Jacob Eason, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback, reaffirmed his commitment to UGA on Tuesday morning. Did he give anyone at UGA a hint before he left town after his official visit?
Ben Cleveland, another UGA commit for the Class of 2016, knew. Kirby Smart might have known. Eason dropped a hint with his future coach at UGA before he left Athens.
“I think I might have told him I will see you soon,” Eason told DawgNation on Tuesday. “Maybe that might have put it out there.”
The 5-star prospect made sure Smart knew what his decision would be when they spoke on the phone Monday night.
“I think he kind of had an idea that Sunday too but I talked to him on the phone last night and let him know what was going down,” Eason said.
So why UGA?
Eason said he made his final decision about choosing to stick with his UGA commitment in two places. First, he felt the tug of still wanting to play for UGA and his friends in the potential 2016 recruiting class on his official visit. That feeling became final when he discussed his options with his family when he got back home to Washington.
“The visit was reassuring and then coming back home to talk with my parents and my family it was good to have them on board with my decision and them fully backing me up,” Eason said. “Georgia is the best place for me and I couldn’t be more excited.”
He said the decision between UGA and Florida was “close” and then rattled off the things in the end that made him stay with the commitment he made in July of 2014.
“There was a big comfort feeling there being committed to Georgia for 18 months, but it was a lot of things,” The Lake Stevens High School standout said. “The recruits that I know who are going there is a big thing. Then just meeting with coach Smart and (new UGA offensive coordinator) Jim Chaney just reassured everything. Those are great guys and great coaches and really fit for the jobs. I am just really excited.”
Eason also made it clear how important that Chaney hire was.
“If I went down there and left and there still wasn’t an (offensive coordinator) then I would probably still be scrambling right now,” Eason said.
Who will he go after now to commit to UGA? The first names that came to his mind were 5-star athlete Mecole Hardman, Jr. and 5-star tight end Isaac Nauta. Those guys are also rated No. 1 in the nation this year at their respective positions.
“There’re a lot of guys,” Eason said. “Mecole and Isaac and Demetris Robertson and Nate Craig. There’s a whole bunch of guys I am going to try to get to go to Georgia.”
His loyalty to UGA is also worth noting on a day when he was also named the 2015 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.
“I always just kind of knew I was still committed to Georgia through the tough times and hard times,” Eason said. “I didn’t want to break that commitment just because a couple of coaches got fired. I was really going to wait it out and see what was going on and it all worked out in the end.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.
More on Eason:
- Kirby Smart and other UGA staffers react to Eason’s decision
- Why Eason should be ‘QB1’ from day one at UGA
- Everyone can breathe a little easier after the news
- Eason reaffirmed his commitment and also received some good news of his own
- Is Eason really worth all of the hype?