a great setting. You’d get to see a good young quarterback in Jake Fromm, go out there and compete against Jacob. We’ll see how the practices go, but I’m looking forward to seeing him in the spring game.”
As for the offense in general, Smart said much of the focus has to be on replacing the abilities of Isaiah McKenzie, who he called perhaps the most dynamic player on last year’s offense. That role has to be filled, along with finding creative ways to to their best players the ball in space.
“We’ve got to find ways to get guys that can make plays the ball,” Smart said. “You look at the TCU game, as much as we were struggling, when Sony (Michel) got the ball, some good things happened. And that’s what we’ve got to find ways to get Sony, Nick (Chubb), Brian Herrien, Terry Godwin, Javon Wims, a lot of these guys the ball in space so they can make some plays.”