A commitment from a 5-star quarterback can be seen as a magnet that attracts other elite prospects. That’s certainly happening for UGA with Jacob Eason.
Elite prospects want to pair up with a big-time arm. They know having the nation’s No. 2-rated quarterback under center will facilitate their careers, too. That’s certainly happening with Eason, the 5-star from Lake Stevens, Wash.
Eason told the AJC’s DawgNation.com he tries to call about “five or six” prospects in the 2016 class each week. He’s building a personal relationship that can only help UGA. Who has he talked to the most lately? Eason said that was 4-star offensive lineman Ben Cleveland (they committed together at Dawg Night in 2014) and 5-star tight end Isaac Nauta. Nauta is the nation’s No. 1 tight end. He is currently undecided.
DawgNation will also appreciate a recent conversation between the 5-stars. Nauta was recently asked who had the stronger arm. Was it Eason or 5-star Shea Patterson?
Nauta plays with Patterson at Florida’s IMG Academy. The Ole Miss commitment eclipsed Eason in the eyes of select analysts over the summer as the nation’s top-rated quarterback. It was an on-the-spot question, but Nauta sided with Eason.
“I went on to say that Jacob had the stronger arm because he can throw it a mile,” Nauta said. “But Shea was definitely the more mobile and the better out-of-the-pocket guy. They both have their strengths and what they have to work on.”
Eason saw that report and contacted Nauta about it.
“He was like ‘Thanks, bro for that comment” or whatever,” Nauta said. “He’s just a funny guy and we stay in contact. The thing is Shea would tell you too that Jacob just has got one of those arms. He can throw the deep ball as well as anybody, but then Jacob will tell you that Shea would be the more mobile guy. Both are great quarterbacks, but Jacob did hit me up about that and told me that he appreciated my comment.”
Nauta said that Eason is the one UGA commitment he keeps in contact with.
That’s just one example. There’s also the case of 4-star receiver Tre’ Nixon. His decision is likely coming down to UGA and Penn State this month, but Auburn and Texas A&M are in the mix. Nixon records every game the teams he’s considering play each week.
He pays close attention to the quarterbacks. He knows who’s coming back. He aims to see if those guys are leaders. Can he play with that guy? Does he have a strong arm?
Nixon said Eason is a factor in his decision. He knows that for every game Eason plays this year, a video highlight usually follows. Nixon watches it every week.
“I do look at his film,” Nixon said. “He’s got one heck of an arm. Probably one of the best high school arms I have ever seen with the passes he is making. That’s big for me also, too.”
That’s why quarterbacks are needed to commit early. The rest of the class meshes around them and they serve as building blocks. Eason’s certainly taken that role upon himself for UGA this year. Willie Allen, a 4-star offensive lineman out of Louisiana, also told DawgNation.com that he’s established a good relationship with Eason since they spoke at Dawg Night in July.
Jeff Sentell covers 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.