ATHENS – When Jacob Eason sat for interviews with the media back in February, there was something missing: Nervousness. He looked like he’d been handling the media for years, probably because he had been. He was at ease, cracked some jokes, and you walked away thinking: He’s only a freshman, but he seems ready for what’s coming.
It was a preview for what everyone saw a couple months later on G-Day: Eason looked ready. It wasn’t just the arm talent. It was the poise, the touch on his passes. Never mind that it was against the second-team defense.
We all saw what we saw.
So for a lot of people the answer to Georgia’s quarterback question seems obvious, right? Even if he’s brought along slowly and doesn’t start against North Carolina, surely he’ll be starting before the end of September … right
Here’s what yours truly wrote back in March, in the pre-spring position analysis: “While we can’t offer a firm prediction on who will win the job, we – OK I, Seth – will offer up a percentage chance that each wins the job: Eason 45, Lambert 40, Ramsey 15. …. And then feel free to ask me again after spring practice is over.”
Now that spring practice has been over for two months – we work methodically around here sometimes – I guess it’s time to offer a new percentage. That leads to the following conundrum: Rely on what was seen during spring practice, when Greyson Lambert was the clear No. 1, at least judging by the pecking order at practice? Or rely on what we saw on G-Day, when Eason and then Brice Ramsey were the most impressive?
The key question would seem to be whether Georgia coaches reach a comfort level in August with Eason’s decision-making and knowledge of the playbook. For what it’s worth, someone with knowledge said Eason has been spending a lot of time at the team’s facility this summer, which is a good sign.
So clearly you’re about to read that I’ve ratcheted up Eason’s percentages at winning the job up to … what … 75 percent? Even more?
Nope. It’s still too early to call this one. On to the explainer:
Returning starter: Greyson Lambert, Sr.
Backups: Brice Ramsey, Jr. and Jacob Eason, Fr.
Others: Sam Vaughn, Soph., walk-on.
On the way: None.
The skinny: The reason to buy into Eason’s chances are above. The reasons you don’t rule out Lambert: Two years of experience as a starter, and as inconsistent as he looked last year, that was after joining the team only a few weeks before practice started. His command of the offense and ability to manage a game are unquestioned. Yeah, his G-Day wasn’t great, but he was also going against the first-team defense most of the time. And the reasons you don’t rule out Ramsey: That arm talent, and the benefit of new coaches. Jim Chaney could make a different evaluation than Brian Schottenheimer, and you know Kirby Smart puts a lot of stock in the opinion of close friend Mike Bobo, who recruited Ramsey. (Although Bobo, to be fair, also recruited Eason and even Lambert, who might have ended up at CSU if Georgia hadn’t offered a scholarship.) Anyway, for the couple of you actually hanging on the Emerson Percentage Meter, here are the updated figures: Eason 50 percent, Lambert 40, Ramsey 10. … Yup, I hardly changed it. Now, feel free to ask me again in August.
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